“Nothing can happen more beautiful than death.” – Walt Whitman
It is always hard for me to wrap my mind around why people are so afraid of getting old and afraid of death. After all, it’s going to happen to all of us. I can appreciate the wanting to live a good long life- free of disease. But why try to slow down the aging process? Why not accept the inevitable— and actually use it to create a well-lived life?
We started to die the day we were born.
When people first meet me, their initial thoughts are usually that I am a dark and mysterious girl with a morbid fascination. After all, I make jewelry with vertebrae (human and animal). I paint animal skulls. I post images of death in all its forms. My home is decorated with all things death-related– skulls, skeletons, bones. My life is dedicated to the dead.
I have been fascinated with death since childhood. Being born on November 1st, it’s hard not to fall in love with images of death! My birthdays were always filled with bits and pieces of Halloween and All Souls Day. My work with dead goes back as far as I can remember-even within the realm of imaginary friends in childhood.
As I grew older, I began to realize that my life was destined to be entwined between the realms of the living and the dead.
Am I obsessed with death? No.
Do I venerate death? Yes.
I have never been afraid of the concept of death. I understand why most people are. It’s frightening to think about the unknown
I find death comforting. We are all going to end up there. Death is also the one thing in life that does not discriminate; Death does not care if you are rich, poor, what race you are, where you are from, who your family is, what religion you practice, who you pray to. Death is a bit of coming home after a long journey. For me, death is like a waiting lover. Open arms and ready to dance. Morbid? Not really.
My relationship with death has made me love life because Death is humbling.
When I work with bones–I find it an honor. To hold something so sacred that ones supported the weight of a living thing is a blessing. When I work on a piece, whether painting on a skull or entwining vertebrae into jewelry, I think of what animal once owned those bones. What type of energy that animal had. Where it lived, what it did. I reflect on the essence of the being.
Imagine if someone told you you had three days to live. Would you really live? Would you break the rules? Would you take risks? Would you be a kinder person?
This is why I love death. It made me learn to live my life with no regrets. I always reflect on the choices
I made, chances I took…things I have said– and I regret nothing. I am getting older, I am learning that time goes by fast. Age is inevitable. But I have every intention of living my life my way.
In honoring and understanding death- I have learned to appreciate life. Death has humbled me beyond words. Working with and having human bones in my life is one of the greatest honors I could ever have. The dead remind me to live. REALLY live.
So yes, maybe in some strange way- I am obsessed with Death. But its an obsession of absolution. I know that someday I will be like those bones….that will be all that is left of me on this earthly realm. I have no fear of that.