Lately I've been thinking a lot about the experience of birth from the baby's perspective. Or at least trying to imagine what it will be like for her that chilly day in February. Right now she's all snuggly and warm in her world... in my belly. She kicks and rolls and can hear my voice and heartbeat. It's all she knows. It's her entire universe. And she's used to that environment and probably (hopefully) feels safe in there. But come February, all that will change. A hugely traumatic experience awaits her when she will travel down and out into bright white lights, strange new sounds and completely unfamiliar territory. In a matter of minutes her universe will expand beyond her wildest dreams. And she will be somewhere new and beautiful.
What a huge thing! It sounds so scary... so unknown... so unreal, doesn't it?
Sometimes I wonder if death is the same way... With all the death that has touched my family this year, I think about how maybe the two processes (dying and being born) might be really similar. Think about it... we get so used to this little universe that we know. We feel safe in it. We are familiar with all the sights and sounds and the rhythm of it. And then we inevitably get to the end of our time here in this place. And we don't really know what's on the other side of that process. It's unfamiliar and maybe kind of scary and unreal. But maybe, just like birth, what awaits is a beautiful new experience. Beyond our imaginations. And we'll be ok. It's just another sort of birth into some new, wild territory.