Why I Deserve to Talk About My Own Death


When medical documents validate what your body has been telling you for years, that it’s breaking down and you are living with a life expectancy that might be as close as your own breath, it seems to me that having some accompanying sadness and anxiety is normal. Being able to express these emotions should be acceptable in our society.

But apparently, I am not allowed to talk about these feelings.

Many people have discouraged me from sharing my journey with death due to fears and concerns that “Talking about it will manifest it.” Is that true, or is it just superstitious?

If thoughts create things, will publicly processing one’s own inevitable death (and make note, everyone’s death is inevitable) make other people think about it and manifest it?

If so, could those people use their thoughts to reverse the effect? If people’s thoughts about someone dying can hasten their death, can people’s thoughts about them living and doing well, heal them or make them live longer? Is this the nature of prayer and how prayer or positive thinking works?

Or is this the story of Peter Pan, in which Tinker Bell drinks poison and the audience is told that their love for Tinker Bell can save her if only they clap hard and loud enough? Is that how energy works? Like a fairy Tale? Is this what people believe?

I’d like to ask all those who believe that thoughts are things, to think me into health and wellness and to use their super powers for good, not just for me, but for everyone in need.

With all due respect, either kick the drug of certainty or make it so.

Perhaps life itself is Schrödinger’s cat, for the act of being alive is a paradox; it is both the act of living and the act of dying.

Life is the pendulum swinging and the seesaw teetering, until the motion stops. It’s a process worth talking about and reading about. Have I no right to process my pain and fears, because to do so might manifest my own personal reality that mirrors an inevitability that everyone will eventually face?

I adored Louise Hay and her teachings. I watched them create a movement that has both lifted and empowered people to live their best lives and also, sadly, helped to abuse and bury the expressions of others that were not deemed “positive.”

It’s my belief that changing reality starts by first recognizing reality, not pretending it does not exist. Louise Hay passed away in 2017. No one lives forever, not even positive thinkers.

There is value in allowing the act of truth and grace to infiltrate the process of death, dying, and suffering. I live my life with a great depth of love, laughter, and affection and a focused intention on gratitude, but these attributes do not and will not stop the process of dying for any of us.

Have we not progressed since the 1950s era of whispering the word, “cancer?” Have we not yet progressed past the need to minimize that which is unpleasant to consider? Death and the process of dying need not be hidden nor glamorized. It’s neither a negative or positive experience, per se. Death is simply a fact of life.

I’d like to believe there is value in sharing my story, my process, and what thoughts and feelings swim through the veins of my soul. Someone, somewhere, is going through what I am now. They too, are feeling reprimanded for being real and honest about an eventual loss we will all come to face someday. They too, might feel shamed by their expression of sadness and anxiety that can accompany the end of any story we want to keep living and experiencing. Let my words be there for them and their loved ones, as a suggestion for how to be present and allow one the grace and dignity of self-expression around one’s own death.

Is it not the least we can do?

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Getty Images photo via panic_attack


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