I-Mortal – Mummy, what happens when we die?
It’s the start of the Easter long weekend and I have the kids at home. Being nearly ten and seven and-a-half you can imagine that my long-term pleasure only comes after a series of short-term pains as we bump and hustle through our days together, life sure does have its moments and tonight was one of them.
My kids can be quite philosophical at times and after hearing the Easter story again over the last few days they were asking questions about death (as you do) and what happens to us and our pets when we die. Usually when asked that question I will say something very motherly like ‘we become stars and twinkle in the night sky, looking over everything below’ and then change the subject by saying ‘now how good would it be if we could FLY’ hoping that their attention span is still close to zero. But tonight was a little different.
As an adult I still find it difficult to grasp the idea that there could be nothing at all after this OR that we could be sleeping peacefully forever. What does forever feel like……….. Anyway, not wanting to leave them dangling with those thoughts at bed time and being as though we were tucked up in my bed I decided to let them in on my big theory of Immortality.
I am a big believer in the existence of a universal truth and energy that binds and thrives within each one of us. I find comfort in the idea that there is a little bit of something within every living creature that is the same, that constant light, twinkle or breath of beauty. Having grappled with various layering of thought, ritual and habit that people put over the top of this I must confess to still finding the most comfort in this simple, naked truth.
It is hard to explain this idea to children in a way that might keep their eyes, ears and minds open and respectful of other philosophies that they come across so as carefully as I could I told them a little story.
There is one light, love and beauty that exists that is a pure and perfect blanket of energy around the earth and inside all living things. When we are born some of that light lives inside of us, we delight in seeing others because we connect with that same light. We thrive in a natural environment because we feed off that energy and we grow more beautiful as we learn to recognise our own light with the passing years. Death is not the end of this magical spark, it is just the end of that body and so we should not be afraid of it. The light that lives within you was always and will always be there and wherever you find beauty you will recognise it.
So although we are mortal we are bound together by a shared immortality and that immortality is beauty.
By the time I had finished the story they had both nodded off to sleep and had forgotten about the thoughts that had worried them earlier. Having kids reminds you of your own mortality and the speed at which life moves but it also reminds you of the great beauty and love that exists in the world.
I like you am mortal, beauty is not
and what is more, we are all the same.