Coping with death.I just had a friend pass recently and suddenly. He died of a massive heart attack at 45 years old and then he was gone. It was a total shock for me, as it was for most of his friends. The phrase; “and then he was gone” is what I am grappling with the most. How can we live such a sublime life – with the ability to experience profound love, joy, deep connection – with ourselves and others, and be able to create whatever we can think of in this world and then suddenly it all becomes a dream. It’s like erasing chalk from a chalkboard. What is the meaning of life? Does what we create have any permanence as it passes through time? Or does it get completely erased from this world and our collective consciousness? If I think about my own ancestors, I don’t know about their lives (unless they wrote it down); I don’t know how they loved, lived, created, and destroyed. I just know that they created some form of life while they were living. I keep coming back to the question; How can time so quickly erode a life that had such vibrancy, love, and innate creativity? What meaning does life have if in 10, 20, 50 and a 100 years later what we have created with our life is truly dust? What then is the meaning of life? This is what his death has taught me.

It is the moments of love that we experience throughout this life that hold the true meaning for us. These moments of love are our true creativity that cannot be destroyed and form who we are. I don’t know where we go after death and I won’t know until that happens for me. I do know that I choose to share and create as many moments of love and true connection that I can and I believe that we are buffeted and carried into our “new life” on this blanket of love.

My theory of love: To learn to accept all of life, the good and the bad, the pain and the pleasure, the opposites of life. It is in learning to embrace all of what life offers, no matter what it looks like, where we generate the most love. Love comes from radical acceptance of what is and it takes radical acceptance to embrace those moments especially when everything seems to be falling apart and we have lost our sense of self. Love is in the shadow and in the light. In fact light and darkness are made of love; two sides of the same coin and are only understood fully when love and gratitude are experienced. I believe that is when you know you have fully learned and appreciated any, and every situation, person, and yourself. Gratitude and inspiration are the benchmarks that tell us we are in love, and experiencing love. So now we can let go and move on with our life and carry this transformative experience with us. These love experiences do shape us, inform what we will do next and protect us. They are not to be underestimated and if you choose to collect anything in life, collect these moments of love at any cost! They will transform you and transform anyone that comes in contact with you.

will etheridge, counselor and therapistWill Etheridge MA Body Psychotherapist/Perceptual Balancing Specialist/Value Systems Expert

3003 E. 3rd Ave, Suite B101

Denver, CO 80206

720.295.9434

www.willetheridge.com

willcetheridgecounseling@gmail.com

“For the last three years I have been a close colleague of Mr. Etheridge. During this time I have witnessed Mr. Etheridge’s body-based therapeutic skills and consider him to be a well-qualified and highly professional Somatic Psychotherapist. In particular I am impressed by his ability to apply an in-depth mindfulness approach to his work that is both cutting edge and therapeutically needed within the field of mental health. I highly recommend Mr. Etheridge.” ~ Nova Golonka-Carmichael (Colleague)