Love, Death and Hot Vampires

Posted by Pascale Kavanagh Posted on March 25, 2015

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I’ve had nothing but disdain for the whole vampire craze. I just didn’t get it. What was all the fuss about??

I just found out.

Thanks to a brief viewing of my daughter’s newest obsession: a TV show called The Vampire Diaries.

What initially caught my attention was the cast. They’ve successfully assembled the most beautiful group of human beings I’ve ever seen. Call me late to the game. Apparently, every teenage girl in the world already knew this, but it was certainly news to me.

Reeled in by ultra-hot humans, I was then immobilized by the rapid flurry of hyper-dramatic events. Life and death, literally. (My abstinence from television might be revealing itself right about now.)

My daughter and I have, since that accidental glance, gone on several benders — watching episode after episode (Gosh, I love Netflix), until we had to pull ourselves away to eat, bathe or work. It felt excruciatingly difficult, like waking up after being drugged. (I’m guessing…)

The reactions to my big reveal are probably going in two directions:



B. Pascale, you may have officially lost your mind. For real, this time.

For those of you choosing option B, let me explain.

The show’s message aligns perfectly with my long-term practice of dis-identification with death.

[Brief side-note: I realize how weird that sounds. However, creating immunity around the fear of death is one of the most profound Buddhist practices, and creates a strikingly different perspective on life. Socrates taught that to practice dying was the highest form of wisdom. My favorite book about it: A Year to Live by Stephen Levine.]

Since the show is about vampires, there’s a lot of death. And a lot of re-birth. More than I’ve ever seen in any show. There’s a certain numbness that develops as characters die, come back and die again, etc.…

If you’ve encountered death in your life, perhaps you’ve realized how consuming it can be. The fear of death keeps many of us from living. Or living fully.

And the fear of another’s death can prevent us from being in true relationship. We end up clinging and grasping, instead of loving and honoring.

Yet… death is the only thing in life that is absolutely guaranteed. As one of my wise teachers likes to say, “No one gets out of here alive.”

Somehow, being witness to this medley of immortality and dying gives me perspective.

What’s worth dying for?

More importantly, what’s worth living for?

I vacillate between the understanding that forever is also an option for me (albeit not in an immortal, blood-drinking body) and the realization that this go-round is absolutely finite. It often makes choices more difficult.

It certainly creates a nearly endless stream of questions…

  • What role does forever play in our lives?
  • Can we honor our immortal souls, our temporary bodies, and the fragile nature of life itself, all at the same time? (It’s a brain teaser… I know.)

Aside from the all the steamy, passion-filled shenanigans, and the amazing eye candy, the themes in this teen-oriented sci-fi drama keep me thinking. And feeling.

And grateful I don’t currently have to sleep with a wooden stake under my pillow.


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Originally published at on March 25, 2015.