On the day I die, don’t weep.
Don’t say she’s gone/he’s gone.
Death has nothing to do with going away.
The moon sets and the sun sets,
but they’re not gone.
Death is a coming together.
The human seed goes down into the ground
like a bucket,
and come up with some unimaginable beauty!
Your mouth closes here
and immediately opens
with a shout of joy there!
Whether we understand these words literally or metaphorically, Rumi’s message to us is that there is nothing to fear in death. We merge with unimaginable beauty–light with light.
As Andrew Harvey has said, the death of a spiritual leader is often his or her last teaching. Rumi died fearlessly, neither hastening or resisting his body’s process. In death, he seemed to say, it’s only the ego, the persona that is lost. The soul continues its glorious journey.
In one of Coleman Barks’ translations of a Rumi poem, death is the family darling coming home at last, or the red glint in the cliff which turns at last to rubies. When we internalize these teachings, our fear of death dissolves, and we are free.
Go in peace, dear visitor, and bring these words of comfort to those who need them right now. When your time comes they will come back to you.