Death is My Advisor

I hope that you have heard that we are scheduled to resume in-person services on June 20. We are excited about being together again. With the reopening comes service opportunities… most importantly to start greeters and ushers along with those who will prepare coffee and clean up after coffee hour. Please reach out to me if you are ready to step into service. The hope is this will be a once month commitment. I always think of service as an act of devotion to God. Look forward to hearing from you.

The book Living Originally by Rev Robert Brumet, which I have been using for the last several weeks, has given me the opportunity to share on many topics that are of interest to me, and this past Sundays was one of them. The topic was death. In 25 years of ministry, I don’t think I have done more than a couple of talks on death. As I reflect on why that has been, I realized how I viewed it as not a topic that folks want to hear about and quite frankly one, I didn’t want to talk about.

That has changed for me, and it began to change when Rev. LeRoy was so sick and we didn’t know if he would recover or not. We began to face the reality that he may not and to have those difficult conversations. It was just a while later that Jody Fein proposed to me to do a series of evenings on the topic Dying to Life. Which we did and I learned a lot and got much more comfortable with death.

The message this week reiterated how uncomfortable we are with death that we seldom say the “D” word. We use phrases like “passed on,” “made their transition,” “gone to a better place,” or “with the Lord,” never saying “died.”

Dr. B J Miller, who was in a video that was shown, and Robert Brumet believe that the practice of allowing death to be our advisor is not a morbid preoccupation with death but rather a focus on how we are living our own life right now.

Here are questions that Brumet poses, and he encourages us to journal using these as prompts:
• What do I fear most about dying?
• Who and what will I miss the most when I die?
• What is important for me to finish before I die?
• What Legacy do I want to leave to humanity when I die?
• What do I want shared in my obituary… In my eulogy… In my epitaph?

Another exercise would be to make a list of all your problems and concerns and ask:
• How many of these things would be a problem if I had only one week to live?
• If I had but one week to live, what would be important to me?”

What you might want to ask is:
• Did I live well?
• Did I love well?
• Is the world a better place because of my life?

I will end with this quote from Ram Das in his book Walking Each Other Home: “What if dying were the ultimate spiritual practice?”

You will want to take the time to watch this message…and to listen to Robert Brumet’s meditation here

Next week will be “Living in the Heart of Desire.”

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

P.S. We are scheduling our first in-person service since March of 2020 on June 20. Please join us at 10 a.m. We will be online at 8:30 a.m. for those who are not local or not ready to do in-person yet.

Masks are optional; however, we are asking non–vaccinated people to please wear a mask. We will have a section for social distancing and children are welcome in the service. There will be no Children’s Church at this time. Hospitality will consist of coffee and tea.


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