Art of Dying Volume II | Page 49

This is our death, and our approach to it, and our experience of it, and our work around it is ours. When death seems creepy, it's about the parts of it you can't control. A good example is my mother-in- law Kathy’s death. My wife and her dad and brothers were there by Kathy’s death bed. It was powerful. When you leave it at that, it's like that's wonderful, thank you, she died at home, as we were all there singing, "You Are My Sunshine.” What a blessing. Then, in the final minutes, Kathy vomited a little bile, which is very common when people pass. These sort of traumatic visuals happen. And there's no stopping that. So our blissful, beautiful, heartbreaking, powerfully heartfelt moment included that, too. This experience revealed death’s complexity. But that's the work—being with the dying. Going through the nightmare and the beauty, and being able to figure out who you are in relation to it. And hopefully, it inspires better deaths a nd better lives. It's bizarre to live with the unfathomable ridiculousness of a society and a world that deny our inevitable death. Part of why I keep doing this is that I need to keep exploring and processing. The way that I am with "You're Going to Die”comes from wrestling with all of that and then baring myself in front of community. By working with the audience to arrive at something that isn't necessarily ‘The Answer’ to all that stuff, but that awakens solace, connection, sacredness. I need my show to say, "Okay, don't take it all so seriously because as ridiculous as it is, it's fleeting." There are ways to feel sacred and to see the sacred in others. I feel good that there is no one answer. That's important to me. We’re all wanting to have a unique conversation without the need for an answer. We're individuals on these little stages in our head acting out things in relationship to the world. It helps to acknowledge that we are the main actor or actress in the midst of this drama or comedy or whatever it is. It breaks through barriers and reminds you of the gift of connection with others. You sigh in relief that you're not alone. You're still uniquely experiencing all these joys and losses, sorrows and mortality. It's still yours. There's something about our relationship with mortality that we don't want to have taken away from us. Who I am as the host of "You're Going to Die" is someone who isn't so far into the death and dying conversation as to be unavailable to understand the VOLUME II | 49