Death as an Ally

Key Concept

Seeing death as an ally brings our lives into focus. The question “If I knew I only had 6 months to live – what would I do differently?” – is really about death as an ally. It gives us the opportunity to recognise what is important and allows us to put the trivial into perspective.


On completion of this module you will be able to sit with the reality of death and will consider some of the things you want to do before you die. (We will go into preparation for death in much more detail later in this programme. Consider this Contemplation as an introduction to your ally and friend.)

Death as an Ally

module-5.3-above-groundWe now introduce the concept of death as an ally. Most of us see death as our worst enemy. We do what we can to avoid it at all costs. Yet it is inevitable and like life, is a constant companion.

Consider that there is your literal death, and there is your metaphorical death. The lifestyle you have been leading needs to end, a relationship has "died", an illness or heart attack puts an end to your physical capability, you retire - these too are “deaths” you have to face.

To start off, become aware of your relationship with death. This connection is often subconscious or far away from our everyday waking state. We aren't aware of the presence of death and yet it guides much of what we do. Explore how it enters your thoughts, feelings, body experiences, fantasies and beliefs. Also explore how you deny death - "it won't happen to me", do you procrastinate as if you are certain to be alive in 5, 10 or 20 years?

If you were told that you were going to die in 6 months, how would you live those months? What would change? See this as a dress rehearsal for the real thing, which will undoubtedly come to us all. How do you relate to the inevitability of death? How do you see it as an enemy and how do you see it as an ally? Go to the Death as an Ally Worksheet and capture your thoughts.

Become aware of any unfinished business you have; in relationship with others and in relationship with yourself. Do you have debts, have money owed to you, is there an old unresolved conflict, someone you need to forgive or ask for forgiveness.

To clear with someone who doesn't want to meet you or someone who has died, you may need to do inner work or therapy to come to clarity. Where you can, meet with people directly. You might find that it’s not only difficult, challenging or negative stuff you need to clear. Perhaps there is someone who has supported you, to whom you haven’t expressed gratitude, or someone you haven’t told how much you love them.  (Have a look at the Module on Getting Complete)

If you haven't already done so, make a will. Be clear about what you would like to happen to your possessions, what you want to happen to you if you are unconscious or incapacitated (life support or not) and include a message to loved ones. (Have a look at the Module on a My Living Will)

We will deal with each of these issues later in the Journey – for the moment, just get a sense of where you are in relation to the things you want to do in life. 

My Bucket List

(the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”.)

So a good place to start is to create a list of 20 - 25 things you want to do before you die. Make them fun, the more unusual the better.

Ensure that some things on your list appear unrealistic. The challenge in meeting (or working toward) an unrealistic goal stimulates your creativity. If everything on your list is easily do-able it just becomes another “shopping” list - My Bucket List


Contemplation Insights

You have looked at several aspects of your life, the stories that you tell yourself and how those stories impact on you. So here is an opportunity to collect those insights into one place. Click here to review your Contemplation Insights.

Discussion Assignment – Death as an Ally

If I were told that I was going to die in 6 months, how would I live those months? 

Discussion Forum

Next module : Who am I?

You have looked at who you have been in your life now appropriate that you ask yourself “Who am I?”

At my core ‘Who am I?”

Next Module