• Julie McVey

Death: Friend or Foe?

Updated: Apr 19

During this time of growing fear (due to the recent pandemic), she has such mixed feelings about “this one” with such a bad reputation. She has known “this one” intimately all her life, partly because she has had a very unusual relationship with him since her youth. She remembers being eager to take the hand of Death since childhood. She knew she wasn’t supposed to feel this way, as Death was the enemy. There came a time in her 20s she no longer had that same readiness. She had someone who loved her, she was learning interesting things in college, and she was feeling a sense of independence as she made her own way with her own money—even if it was paycheck to paycheck. She then married and began having children, and her life became all about her family, gladly. She loved it. But...there was still that broken child within her who had been molded by the fear that results from abuse and feelings of abandonment; and from time to time she exposed those embedded, unhealed fears by speaking strange things to not only those who loved her but to herself. Strange because one with blessings is not allowed to ponder the welcome release of death. One is only qualified to be open to such a thing if one is desperately distraught or in deep physical pain.


What she didn't know then was that her unusual “openness to death” was not simply a desperate attempt at an early escape due to hidden, lingering fears but was an eagerness to remember and experience things forgotten.


Somewhere in her evolution of self in this physical journey, her old fears intersected with her new excitement of becoming, and suddenly the illusion of death as the enemy completely disappeared. Death as the foe, in which all things end, became the door that opens to the beginning of next. Her peculiar anticipation to take the hand of “the one” who could end it all transformed into the welcome acknowledgement of walking through the door that would begin it all.


Death isn’t a wall that brings all to a halt. Death is a door that draws all to the next step. When you’re ready, you will walk through it and then the adventure really begins—where forgotten things are remembered and new things are experienced.

(Dedicated to my loved ones who have walked through that door. See you on the other side when I'm ready to walk through.)


March 30, 2020


[Featured artwork Door to the River by Willem de Kooning]


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