Death CAN be a gift

My husband and I woke early one morning last week to watch the sunrise in Hilton Head. It was beautiful. Gray clouds on the horizon became peach, then pink, as the sun made it’s way higher into the sky.

We decided to walk down the beach while it was still the coolest part of the day. About 10 minutes down the sandy shore, we spotted a group of people gathered at the water’s edge.

As we got closer, I saw why they were there.

A pilot whale had beached itself and was lying on it’s side.   pilot whale hilton head

I instantly burst into tears. I was overcome with sadness in that moment.

A man standing there said the whale had been alive less than 30 minutes before we got there.

I instinctively walked up to it and placed my hand on it’s belly. It may sound crazy, but I was hoping to feel it’s heart beat. Hoping to find out he, or she, wasn’t dead. The whale felt a bit like rubber but since rigor mortis hadn’t set in, this amazing creature had a softness to it. I cried even more.

I have no idea why this whale died. Was it sick? Just it’s time?

What I do know is that being in presence of a 15 ft. long whale, even though it was no longer living, was a gift.

Death always reminds me of life. What’s important to me. Who’s important to me.

It helps me re-evaluate how I show up in the world every day. How I treat others. How I treat myself.

Am I living my life in union with what I tell others and myself is important?

I didn’t know this whale. He or she wasn’t even human. No matter, it’s life, and it’s death, was a gift.

A chance for me to see again, with eyes more clear.

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