Death is a strange and multifaceted experience.

Over the last few years I have experienced this life changing transition in many forms. Whether it was the death of family members, the death of friendships or the death of parts of my identity, each time I was left changed forever. Transformed by the gift of insight, love and surrender to forces beyond my human control.


This week however, like a bolt from the blue, I was told that friends of mine had lost their young daughter to cancer.


In an experience like this, it’s hard to see any gift. Hard to fall back on the old comforting clichés such as ‘everything happens for a reason’, or ‘the universe always knows’ without them being underpinned by a deep doubt in their validity.


I found myself asking ‘why’ something this achingly painful would happen?


Why would creation, give life and then take it away?

Why would a soul, choose to come into existence, only to experience the pain of those around them as they left so soon?

Why is life so ‘unfair’ when the young depart before their parents grow old?


Then as I was contemplating all these raw, real questions, the voice of my Grandfather came into my awareness reminding me of something he would often say.


“This is not a WHY question.”


I had to smile at the memory of his wisdom.


No – in fact a lot of life’s important questions rarely begin with ‘Why….”


For me, they are increasingly beginning with HOW.


How can I live more deeply?

How can I cherish this fleeting moment and experience it fully before it passes forever?

How can I give my unique gifts to everyone, everything, every moment, every place, every being so that when my ‘end’ comes, I leave satisfied and whole?


‘How’, entices us to show up and give our self as a gift.

‘How’ presupposes that we know that we can be, do, say, live in any way we choose to and are now inquiring into ‘how’ to go about it.

‘How’ is the delivery mechanism that comes into play once an inner ‘yes’ has been said consciously or unconsciously.

‘How’ moves us from the realm of storytelling to story-making and facilitates action.


So I am left contemplating my friend’s tough life experiences and wonder ‘how’ this has changed them as a family and community forever?


How has the gift of every single moment they had with their daughter, opened their hearts and cracked the code of true compassion for the fragility of human life?


How can I, you, all of us show up more fully in each moment that we are gifted to be alive, knowing that it will inevitably change and we will never get to experience one quite like it again?


How would you change, if you knew how special everything you are is to everyone around you?


How would you take the first step to living more fully whilst you are here?






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