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Life and death
The passing of a dear friend (see memorial on page 32) has given me time for reflection on these matters, and in some way living in a rural setting also makes us more aware of the natural cycles of growth and decay. One thing is for sure, despite many people’s best efforts to slow the process down, death is one of life’s few certainties. Sometimes it seems to be the ‘right’ time, whereas for others it is like they are snatched away before finishing half of their allotted time. When faced with this absolute reality, we often start to appreciate faith and belief in ‘spirit’ however it manifests for us. If we feel that there is more to living things than the mere physical flesh then we start to imagine how people who have passed on somehow ‘live on’ or merge their soul with the ‘universal spirit’. As cultures fragment we often find parts of many spiritual disciplines or religions being borrowed and merged with each other. The ‘New Age’ is often a pastiche of ancient and modern beliefs – whether they are any truer or more fundamental than any other is missing the point. Any belief system gives the believers a common reference point, solidarity and a structure in which to put the world and mysteries around them into some understandable format. As we deal with death this can really help the healing process.