Are Birth and Death The Same?

If given the chance, I think we’d all like to just stay in our mothers’ wombs. It’s safe, comfy, and cozy in there. No drama. There’s a meal delivery service. And mom always has the heat turned up (she never complains about the heating bill, either). 

Unfortunately, that’s not part of the deal. Humans weren’t meant to feel safe, comfy, and cozy forever.

So after months of growing limbs, eyeballs, organs, and finger nails - all that seem unnecessary to you in the womb - you are forced through a tight canal into a world filled with bright lights and loud noises. It’s traumatic for all parties involved. There’s a lot of blood, plain, and screaming. 

And at the end of the tunnel, there are people dressed in scrubs waiting for you, and if you’re lucky, a handful of people that love you more than you could possibly imagine. They love you even though you’re covered in blood and your head looks all deformed.

While you’re in the womb, you often hear “sounds” - muffled noises, rather - of your father’s voice, of tractors, of your mother singing. But you have no idea what’s out there, or that you are in fact co-existing in two places at once. These are mere ripples in your tiny little universe, until they become your entire universe.

In this second world you’ve now entered - your world - you will now make use of those limbs, eyeballs, organs, and finger nails. Death to the womb signifies the birth of your new life - one in which you will continue to grow, learn, and develop. It’s the only way forward. Sink or swim, you will figure it out.

I’m not sure that death, death is any different. 

We are thrust into the unknown, unsure of why we’ve had all these experiences, met all these people, and acquired all these memories. We don’t know what’s on the other side, and if we had the choice, we’d likely stay - where it’s safe, comfy, and cozy, where our loved ones are.

But we can’t stay in this world. We aren’t allowed to do that. The next step must be death. For, death to this life very well may be the birth of something much richer.

Imagine trying to describe the sun, moon, stars, clouds, people, and refrigerators to a fetus. You’re all like: “Yeah, there are these cold boxes that hook up to an electrical that you can put your food in to keep it fresh.” What? That doesn’t at all make sense to someone that’s never seen, experienced, and felt what you have. Someone who has never had to feed himself or herself.

The same goes in death. What happens after death is far beyond our comprehension. We can’t know it until we’ve experienced it.

Like in the day you were born, I imagine, the day you die that there will be people waiting for you. You will die to this life and be born into a space that makes use of everything you’ve built here. It will be traumatic, sure. But it will be beautiful, too.

We can’t know what’s on the other side. 

But truth be told, before we came here we didn’t know either.

And we turned out okay, didn’t we?

This is the essence of faith.

We may be coexisting in two places at once.

Or not, of course… 

Kate Ward