I give Thee back the life I owe

O Love that will not let me go:
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowd ray,
That in Thy sunshine's blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

~ by George Matheson

I saw birth like death

I welcomed each pregnancy with thanksgiving. To feel life within my womb, little hands and feet tapping from within, this is extraordinary. Then the births. I entered into each one of them, feeling the crescendo of pain until it became so strong I felt I could not survive. In a way, I saw it like death. Prayer came easy.

~ from CIRCLING TO THE CENTER by Susan M. Tiberghien

Only that which dies can live again

It is a central paradox of desert experience that only that which dies can live again. The fundamental rule of the divine life is this: the one who loses, wins. The carefree playfulness and freedom of the Holy One are mysteries entered only on the farside of darkness and death.


Death is a friend who wants to welcome us home

Is it  possible to prepare for our death with the same attentiveness that our parents had in preparing for our birth?

Can we wait for our death as for a friend who wants to welcome us home?

~ from OUR GREATEST GIFT by Henri Nouwen

A dream that is dying

Each age is a dream that is dying
For one that is coming to birth.

~ by Corinne Heline

Death feels like a birth

Six weeks after my brother's death, the night came for Dad to die. The doctor came in telling us he could do nothing for him. And then, with a gasp, Dad took his last breath. The air was still and yet there was a Presence larger than life as Dad left his body. The Presence was palpable and real, yet unseen. I did not trust this, yet I knew it to be true. "It feels like a birth," my sisters said... Years later, I was sitting at my desk. Suddenly, I heard a voice, my father's voice. There was no one physically there. And yet, I heard my father speaking to me. "Bobby and I are together now. We are doing fine. We're with you more than you think."

~ from MANTLE OF ROSES by Virginia Swain

Now are come the days of brown leaves

Now are come the days of brown leaves. They fall from the trees; they flutter on the ground. ... I hear them tell you of their borning days, when they did come into the world as leaves. ... Today, they were talking of the time before their borning days of the springtime. ... They told how they were a part of earth and air, before their tree-borning days. And now they are going back. They go back to the earth again. But they do not die.


Am I dead?

Lying alone in the pasture, dark except for the magnetic full moon. There is an overwhelming sense of quietness. My being is part of the earth and part of the pure white light of the moon at the same time. Nothing else is significant. For a second I wonder, "Am I dead?" It isn't important -- I am spending an hour in God's hands, and it will become part of me.

~ "But How Can I Be the Moon?" -- age 16

The light we encounter on the road of death

In that moment of awareness, I had an epiphany, that the light we encounter on the road of death is our being in the act of coming home to itself. I understood that light is our natural state, but that we human beings must help each other as we move toward the shores of light. ...Being in the light is knowing we must get others into it. ...The light is where we belong. Everyone who is not in the light is looking forward to being there. So we leave the light to go and experience the need for light and thus come back to it anew.

~ from OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT by Malidoma Patrice Some

We do not get to choose how we are going to die

We do not get to choose how we are going to die. Or When.
We can only decide how we are going to live. Now.

~ Nan Merrill
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