03/01/2013 12:54 pm ET Updated May 01, 2013

Thoughts on Death

For many years, I had a massive fear of dying. I was afraid of all the things my loved ones or I could encounter. Scared of illness, accidents, assault and death.

When I had my first child, my fear of death peaked. I could watch my newborn for hours and have cold sweats just by the thought of something happening to him. The fear was paralyzing, and I many times I felt like having just one child, because I couldn't embrace the amount of fear.

Spirituality became my rescue. Here I was able to find comfort, confidence, trust and peace.
According to the spiritual teachers I lean on, death doesn't exist. When we die, our soul leaves the physical body and reunites with our higher self. If we want to, and when we are ready, we can do another round.

We die when we are done. Either because our mission is complete or because we don't feel we can complete it in this life. When we get desires we don't think can be fulfilled in this life, then we leave our body. Also, they way we die is up to us.

Those beliefs make sense to me. They feel right. None of us really know what happens when we die. Yet death is a fact we each have to deal with. And fear of death often speaks about not living life at the fullest.

No matter what happens when we die, or whether we have something to say or not, the point must be to enjoy life as long as we have it. I love the way one of my students puts it: "Our thoughts on death reflect the way we live our life."

Losing our loved ones is often associated with deep grief. It helps me to think that in many ways they just stepped a little ahead of us, and some day we will meet again.

As a culture, we have many opinions on the good life and how long it should be. I feel that's up to each one of us. It's our party. We get to decide when we leave and how we are going to party.

For more by Christine Eilvig, click here.

For more on death and dying, click here.