We are living in a time of great change. And we have also been living in a world where there is a great deal of denial around the topic of death. You might say that we’ve been sailing down Denial River, so it’s time to help ourselves overcome the fear of death. Change is part of life, and death is simply the biggest change we ever go through in this lifetime. It is time for you to become prepared for death. It’s never too early, because none of us know when our time will come.
The truth is that one day, we will all die. Once we are born into this blessed Earth, we are on some level getting ready to return to the spirit world. The Tibetan Buddhists say that all of life, especially all the changes and letting go’s we have to get through in our lives, are preparation for the Great Letting Go at the very end of our lives. At the same time, our death need not be a scary time. If we are mindful and prepare for it in a good way, death can be a joy-filled time of looking forward to our graduation from this earthly life toward the next adventure of life.
Where do you find beauty? It can be found most often in nature, in your children, and in the best of humanity.
Everything is about energy. Every living thing on the planet vibrates to a certain vibration, based on the energy it “sings” to. Like attracts like, and we are drawn to people and places whose energy is similar to our own. At the core of each person is the spiritual, the divine presence of who we are. Much of the time we may not be aware of our divinity that lies within, but there is no mistaking our connection to the divine. The more we become aware of this divinity within and express it in our lives, the higher our vibration becomes. Through this growing awareness, we also come to see how we are connected to every other living being.
Why is it so difficult for us humans to trust the unknown? When we go through an expansion period in our lives, dying to the old is inevitably part of the process, and being able to trust the unknown - trust the process - is key.
One of the things that help some people is prayer and connecting with the divine - also connecting with your very own imagination. The more you feel the flow of ideas and energy, the more things get easier to dream. If you’re experiencing a faith challenge or crisis, do whatever floats your boat, or whatever expands your sense of imagination. These creative, joyful endeavors will connect you more deeply to the divine. They’ll probably also help you connect with your innate intuitive guidance process.
Going through hospice with you and your family you will learn that the more you can deal with your unfinished business now, rather than later, the better. When our slate is clear, we can think and be and act much more clearly and out of our true nature. How might you lighten your load today? What forgiveness might you offer yourself, or another? What judgment might you release? Don’t wait until you are on your deathbed to begin to deal with your unfinished business. Life is good, and it gets even better when you carry less baggage around.
Hospice will teach you that the more you can become aware of your own grief, then express and release it, the more whole and healed you will become. By expressing the whole spectrum of emotions as they come up, you can live more fully in the present moment. There is value in tears. When we have a good cry, we feel so much better and healed, too.
Therefore, as difficult as it is to honor grief in our death and grief-denying culture, you should honor it and let it into your life. It’s there as a gift for you to grow and learn from. As you move through your grief in creative ways, you’ll find that it will guide and strengthen you all the way. As Ram Dass once said, it’s all about “compassion training.”
Some of our best guidance comes from our intuition. When dealing with issues around illness, grief, death and dying, and the like, it’s important that you honor your intuition. You may even want to develop a regular time for meditation in your life. It could possibly save your life.
Sometimes, when we’re dealing with life and death issues especially, it can feel very lonely. But please remember that you need not go it alone. There is always someone out there who you can reach out and talk to, even if it’s a professional counselor or hospice worker. Find an emergency counseling number if you have to - or there’s always Silent Unity (1-800-NOW-PRAY). I’ve called them sometimes, to ask them to pray for others, too. And please remember, spiritually speaking, we are absolutely never alone.
It’s so important to be open to speaking about the end of life. In a culture where most people are heavily indoctrinated with the denial of death, it’s so refreshing to find people who are willing to speak about the unspeakable. Death will come to everyone one day; there’s no avoiding it. So why not speak about it when the topic comes up naturally? Why not ask some creative questions to bring up a topic that may absolutely need talking about?
It’s so important to do and say things when they come up - especially when we’re dealing with the end of life. If you want to do something that’s on your bucket list, by all means do it, as soon as you can! If you’re feeling like you need to say something to someone, say it. It never pays to wait, especially when you know life is precious and it may be coming to an end soon - for you or for that special someone in your life. Make every moment count.
Don't die wondering. We do need to know what we believe when we die, because that might just be what we get. The Celtic Way suggests that you want to "die before you die" so that when you do die, you realize that you're not actually dying. In other words, it's not the end of you. It is therefore important that, if possible, we spend some time while we are in the prime of our lives pondering our deaths, letting go of our fears, developing our spirituality and some kind of plan in our minds so that death, when it comes, does not take us unawares. Along these lines, there is a relatively new worldwide movement called Death Cafe, that invites people to discuss all the aspects of death so that people like you can understand and accept this potentially stressful time.
So as you can see, most of this advice is about living with love, and in the present moment. Whether we’re living a normal life in normal time, or whether we’re in the end or last stages of life, it’s always a good idea to live in love and in the present moment. If we choose love and spirituality as a way of life, we won’t have to teach ourselves new things as the end of life encroaches. We will always have at the heart of our lives the most important things. This is the way to develop a more conscious attitude toward life and death.
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