Walking through the valley — Ana Gobledale, UK

Walking through the valley of the shadow of death…

Death accompanies us all.
Waiting silently for acceptance.
Not frightening, except for those who fear shadows.
Peaceful.

I’m grateful for those who show me how to transition
from the life we know into this unknowable mystery.
So many names and angles of understanding:
eternity,
resurrection,
dust-to-dust,
forever,
eternal peace,
walking with the ancestors.
Death opens the door for so many possibilities.

I love being alive.
Yet, I do not fear death any more than I fear going to sleep at night.
I just don’t like the idea of not waking up.
I will miss
my husband,
my children,
the sunshine,
the sound of the city moving around me.

Someone once suggested I live each day as if it were my last.
Good advice.
Remembering this not only helps me try to live a decent life today,
it keeps me close to death,
close to my humanity.
It helps me remember
to write that thank you letter to a good friend,
so that I don’t go without having let her know
how much she has meant to me these past 50 years.
It helps me show up
when it’s important,
because there may not be a next time.

Walking in the valley of the shadow of death —
a peaceful lush valley abounding in magnificence and life.
That’s where I plan to stroll today.