We Are Stardust



What’s that you say?

Actually, it’s my FaceBook profile picture. I always choose a saying or a picture, anything but an actual photo. We CIA must be very….uh-oh. Did I say too much? *zipping lip*.


I love this though. I mean, for one it’s true.  Let’s break it down.

We are ghosts, every one of us.  Alive in this moment, but in the next? Gone. So little time here, constantly moving toward death. It ends the same for all of us. Yes,we are all going to die. Inevitable, indisputable, incomprehensible, but a fact. We are ghosts already, disappearing a little more each day.

We are definitely meat-covered, this flesh, this body that we inhabit during our short stay in this realm. We describe our flesh as meaty, beefy.  There are cannibals out there; they’d agree. And wild animals willing to eat our rotting carcass. I know, it is kind of gross. Factual none-the-less.

Skeletons. We’ve all seen anatomy diagrams of the body, the musculoskeletal system. The bones and ligaments that protect our vital organs, that grow with us and, yes, wither with us too. Falling into disrepair as we do, aging right along with us, prone to falling in upon itself, brittleness, breakage. Sometimes the cause of us becoming a real ghost.  And when we do die? Our bodies disintegrate, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  It all disappears, this meat-coated skeleton, gone for good.

But what’s that about stardust? I love that stardust part…”made from stardust”…we start as stardust? Why not? A tiny miracle, each and every one of us, gathered from the universe, brought into this body with hopes and dreams and, why not?  our soul.  We return to stardust too. Back to the universe that formed us, the thought that sustained us. Buddhists actually practice meditating on their own corpse.  They do this to remember that our bodies are just the vehicle we are inhabiting this go-round. That, while IT dies, WE don’t, our souls don’t.

We jump in and out of different bodies/corpses, utilizing them as places to rest as we learn what needs to be learned in this life and then disposing of them, moving on to a new form as our souls, our selves, continue on.


Stardust. Moondust. Particles of light and….wait! Joni says it…

“We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden”

And then there’s this beautiful piece by Aaron Freeman (it’s in my “To Be Read At My Funeral” file)

“You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.”


Our energy changes, our vibration shifts, our bodies disappear but we don’t. We are always US, who we are. And that idea is absolutely not frightening in any way. It’s liberating.  What are we afraid of? We are here, now, to learn , to grow, to try, to do to love, to laugh, to serve, to fully embrace this meat coated skeleton and all we get to experience in it, good and bad, happy and sad…oh, no need for labels, it’s life, it’s all just life.

And it’s all just happening now, right NOW. Did you see that? whoops, you missed it!

It’s so fast, it just goes so fast.

There is time to meditate on our corpses, to think about our energy, to wonder what body we might have formerly inhabited, or will inhabit, or hell…maybe we’re through, maybe this is all there is.

The only people that know the answer are those that have shed their bodies and proceeded us into whatever kind of stardust they become. They talk to us, if we listen. And they yell….

Do what you came to do.

What do you have to be scared of?



Add yours →

  1. I have always been drawn to this idea of energy remaining, of its having affected the world by being present. Thank you for a beautiful post. Bea x

  2. Dear Michele,
    You don’t post often but when you do, it is with intent.
    You are helping me in ways that I know… you know
    This meat-covered-skeleton and physicist eulogy is right on.
    I’ll put my brilliant physicist nephew to the task…he loves me.
    Thank you, Michele.

  3. Love this M. So upbeat and frank and empowering. I was just thinking about that physicist thing – read it first in a blog, maybe Christy’s? I just love it and would like it read at my funeral too (that’s enough right? Mentioning it in a comment in another’s blog?). I like the idea of my soul coming back in other body, though I’d like a little break in between. This is probably a sign I’m not doing it right. This was a great read to start the day. Invigorating.

  4. Love this M! I remember you saying you had this in an old file somewhere—so glad you found it!

    I shared a link with K above to his reciting the piece. Velvety voice… Be sure to listen.


    • i have listened…it would be nice to have him read it, for sure.
      I have a file of things to read when i am dead…who even knows if there will be anyone around? another one of those questions with no answers.
      mystery of life..trying to embrace it

  5. I need to put those last two sentences up on post its around the place. Thank you for this today.

  6. This was AMAZING! How long did it take you to write it? It flowed from your fingers like it absolutely lives in your heart.
    And now, it lives in mine.
    Beautiful, Michele…just beautiful. xo

    • I was on a tear last night. got home from yoga (where i wore my skeleton pj top and vampire earrings!) and flowed it out for sure.
      I have another one almost done….maybe my muse is back?
      I don’t know….lot;s going on in this head these days and, like i said, what am i afraid of? gonna just put it all out there.
      watch out!

  7. OH. MY. That is so deliciously good that I don’t dare even try to say how good, less I do it an injustice.

  8. WOW. Love this post so much! I have been thinking a lot about energy these days. Love love love.

  9. I want to eat this post for breakfast, lunch and dinner. nom nom nom.

    Seriously, this is just so wonderful, M. It was like you channeled something here. I too would love this read when this meat sack stops moving for good. I really enjoyed this, and while conversational, very impactful too. One of your best.


    • thanks paul!

      there is channeling going on, i’m sure.
      often i think “Who just said that”?
      I just wrote another one I’ll publish tomorrow….
      after not writing for so long stuff is flowing.
      I like it

  10. Lovely, just lovely. Thank you

  11. What a eulogy! Got to copy this one down. Great post.

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