Sometimes Death moves a little closer
Loss of life can be quite heartbreaking and at the same time, when somebody is very old and has lived a long and fulfilling life, there is a form of closure that occurs fairly naturally. When a young person dies it is a tragedy and the impact of the grief can be widespread.
Sometimes Death moves a little closer into our sphere of awareness … such as when we have an elderly parent or loved one who is becoming frail and closer to the end of their life; or perhaps when somebody close to us has a life-threatening illness; or maybe even when somebody is taken from us suddenly by misfortune or an accident. Indeed, even hearing about tragedies in the news can have an effect on us.
Sometimes people have to face the prospect of their own death, through a terminal illness. What a challenge it must be for anyone to hear a doctor’s diagnosis that “you only have a short time left to live”. As Wayne Dyer and others have said, “we are spiritual beings having a human experience” so it may be helpful to recognise that a diagnosis such as this applies only to the physical body and not the inner, spiritual self. Death can be frightening for some as they see it as a transition to the unknown and emotional or spiritual distress can occur when someone faces the end of their lifetime.
In “The Ballad of John and Yoko” the late John Lennon said: “Last night the wife said ‘Oh boy, when you’re dead, you don’t take nothin’ with you but your soul.’ Think!”
Near Death Experiences
Religion can offer comfort and support to many. Also messages from those who have had near-death experiences, from a broad range of cultures and religious or non-religious backgrounds, can offer a measure of hope and an indication of the seamless nature of what is called consciousness, or the Soul. Historical accounts of near-death-experiences, dating back to Plato and ancient Greece,(and probably earlier) closely echo today’s accounts.
There is a book written by Dr. Raymond Moody called Life After Life, which tells of people’s accounts of near-death-experiences. Mostly the indication is that the dying process begins with a profound sense of peace and well-being which is soon followed by a floating sensation in which the consciousness or spirit separates from one’s physical body, ascending above it. In this out-of-body state, they report hearing and seeing all that is taking place around them. Sometimes a deceased loved one appears to escort the dying person through a tunnel with a bright light at the end. It can be quite comforting for some people and this book is one you might like to refer to if you are interested reading more about this.
An Expert – Dr Kubler-Ross
The late Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was rather an authority, or guru, in this field and wrote several wonderful books about death and dying. She spoke about the “five stages” of grieving after a death as being: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. She believes in an after-life using the butterfly metaphor and said “What the caterpillar calls disaster, the butterfly calls liberation.” A quote from her is:
“Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is no different from taking off a suit of clothes one no longer needs. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, and to be able to grow.” (Life Lessons, 2000)
I would like to include two other quotes by Dr Kubler-Ross which particularly resonate with me, and they are:
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
“When we have passed the tests we are sent to Earth to learn, we are allowed to graduate. We are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our souls.” (The Wheel of Life, 1997).
We Die Physically and Our Soul Transitions
Dr Kubler-Ross encourages us to shed fear, anxiety, sadness and depression before we die. Also she says we can triumph over the ordeal of physical death, and see it as a transition rather than finality. Death after all is a natural part of the cycle of life.
Are you ready to die? If not, why not? Are there incompletions in your life? Are there people in your life that you need to communicate with? People you need to forgive? People you need to tell that you love? If you aren't ready, then there’s no time like now to prepare. You might die in sixty years or thirty or ten or next month or tomorrow. When you live as if every moment were your last – your last sunset, your last rainbow, your last kiss – then life becomes so much more precious. It is more useful not to be concerned with Death but rather with how we live each day of our life.
So Sandy, take steps to always keep yourself “clear” by using meditation methods of Acceptance, Unconditional Love and Forgiveness. Learn about that part of you that is Eternal and re-read my Mind Matters News sent on 2 Apr 2017.
All the best