Storytelling is how we make sense of what happens to us. And too often, you come home from war and keep your stories locked up inside. You don’t have a safe place to share them, and they often feel too painful to find words for. But stories are what connect us as human beings.
Death is what connects us to Life. Your stories of death matter. You have both caused death and suffering and torturous pain, and witnessed and endured it. And death has been both a relief and regret. A weight on your soul that you can’t seem to budge. It grows heavier the longer you keep it inside.
The other reason? You have seen the vulgar, ugly side of death. Where the intention to kill shatters human bodies. And leaves your own heart and mind shattered, too. You have lost those you loved in a matter of seconds. With no preparation. No time to say goodbye. No time to even stop and mourn. They were here one moment, gone the next, and you had to keep going. There was no time for acceptance or peace, just sheer necessity to move on. And today, the jagged pieces inside your heart still cut fresh every time a memory returns.
As human beings, we have the power to let Love be stronger than Death.
We can bless those who went Home early by accepting it in our hearts.
We can stop fighting the fact of their loss and know that they are okay now.
We can stop clinging to their last moments and celebrate their lives.
We can know that while sadness and grief are right and real, we can imagine our spirits are wide and expansive so that there is room in us for mourning and grief AND joy and beauty and grace.
We can remember that death can be spiritually beautiful. (Hard to remember, I know, when your mind is filled with gore, but a truth worth remembering, nonetheless.)
And what about those people whose deaths you caused?
You may or may not feel regret or guilt. Doesn’t matter.
What is fact is that their time on earth was done.
You had a part – a sacred part – as a warfighter in facilitating their deaths. (For those of you who know me, I believe that warfighters take on a sacred spiritual responsibility for death before they come to earth and it is one that sets them apart for their entire journey on earth.)
The weight of this responsibility is not going to go away. Which is why I encourage you to have a conversation with those you killed. (Don’t stop reading now– you don’t have to believe they can hear you. You don’t have to have any type of spiritual belief, other than that the human spirit is eternal. But you need to express a few things for your own heart’s sake.) One, honor the roles you both had in this epic journey on earth. You don’t have to feel any type of emotion about or for them. Just recognize the fact that they were human beings. Honor that. (This is more about freeing yourself than anything else — so suspend your beliefs and try it.)
Next, thank them. That’s right. Instead of asking for forgiveness, try thanking them for having chosen you way back when in the Spirit World to play this role in their journey. (This puts you both on equal power — where neither of you has the upper moral/ethical hand and there is no judgment.)
Then, release them. Tell them it’s time for them to move on, that they’re okay now, and that you are releasing them back to Light. Then let yourself release them as well.
Love is stronger than death. Death is momentary. Love continues on. It’s fierce and tenacious and our essential nature as human spirits. We come from Love and Power in the Spirit World, we return to it when our journey on earth is done. We can access this part of our nature at any time and stand in our power as beings of Love and Light. We do not have to allow any one thing to consume 100% of us — our spirits are capable of expanding and containing dualities: light and dark, love and hate, peace and fear, anger and happiness, pain and ease, grief and joy. When you allow that to be true for you, you open up space to stop fighting against what is and allow it all to be. That allowance lets you move toward wholeness.
Wholeness is defined as “containing all of ones’ elements or parts.” That’s what we are capable of.
And what death asks us to remember.
One thought on “What Death Wants You to Remember”
Britta, a veteran friend of mine shared your blog ‘Before You Kill Yourself, Read This’ on Facebook today. I am an acupuncturist with a specialty of working with people have experienced trauma. Most recently I’ve been seeing patients who are veterans or first responders. I’ve run a free drop-in clinic for those folks and their families almost continuously for 8 years, and have a FB page for this service. I’d like to add your posts to that page, can’t quite figure out how to do that. Can you direct me? Thank you so much for your brilliant writing. I look forward to hearing from you.