Beneath the fear of illness or death that we feel during the COVID-19 pandemic – whether we acknowledge it or not – is the fear of our own mortality. Some of us may die as a result of the coronavirus, but we will all die sometime. Spiritual practices of the past have included ways to prepare for and accept the end of life. People sometimes believe a quick and painless death is preferable. These old spiritual practices, however, acknowledge the value of having time to get ready to relinquish life and loved ones. With honesty and a willingness to accept our mortality, we can realize what is really important in life and stop worrying about the things that don’t matter. We can let go of pride and see the real, lasting value of love, empathy, and helping others.

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