Dr. Terry A. Gordon

the wounded healer

There is No Such Thing as Death

I have witnessed well over a thousand deaths in my career as a Cardiologist. What I have come to know is that death is not the extinction of life. As Rumi, a Persian poet once described it, “Death is our wedding with eternity.”

In Medicine we think we know so much. The truth is we don’t know squat. One thing we do know is that energy doesn’t die. It never ends . . . it merely transforms.

Death is really a fallacy of thought. The physical aspect of you has been dying cell by cell from the moment of your conception. Each type of cell has a different death cycle, its own timetable. For example, the lifespan of the cells lining of the stomach is only 2 days; for the colon, 3-4 days. Skin cells regenerate every 2-4 weeks, red blood cells, every 4 months and some of the cells that make up bone can last up to 25–30 years!

Each year the death sentence results in the gradual disintegration of our bodies through a balance of cell death and cell division with humans losing and regaining a mass of cells roughly equal to their weight. These cells in our body die, all the while the whole continues to thrive. Such is nature.

Cells die in response to a variety of stimuli and they generally do so in a controlled, regulated fashion so that other cells may live. During each moment of life, these cells destroy themselves, releasing their life force back into the environment; their energy will be used to revitalize the whole as new cells are generated to replace those that have served their purpose. In an orderly and programmed fashion, cells play an active role in their own death. They commit suicide in a fundamental physiological process known scientifically as apop tosis.

This molecular programming resulting in the death of cells is not random. The process encompasses everything from the sloughing of the healthy lining of the uterus during menstruation to the formation of the proper connections between nerves. The maintenance of health is dependent upon this reliance on death. This is a profound statement worth repeating. The maintenance of health is reliant on death.

What makes a cell decide to commit suicide? The answer lies in the balance. This programmed cell death is critical to the destruction of cells that represent a threat to the integrity of the organism as a whole. Through the process, we are given a new body. We are revitalized with the same life force that energizes all living things. In this context, how can one ever consider death an enemy?

Every day we die many deaths. We are truly different moment to moment. The only constant in life is change. Deepok Chopra in his book entitled Life After Death describes: “Every former self you have left behind is a ghost. Your thoughts, your body, your ideas have all changed. You have survived thousands of deaths every day as your old thoughts, your old cells, your old emotions, and even your old identity passes away. You are already living in the afterlife right now. What is there to fear?”

Death is but the beginning of yet another chapter in life. The challenge is that we must learn to accept dying while we are still alive. In doing so, death becomes not a failure but a triumph. Rebirth can occur well before you take your last breath in this incarnation. Die while you’re living, that is the key.