Perhaps one of the greatest challenges we may face one day (if we haven’t already) is to be with someone who knows they only have a limited time left to live. How do we comfort such a person without suffering our self and identifying our self with this person? For, if we suffer with them, we would need comforting our self and hence cannot offer an authentic comfort to them. We could comfort them with idea underpinning many religious, spiritual philosophies and near or return from death experiences.
Death is the ‘nature’s way’ of allowing all living spices to exist on the Earth. We all have to gracefully surrender to nature, to death that is a doorway to another life, a new chapter; it is the nature’s way of liberating us from pain and transitioning us to a new beginning. It is the cause of celebration, not sorrow. It is the nature’s way of renewing the nature.
The fear of what is going to happen at the time of death is not the fear of unknown but a fear of leaving behind and losing all that was known, owned and held on to, such as our body, property, memories, etc. A wise old saying that goes something like this – if you die before you die then when you die you don’t die! Thus if, all attachment is consciously released before the moment (of death) when the ‘I’ has to say goodbye, then slipping out of the awareness of this past life, moving on from all that was accumulated, is easy and painless and entirely liberating.
Everything happens for a reason and there is benefit in everything, including the time of death. Known arrival of death gives a person a chance to tie up loose ends. It is a window of opportunity to say a loving farewell to everyone and leave the legacy of a memory in everyone’s mind of how to die with grace and dignity, how to move on with love in their heart and light in their eyes. Some people may not be open to seeing this ‘opportunity’ to say sorry, or say good luck, or say goodbye or say I love you.
In the true story of the woman whose husband died and said the first thing when came back to life, “Death is wonderful. No one should fear death!” Almost all of the ‘near death’ and ‘return from death’ experiences, share the same theme that there is a radiant, unconditionally loving light awaiting to embrace and enfold them once the person leaves their mortal coil. But their scepticism may still be too great to hear such stories.
Alternatively, you could simply hold their hand; sit with them in silence as a detached observer giving love to them. It is an invitation for them to join you, then all resistance comes to an end and a quiet acceptance takes its place. A serene and peaceful passing is then much more likely. There may even be a shared moment of joy.
Adapted from Mike George’s article© 2010, What Do You Say Near The End Of Their Days?