A transcript of the podcast by the same name.

WOW I never could have imagined this view of life I am currently in the midst of, and it took more death than I thought possible to get me here. 

I am still in the midst of it all, it is only an hours old experience so listen in as I unfold it for myself and see what you hear that has value for you. 

I’m in my seventies and while I have experienced death I have never had as intimate of an experience as I just walked through. 

A few days ago a friend of mine brought her four children to our farm as she was healing from the sudden death of her father, who died alone in a hospital, unexpectedly. When I listened to her it was the alone part that seemed to hold so much pain. Her parents had been married for 53 years and rarely apart and yet somehow in the midst of this COVID experience her mother wasn’t allowed to be at her father’s side as he passed. Her four children were close to their grandfather and while they hadn’t seen him in a long time due to COVID, they faceted daily and they were here on the farm to exhale, let go, and remember happier times. My heart broke listening to her story. 

A neighbor also died on Friday, who had been expected to make it, still young enough to have years and years of a healthy life in him, and yet, his life ended. These are difficult times and the opportunity to mourn together are limited or non existent. Again, I was present to the aloneness that family and friends feel at times when we would normally be there for one another.

Then two days ago our dairy herd, who I had just remarked to my husband were the healthiest and happiest I had ever seen them. They were in their prime and relishing their connection and the newest calf, it was sheer joy to be in their company. We walked out one morning and something was terribly wrong. We couldn’t tell what it was but they were sick and had a difficult time getting up and staying up. We called the vet and after two days of IVs, and intensive care we had three of our prize cows die with their heads in my lap as they looked up at me. I wept. 

We still don’t know the source of the poisoning they experienced and are awaiting a toxicology report from UCD. Then this morning one of our cows that made it gave birth and the calf was stillborn, I had spent the entire night with her while she labored, assisting in the birthing process at the end only to hold a calf that never took her first breath. 

Needless to say, death has been on my mind and heart for four days now. 

I cried the first night, and as the tears rolled down my cheeks I noticed that was my grief led to was love. I became acutely aware of how I had loved my precious Lupita and how she had loved me for 8 years. We trusted one another. I found myself grateful that she hadn’t died alone, that I had been there with her. 

I wrote and posted to my Instagram the next day
“Loss is never easy, I pray that all our losses leave us face to face with how we have loved and been loved.” 

That was my experience. not what I expected from so much death and yet, there it was. Life and love. I found myself reflecting on how light is brightest in the darkness. 

And here was love dealing through death.

I found myself thinking how precious life is and then there was this awareness that when some people pass from this earth they want their loved ones to not mourn and have a funeral but rather to create a celebration of life. 

I had always thought of that as a celebration of their life, which I still think it is, and yet somehow I had an expanded experience of the celebration of life being their invitation to us to celebrate our lives at their passing. 

That led to me asking myself, who would I need to be, what would I put in place to have each moment of my life be a celebration, as clearly it is since we are all one breath away from death. Meditation focuses on the breath, we blow out candles on a birthday day with our breath to celebrate the years of our life, yoga uses the breath, there is breath work to reach heightened states of consciousness, breath is life and yet we, you and I, can so easily take it for granted. 

So, who would I or you have to be to celebrate each moment of life? I remember when my eldest grand daughter was 3 and would sleepover, she would awaken in the morning by first batting her eyelids a couple of times, and then they would stay open and her big beautiful eyes would sparkle as she sat up in bed and exclaimed, I waked up!  

How do we wake up? 

How do we give joy for another day?

How do we celebrate each passing moment and see this life as the gift it is? 

I want to explore this a while with you. 

I’ll include in the notes a link to the IG for this podcast and I would love to hear how you are going to take on celebrating your life. 

It seems so easy to take it all for granted, to become habitual, and to even judge, criticize and complain over relishing and honoring and giving thanks for each and every day. Life is a gift and how we receive it gives it its value. 

Let’s work on this together. I know this is a life changing moment for me. 

I do believe that Jesus wanted this for us too, that his death was an invitation for us to be free to celebrate life, being alive, really alive. Alive and free. 

Come on, let’s do this. 

Ask yourself, how can you put more celebration into the moments you live. Share them with me in the messages on the podcast IG. 

I was sharing with a friend about having a cup of coffee, as a celebration rather than drinking it from a paper cup passed through a drive-through window in a car alone. 

Oh sure you can also create that as a celebration, it isn’t just the circumstances it is the awareness, the remembrance, the presence, the appreciation, take a breath, give thanks and rejoice, this moment, and then this moment, see how many moments you can string together and keep going. 

I am going to take this on, I have experience enough death in the last 48 hours to push me into the celebration of life. 

When I ask myself, who I would have to be to live life as a celebration, the first thing that surfaces is carefree, not l putting my attention on what anyone else thinks, living free of that, I celebrate simply because I am alive and I keep on celebrating as I am given another moment, another day another opportunity to say thank you for the gift of life. 

so as I sign off and until next time, go celebrate, light a candle, say a prayer, count your blessings, hold hands, make a cake, sing songs, dance, jump for joy and breathe, 

May your life be a celebration that others want to attend. 

That’s my prayer for us all.