So often I find myself in amazement at the bedside of a dying person. There are similar metaphors expressed in the final weeks and days of dying. Speak of travel ..”I need to meet someone” “get my shoes” “I need to go” “I have my ticket for the train” “They are waiting for me” “ I want to go home” (even though they are In their home) and so on. Often people try to get out of bed, despite having no strength. They may stare to the side and quietly be engaged in conversation with deceased loved ones as they see a glimpse into the next realm or hold up their arms to receive a comforting embrace. There are many transitional periods happening right in front of us that only the one dying has true access to. Sometimes people’s gaze is toward me or a loved one, yet I see them looking through me. I’ve witnessed beautiful interactions and have had the privilege of being taught to interpret “the language of the dying.” The themes of worrying about others, fear of being forgotten, hoping they mattered, grief and loss, even peace, contentment, gratitude, relief and love often arise in various ways.
It feels as the last breathe gets closer, love intensifies. There is nothing more sacred for me than being let into the intimate space of people who are surrendering and trusting. This is not giving up —it is stepping into the final days or hours and allowing oneself to lean into and allow what is to be. Letting go of control and allowing the ones we trust to hold us on all ways. I continually strive for surrender, trust and allowing as it appears to be a much preferred way to experience life. I certainly know when I practice this, I’m much more present. In those moments when death comes, love, a calm presence, reassurance with gentle hand holding becomes some of the most coveted experiences. Simple experiences with profound benefits.Again, I have learned this month from the greatest mentors on what matters most .
Do not wait until death comes to experience the most simplistic, yet profound and sacred moments in life. Today, be present, express your love, gratitude and reassurance. Being truly present has the ability to heal many things in this lifetime. From one wise person two days away from her final breath shared her most profound message, “Kelly, always teach people they should not die with even a single “I love you” within them left unsaid.” Show up now for life. We all live until we die. My hope is that when death comes…each person feels embraced, loved, safe, heard and seen. In the beginning, middle and end of life, love holds space for safety. Between this place and the next is a thin veil. My deepest gratitude now for the thousands whom have let me be present with them as you have allowed me to witness and share…. “It will be ok.” Rest peacefully.
(Thank you, Mary Oliver for this title)