Ask many people what death is or what happens after death and the chances are, that you will be confronted with puzzled looks or answers like “ I had never really thought about it”. Death remains one of the big taboo subjects along with, money, sex and how you really feel.
Over the last few years many people have passed away without anyone they know able to be there. If someone you love has died recently and you couldn’t be there as they pass from life through into death, how did that feel for you? Did you regret not being able to be with them as they took their last breathes and slid into death or were you secretly a little bit glad that you didn’t have to be there. Please don’t feel guilty if it was the latter, many people, if not most, have a fear of death and would prefer not to see anyone pass away. What does this feeling do though, when it is allowed to shape society…
With most people now dying in hospital, the style of death and how it feels to all parties is very different than 50 years ago or more when most people would have died at home, accompanied by family or friends. What purpose does medical inervention and the prolonging of life for just another day, just another hour, just another minute have on the dying person, the family and friends.. For me it trivialises death, it makes it just another process which we must witness. Life is special and so is death.
Our fear of death, much of it imbued by the media and the advertising that we see day in and day out is not healthy. Not healthy for our minds bodies or souls. Death is a natural process and depending on your beliefs not an end, just a transition. Even if you believe that death is an end, it is a culmination of all the achievements and experiences of that person. Where you can celebrate all the hearts that they touched and all the smiles and memories that were created, the lessons learned.
Hiding death in hospitals allows us to temporarily believe in immortality, to not face up to the fact that we have a relatively short time here so should make the most of it. The Times has an article about death saying a similar thing.
Prolonging a life because it “should be done” smacks of a fear conducting the decision making. If your pet is in pain or very old and is showing signs that it is at death’s door you would take it to the vet and stay with it as it is euthanised. Being by people’s sides as they drift away is the natural thing to do, yet we shy away from doing so. The dying person must feel very alone, vets say that putting down animals where the owner isn’t there is the most heartbreaking experience as the dog (or cat) looks for its owner and looks so bewildered when they can’t find them.
The same will be happening with our family and friends when they are dying, only they are often so medicated that they cannot look for their loved ones. We owe it to people to be with them at their passing.
People rarely regret the things that they have done, only those which they haven’t. Not being able to sit beside your mother as she passes away or not being able to give someone you love the death that they wanted is a big burden to carry. Clear your fear of death, let discussion take place between you, your family and friends. Taboos can only be taboos if they are not talked about.
Lets get talking about our beliefs around what happens once we die. What sort of death would you like to have? Just like other passages of time are marked, birthdays, marriages and births, why not have a celebration of life to remember people. Be OK with sitting with people as they drift off. Stop resuscitation for just a few more days, let people die with dignity, in a place where they are comfortable and where the people around them are calm and respectful not angry and fearful. Our attitudes shape our energy. Our energy is who we are.
Let go of your fear of death. You then free yourself up to support those around you, calmly and confidently.