On Death- A Lesson from a little Peace Lily

I have a little sacred space set up by my bedroom window. Each morning and evening I sit in silent meditation and prayer in this quiet spot overlooking the mountains. 

For Mothers Day my son gave me a lovely plant, a Peace Lily. I placed it on the makeshift altar in my favorite painted oak vase. 

As I was cleaning up one day I noticed the plant had been pushed toward the side of the bench and was wilted and appeared dead. I was so upset. This plant meant so much to me coming from my son. 

Suddenly this blind optimism rose up in me and I was determined to nurture this plant back to life. 

I brought it into the bathroom and placed it on the side of the tub. Carefully, I removed all the brown, dead leaves, and went out into the woods for some fresh soil. I carefully mixed up the smallest batch of healing oils and worked them into the soil with my hands sending love and healing as I mixed. I then watered it and placed it in a partially sunny spot by the tub. As the sun went down, I placed a clear plastic bag over top of it to keep it warm at night. I was absolutely convinced that I could save this ‘dead’ Lily. 
As the days went on, there was no change whatsoever. As a matter of fact with each passing day I was met with another dead, fallen leaf.  
This morning as I was cleaning the bathroom I looked over at the lifeless, wilted plant with sadness. 

 My mother had this amazing gift when it came to resurrecting seemingly dead plants. Whenever we’d visit her friends homes she’d notice any dying or seemingly dead plants in the garden and ask if she could take them home. To this day I still remember the looks on her friends faces. My mother had such a childlike optimism that many scoffed at. Yet she sure showed them as she nursed these helpless little plants back to life.  
I have decided to leave this little plant alone. As I was going to dump the soil and remains out into the woods, I felt compelled to turn around and place it back in it’s spot alongside the tub in the bathroom. 

And the lesson in this for me? We can have the greatest intentions, motivated by love, yet this little plant had reached the end of itself and needed to experience this cycle of ‘death’. I did all I knew to do to rescue it and bring it back to life, yet it was time for me to release it and trust the natural process.

How often we try to rescue others? We watch as people we love are  slowly’dying’ inside. It’s so difficult to see someone that was once so full of life little by little begin a downward spiral into darkness. We worry, we cry, we panic and we do everything in our power to save them. But what if we are really trying to save them from a natural , necessary dying process, where little by little like each fallen, dead leaf, parts of them that no longer bring life are being shed and stripped away? Who are we to interfere with this process?  How often do we try to keep friendships, realationships, careers and old, dead mindsets alive, when we know they’ve run their course. Death, It feels so final. Yet, if we can somehow view this process as something natural and necessary, not with finality, but with the promise of new life, rebirth we can release those things we desperately cling to out of fear of loss, making room for the new.

I’ll big honest, there’s a part of me that is still hoping that come spring I’ll wake one morning to find fresh, green growth sprouting through the soil, the smnllest sliver of hope. That’s ok, either way this rustic little painted oak vase with by filled with life once again either trough re-birth or something completely new.


I’ve placed this little lifeless plant in a warm spot on the windowsill to rest in peace.

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