Death and Dying
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Death & Dying are subjects that are not usually brought up in "polite" conversation. While death is an everyday occurence, it has been a taboo topic and one that we have often been afraid to mention.
Examining our Fears about Death & Dying
However, much can be gained by examining our fears, our beliefs, and our expectations about death and dying. Especially when we've lost loved ones, or if we have loved ones (or even we ourselves) approaching that fateful passage, the transition of death.
These are emotional subjects and ones that necessitate a loving supportive guiding hand. The authors whose writings we share with you do just that: they share their experiences and their insights and in so doing, help you through your experience with loss and grief.
From Denial of Death to Acceptance of Dying
The articles in this section deal with acceptance & denial, with life after death as well as life before death, and provide assistance in dealing with aging & mortality. Joyce and Barry Vissell share A Mother's Final Gift... the story of Joyce's mother who saw death as her final joyful adventure.
All of these viewpoints on death and dying help us move away from the superstitious dogma and fears that we've been raised with... and help us see death indeed as a "graduation" from this stage of life and as the birth into a new one.
by Randy Peyser.
My grandma was dying. I was afraid. I was afraid of death. I was afraid to be with her when she died. I was afraid of all the grief I was going to feel. And I was afraid of everyone else's pain, too. I knew I could stay in California and let her die without me, but I couldn't do that. As frightened as I was, I wanted to hold her hand and be there for her.
As enormous community effort goes into cleaning up areas of pornography, litter, and dirt, modern society spends considerable effort on disinfecting the experience of dying. This inclination to hide and exclude death from everyday social activity is supported by the transfer of the place of death from home to the hospital.
"The times they are a changing", so wrote Bob Dylan in the early 60's. The title had its meaning to the young people of the period and in the current social evolution of man, but really it has always had a universal meaning and not a very complicated philosophy. The times have always changed and will continue to do so. The social order of man has continued to ever evolve.
by Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D. In our youth-obsessed culture, the advancing specter of growing old becomes something to be tirelessly avoided. Our society's beliefs about growing old don't honor the eldership status of our seniors. What's usually overlooked is the tremendous storehouse of knowledge and wisdom that...
by Sandy Goodman. We have not done well with dying. We have denied its reality and considered it an end to life that should be avoided at all costs. We tell our children that Grandma died and went to a beautiful place called Heaven, and then we quit saying her name. Instead of seeing death as the next stage of life and exploring the possibilities of such a belief, we choose to let fear keep us ignorant.
"Is she going to make it?" I asked, throwing my arms around my grandfather's stooped shoulders, enfolding him in a tight embrace. My grandmother was dying of cancer. What does one ask in such a dismal situation? Oma and I had often talked about spiritual ideas. She firmly believed we all have souls...
Healing can come after loss -- that I now know. And I also discovered that more than healing comes -- joy resurfaces, again. I feel an intimate connection with my beloved once again. And I know now, for sure, that time, place, dimension, and space do not have an effect on the presence of love...
At the time, I was totally unprepared for the dramatic and extraordinary events that would unfold over the next 21 days. I would see and learn of a few more of the mysteries of the universe. I would get a glimpse of the phenomenal wonders and magic of life, physical death, life after death, and the transition that takes place during this period.
After living sixty or sixty-five years people tend to move around a lot. Many buy and use house trailers and motor homes, enduring cramped conditions to seek new horizons. Still others devise various forms of travel to see the world or the country 'while still young enough to enjoy it.' Many, if not most, hike, walk, swim, jog, cycle, climb, swing golf clubs or tennis racquets or fly rods. The shared desire seems to be to achieve a state of almost perpetual motion. Action symbolizes life. Death is such a very long stillness. There seems to be a grim universal blind hope that it will be harder for the death dart to hit a moving target.
At the moment of death, our soul rises out of its host body. If the soul is older and has experience from many former lives, it knows immediately it has been set free and is going home. As they move further away from Earth, souls experience an increasingly brilliant light around them. Some will briefly see a grayish darkness and will sense passing through a tunnel or portal. The differences between these two phenomena depends upon the exit speed of the soul, which in turn relates to their experience. The pulling sensation...
I never gave much importance to my father's death and its effect on my life. I tucked it away under the category something unfortunate that happened when you were a kid. It felt as though I put all those unexpressed feelings, words and emotions into a little invisible jar and screwed the cap on tightly. My mind must have known that this was a very important jar, because it found a safe place deep inside of me to keep it. As long as no one came along to bother the jar, it stayed tucked away and my life seemed at ease. However, the problem was that I couldn't keep it unbothered and tucked away forever. People did come along to disturb it.
Grieving is not something done to us, but rather something we do. Thus, grief demands a response from us, one other than resignation. An active process specifies choices and presumes change. More than anything, the process of grief is about transformation.
My mother, my great encourager and supporter, listened patiently as I read her the last chapter of this book, and she did what every daughter prays for at such a moment. She cried and then looked at me with an expression of such admiration and pride. As my mother gave me this gift, she asked a question that would give me one more...