Death, Dying & Grief
DEATH & DYING
Dying is sacred. It is something we will all do. It is part of our spiritual journey. Yet in western culture, the topic of death and dying is often avoided. In addition, the medical profession has medicalized the process of dying. I don’t recall the exact statistic, but I remember being shocked to learn that in most cases, people who are treated in the hospital with life threatening conditions usually end up dying within a short amount of time such that significant money is spent prolonging death. That’s not to say that modern medicine cannot significantly alter one’s life. However, in many cases, when it is your time, it’s your time.
Dr. Christopher Kerr, Chief Medical Officer at the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Buffalo, talks about the need to re-humanize dying. The goal of hospitals is to keep people alive. Whereas, hospice care can help people remain comfortable and aid in the dying process.
Death is very transformative; not just for the person dying, but also for their loved ones. For those who lose a significant loved one, death typically involves going into “the dark night of the soul” followed by a spiritual awakening. It includes the dropping of the ego, and a change in perspective.
DEATH BED VISITS, DEATH BED COINCIDENCES and OTHER PHENOMENA
Deathbed Visions and Deathbed Visits are very common when someone is dying. It can occur at the time of death, and throughout the weeks before death. People who are in the dying process may have visits from their friends and family who have crossed to the other side and from other spiritual beings. Research on DBV provides compelling evidence that no one dies alone. Someone, often multiple people, or even sometimes animals such as former pets, will come to help you cross over and to take you home.
Dying people often talk to people that cannot be seen by others, or they reach up as if reaching for someone or something. Other phenomenon includes dying people knowing that they are preparing for a trip.
Whether you believe DBVs are real or are a figment of the dying’s imagination, it’s Important not to negate the experiences. For the dying, it is very real and very comforting.
Sometimes other people in the room with the dying person see the spirits too. People such as the person’s relatives in the room, sometimes health care workers, and especially children. Young children are especially open to seeing and communicating with spirits.
People who work in Hospice usually have myriads of stories on their experiences with DBV.
DEATH BED COINCIDENCES
Another phenomenon that often occurs is known as Death Bed Coincidences and include such occurrences as a clock that stops at a person’s time of death, a light that appears and then disappears when person dies.
DEATH RELATED VISIONS AND DREAM VISITS
Death related visions are when a person who has passed appears to someone to let them know they are okay. This phenomenon can happen before or after people learn of the death; it can also happen in a dream, known as a dream visit. People who have a dream visit from their loved one’s on the other side will tell you that it felt very real, more real than a dream.
Death Doulas, or End of Life Doulas, provide support to individuals and their families during a deeply intense, painful, and emotional time.
Grief is very personal. No two people do grief the same way, its like a fingerprint. There is no right way or wrong way to do grief. Grief is not something you “get over”. People who have not yet experienced extreme grief will not understand this; be patient with them. That is not to say that you will never experience joy again. You will, and you must because you were not put on this earth to suffer forever. And because your loved one’s on the other side want you to be happy and to continue to experience life. It is possible to continue a relationship with your loved ones in the spirit world. They are not gone, they are not dead, and you don’t have to wait until you die to be with them. They are always around you, loving and supporting you from the other side. You have lost them in the physical world only. They have completed their work on earth and have moved on to the next world. You will always be connected through love, soul to soul.
For resources on death, dying & healing grief, please see the MyMaMet e-book.
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