How a Visit from Death Saved My Life

I knew I was going to meet the angel of death prior to his visit.

At first I felt trepidation and angst. I didn’t know what to expect from such a powerful spirit, but I knew that he might be coming to collect me, even if I wasn’t ready to go.

I had been diagnosed with Stage IVB of a rare blood cancer, and although my oncologist couldn’t state if I was going to live or die, he made clear that I had a 15 percent chance of survival. In other words, 85 percent of the people diagnosed at the same time as me with this rare blood cancer are now dead.

I am not. Death saved my life.

Recently, after one of my Zen meditations, a fellow Buddhist practitioner approached me and asked: “You’re a survivor! You fought, death lost; how’d you do it?”

I didn’t fight, I said. I learned. I chose to be a student.

Cancer was my teacher and death my guru.

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