On the impermanence of life.

Every day of the week I walk in the forest next to my home.

Every day the forest looks and feels different, even if it seems unchanged.

The leaves, the branches, the trees, the moss… everything changes. We move through all seasons, we move through every day, every year and the forest changes with those seasons, days, years. The colours, the sounds, the scent. Leaves change their colors, fall, and then decay, covered in winter snow. And the new leaves grow and repeat the natural cycle.

Nothing stays the same. Everything changes, everything passes and ultimately everything dies. Impermanence is the natural cycle of life.

Being so close to nature always reminds me about our shared mortality and my own in particular. My life is impermanent.

One day I will not be here. I will not respond to emails, whatsapp messages, connection requests…. And I realise how profound this realisation is, and how frightening this can be, especially in our western society where we mastered the art of talking around but not about death and mortality.

On most days, this awareness does not scare me. On most days, I actually have conversations with people about life, death, grief, palliative care, hospice…… These conversations are often filled with life & light, even if at times they carry sorrow.

Now what I always try to invite all of us to is to pause and reflect about our own mortality. What does it mean to us? How do we feel about this? And how does the awareness help us live our life?

Let’s be honest: no matter how much we might want to avoid thinking about it, there is no escape from mortality. We are all born, we live, and we will die. That is the natural cycle of life.

Nature shows us that our path always ends with our passage into the unkown, whatever it means to each one of us.

I did not grow up thinking about or embracing my mortality. Even though my mom was a doctor, we didn’t talk about illness and death. So, when I was faced with the terminal illness and ultimately the death of a loved one, I had a crash course in understanding and exploring the natural cycle of life and death. Over time, I realized how much the awareness and ultimately the acceptance of impermanence can help me move through life.

Today I am trying to live my life fully, or at least fuller, reminding myself that time and days are precious and limited.

I am always open to talk with people about their experience with mortality and impermanence, always curious to hear people’s stories.

One day You will not be here. What do you want to do in the space between now and that day?

Much love,