As stated, both life and death require our presence, showing up in a way that speaks of meaning and engagement. Unfortunately, the shadow side of presence can also occur in death and dying, life and living. In the shadow side of presence, we do not show up. We instead ignore, deny, and push engagement of ourselves and others to the side.
When we lack presence, we harm ourselves, as we are not engaged enough to exert our power. When we are partially present or completely absent, we suffer through feeling discouraged and disconnected. The lack of presence is one way people attempt to cope with death and dying, either their own or those they love. The thought goes, “If I am not present, than I can not suffer.” Even in pain, death, just as life, asks us to show up in the best way we can. Not for the benefit of others, but for our own benefit. We can, through our presence, acknowledge that death, and in turn life, matters.
What is to be gained by a lack of presence around death and dying?
Do you think people struggle to be present for both death and dying and life and living at the same time?