Faith is the key to a good death. I am not talking about religious faith, although that can be helpful. The Faith I speak of is to trust in the process of death itself.
We all know that Death awaits us, we know that like all who have walked before us, and all who walk behind us, we will die. It is the most predictable thing we will experience on our walk upon the Earth. Yet many of us struggle when Death brushes up next to us, we fight the inevitable, bucking and screaming like wild banshees, saying this should not happen to me.
I am not suggesting that people throw in the towel whenever illness presents itself, nor am I saying we should stop striving for life, health, and more time. I am saying that we as a people have to become comfortable with the concept of Death, we need to have faith in the process and accept that it is natural and sound.
Many people struggle with Death, unable to find solace and comfort in the last hours of their life…but still they die. Even if I didn’t know there was something more waiting for me on the other side, I believe I would still embrace the act of dying. I would do this because the resistance of death leaves one in turmoil when our end days comes. If there was nothing waiting for me, I would still want the last days I had to be ones of peace and solace, instead of resistance and pain.
I have never encountered a soul that was doomed to hell, nor a soul that was banished into oblivion, nor have I been told that someone was sent to either place. What I have experienced, what I do know, is that we all must review our lives when we pass. If we have done a lot of things we regret, the process of review is going to take us a lot longer. This review shows us in detail the experiences of our life, as well as how our actions effected others. We see how we were loved, even when we didn’t feel it, and how we influenced the lives of others.
Faith in dying, allows people with long term illness to explore some of their memories before hand. Getting our affairs in order, does not just speak of bank accounts and insurance policies. It means we look at the way we lived. We give thanks, we make amends, we appreciate the beauty of the life we have lived, and we love deeply those who walk the path beside us. Faith means we surrender to the circle of life we are part of. When we die there is no need for disappear, we simply step through the doorway into another way of being. By surrendering to the process, we find a deep level of peace. We start to radiate wisdom and wholeness, which allows those we leave behind to heal faster, as they know we are OK.
When Spirits talk to me of their Death, they often tell me whether they were ready or not. They speak of what helped them to find their faith. Old souls have a tendency to do this naturally, without struggle they know Death will be just fine. When my Grammy Brown died, she did so by choice. I do not mean she committed suicide, I mean she chose to let go.
She had been ill for a long time, and she was at the point where my family could no longer take care of her at home. She was determined that she would not go to a nursing home. She did not fight the family, she simply said she would not go. The night before she was to be transferred from the hospital to an assisted care home, she died. She did this because she was ready, and she had faith in the afterlife. She knew she would be fine, and she simply surrendered.
Many people linger in the act of dying, and they do so for various reasons. Some stay for the family who struggle with their passing, some have unfinished business that rattles off through their minds. Others linger because they are no longer in control of their facilities, such as people with Dementia, and Alzheimers. But the majority of people who linger on in deep illness, are doing so out of fear. They fear the unknown, worrying what awaits them when they leave their body.
We must find faith in the process that has been going on since the beginning. Death is the most natural thing in life, and it happens to us all. Whether you are facing your own Death as you read this, or have a loved one struggling with theirs, know that there is a choice in how we face it. We can face our passing with dignity, strength, and courage, surrendering to that which will not be denied, and we can help those we love to do the same thing.
Ask these questions in the time of dying. “What do you still need to accomplish?” “What unfinished work do you have?” “How can you feel complete?”.
I spend a fair amount of time counseling those who are in the process of dying, and one thing I know for sure is that it needs to be talked about. Often when someone is dealing with terminal illness people avoid speaking of Death. They do so out of fear, fear that Death will come quicker if he hears his name called, fear that the dying will be hurt by your questions, fear that you are giving up. This has to be overcome. We need to start speaking of Death and finding solace and faith in the fact that it is the most natural thing around.
Our culture is obsessed with youth and beauty, and has chosen to turn its face on anything old, fading, and unpleasant. This obsession has made it harder for people to face Death, seeing it as something foreign and fearsome. We need to remember the teachings of our Ancestors, the natural way in which Death has been experienced and held sacred throughout time. We are living in a time of great change and we are the ones we have been waiting for. We have the power to bring dignity and beauty back into dying, so that those who come after us will have no longer fear that which cannot be escaped.
I hope you enjoyed the read folks, and that this is helpful to all those facing Death. Remember it is beautiful, sacred, and powerful.