The Death Letter Project
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Chris Thompson-Lang | Yoga Teacher / Retired Army Captain

19 Oct 15

Dear Death,

I remember quite clearly, that as a child I was exempt from "Judgment" should we meet. My mother told me that I was now responsible for my own salvation at the age of twelve. The way I understood it at the time, if I took one of my stunts too far and you took me, I would stand before God. I'd be asked to explain my life on Earth, give an account of my good and bad deeds, cross my fingers and hope to go to heaven. I was quietly curious as to who would be waiting for me on either side of the void. I figured Hitler was damned, but wasn't sure about Elvis or Johnny Cash. I've talked to God my entire life. His image in my mind's eye has certainly evolved over time and occasionally I decide the talk is simply with my higher self.

In Afghanistan during the fighting of 2011, I witnessed death on a new level. Senseless extinguishing of life from all sides of the struggle. Innocent civilians caught in the middle of waring tribes, factions and international forces left me with deep emotional scars. It has been painful, but its opened a new dialogue with my Divine.

"What is the meaning here?". I've come to accept the philosophy described in the great metaphysical work of the Bhagavad Gita. You collected my dad this year. He went with you in his sleep on the 19th of May. At 60 years old he was content with the experiences of this world and was ready to re-join the immense ocean of unified consciousness. As I studied Yogic philosophy on the magic island of Bali, I felt his guiding presence in my mediations. I'd developed a whole new perspective of your role on our lives. You are merely a method of recycling the essential elements of matter on this planet.

Our consciousness, soul or spirit is bound to our bodies to experience the five earthly senses, but most of us have the remnants of a sixth sense somewhere beneath the clutter and confusion.

Death, you help liberate our true selves from this temporary existence. I neither welcome nor fear you. We'll meet soon, but until that time I'll come to my senses. Enjoy them and share that gift.

- Chris

Editor's note: Chris served in the Australian Army as a combat engineer. After 14 years, including a deployment to Afghanistan, he was medically discharged. Since then Chris has completed level 1 and 2 of yoga teacher training and is a founding member and Chairman of Frontline Yoga, a voluntary service with the goal of providing Frontline Professionals with access to free trauma-aware yoga classes in every town across Australia.

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  • The upmost of respect to him. - Luna Louise Harrison (Facebook)
  • What great insight from someone who was involved in war and now focused on the spirit of the body, heart and mind. Really enjoyed reading Chris's point of view. - Helen Dunne (Facebook)
  • What a journey. - Kirstin Guenther (Facebook)
  • Very wonderful insights and love the images. - Rosada Hayes (Facebook)
  • What great insight from someone who was involved in war and now focused on the spirit of the body, heart and mind. Really enjoyed reading Chris' point of view. - Helen Dunne (Facebook)
  • Great picture, Tina. - Heathcote Hatchers (Facebook)