Recently, I had a heart procedure. When the physician in the hospital explained the details of the procedure to me, he didn’t keep it a secret that the possibility of dying from a side effect was possible. This side effect would happen when I was at home. If I had any signs of it, I should come back immediately.
Possible death was no stranger to me. My last leg on my journey to awakening started when I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, I was consumed by the fear of possibly dying. It was terrible! So terrible, that my identity of a seeker fell away.
These days, the prospect of death is no problem for me. This is a huge change and I’m ever so grateful for it. How did the change happen?
I already died. In my experience, there is nothing left that could die. Any self-identity has vanished. Yes, the body would fall away but it doesn’t feel like me either. I feel completely at ease about passing sooner or later.
There was only one thing left to do. Should I not survive for some reason, my heirs would have a lot of difficulties untangling my online life. I wrote a solid digital will and a list of all the online resources I am using.
Everything went smoothly with the procedure, and I could leave the next day. Sure, some measures were quite painful, especially the compression of the femoral vein after the procedure, but it was just what it was. After six hours, it was removed. When something is over, it is over for me. I can’t mull over it any longer, it is simply no longer part of my experience, and with that, no longer part of my life.
After one week, I started to experience pain behind the sternum and it was also painful to swallow. I didn’t really know what to think of it, but since these were the signs of the very severe and often lethal complication, I called the hospital. They told me to come in and get a diagnosis for what was going on. I wasn’t afraid. It is so interesting that fear of what might happen just doesn’t come up any longer.
Nine hours in the ER later, mostly waiting for examinations to be done, they found out that I had pericarditis, a side effect of the procedure. I took medication against it and it worked well.
For several weeks though, I couldn’t get back on my feet. I ordered meals on wheels and mostly spent my time lying down. To be honest, I quite enjoyed not working but following my interests, reading books, and watching videos.
It was also the time when I realized that it would not be wise to continue to go beyond my limits all the time. My work had to be reduced – something I had been aware of but had not followed through on. In the first week after I came back, I restructured my work.
Life feels incredibly easy when all aspects of the self-construct are gone and death doesn’t have a meaning any longer.