Once upon a time a frog appeared on the oval deck surrounding a large backyard pool on our family property. Soon it became a permanent fixture, apparently after finding the environs a suitable habitat. Chlorinated water apparently wasn't deleterious to its existence and didn't deter its desire to stay on the premises! We recall that its skin color whitened over time (though that may be biologically impossible); it was definitely white at some point, though.
At first, this disruptive interloper intimidated us, dampening our usual sense of abandon when plunging into our recreational resource. Often someone’s intention to step into or onto the body of a whale, giraffe, or hollow turtle – one of assorted inflatable floats in the water – would be preceded by a shrill utterance (eeeeeek!) upon observing that it was already occupied by this amphibian. The human shrieks, however, didn’t come close to the volume of amplified noise emitted by our guest croaker. Family meals on the back porch overlooking the yard were accented by reverberations of ongoing communication with other members of its species. To our shock and amazement, upon returning from a summer trip we discovered that our ever-present companion had been doing a lot of communicating while we were away. Our pool was teeming with hundreds of tadpoles!
Okay, so this is an intriguing recollection, but what's the point? Where's the relevance? How can this ostensibly errant story possibly relate to exploring funerary matters and making your own final decisions?
Well, the uninvited frog just might be considered analogous to the topic of issues associated with your life's ending. Like our family members who weren't exactly thrilled to find this alien in our pool territory, you may have regarded the prospect of pre-planning your death arrangements a bit or a lot unsettling. Maybe upon first glance you felt like you just didn't want to have to deal with it.
But now after "getting your feet wet" in the vicinity of this intrusive perception that has forged its way into your awareness, maybe you'll become acclimated to the reality of its presence... just as our family became accustomed to delving into the water in spite of the fact that the squatter was cohabitating with us.
And, lo and behold, just as we eventually adopted the misplaced creature as our family mascot, even giving it a name, you may become tolerant of the pre-planning subject to such an extent that you'll be willing to maintain it in your mind at some level of consciousness.
A similar process of transformation that we claim to have observed may enter the picture. Just as the color of our adopted resident ostensibly changed over the course of time, any negative attitude you might have brought with you to this place may translate into newfound acceptance of the issues you encounter.
And, believe it or not, to your great astonishment, you may even find that swimming around in this body of information may be as refreshing as swimming around in a pool of water! It won't hurt to interact with this material, just as the frog did no harm to us.
In fact, you are apt to be unexpectedly entertained, just as we were when during our meals on the porch we listened to all of the sounds emanating from the pool deck.
Your exposure here may even prompt you to explore other avenues related to this subject, resulting in acquisition of funerary savvy and personal enlightenment that may be compounded exponentially... in the same way our amphibian trespasser reproduced and brought multiples into our presence.
So what's the moral of this story?
We can thrive in what might initially be perceived as an aversive environment.
By overcoming reluctance and immersing ourselves in a milieu that's intimidating yet saturated with possibilities, we can change our attitudes. And we may ingest either a bevy of ideas or a mouthful of tadpoles.
Insights have a surprising way of developing productively, far beyond our expectations. We might find something enlivening where we least expect it!
Whether an originally disgruntled perspective pertains either to the subject of death or to another life form, it has the potential to evolve into an exercise in tolerance and a captivating learning experience that can lead to memories never to be forgotten.