Death as rebirth

14 05 2008

There’s a man in the village who is dying; he’s in his last days. He has Alzheimer’s, and other sicknesses, and he’s over 90. His wife tends him, and they have nurses to help. He has no idea who she is, and can’t feed himself, or talk coherently. He can’t get out of bed or walk.

I knew this man when he was a hale pensioner, walking his dogs, with a kind word for everyone. A village stalwart, part of the furniture, always there.

When I learned he was dying, I felt sorry, but glad; because he will be able to let go of the body that has failed him, and will rise above all the illness, indignity, and lack of communication he has suffered over the past few years. He will get back his essential spirit and be able to move forward once more.

His impending death got me thinking about my own; we’re all to travel the same road, and few of us know when we’ll be called over. Pragmatically, I suppose all any of us can do is to be ready, as ready as we can be, to face Them.

When I am where he is now, I hope that I will be able to say with equanimity that I look forward to a great adventure. That I am not afraid. That I anticipate amazing things. I believe that in the process of dying we move toward living once more.

Over the last week this has been a recurring theme amongst us bloggers; the petite morte, the death card, death of old ways and perspectives. Death is transformative, galvanic; it is the means by which all things begin. It is not an end, it cannot be; the circle is unbroken.

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9 responses

14 05 2008
beweaver

Poignant story. I know there is something uber cool waiting on the other side. And since we create our own realities I feel confident it will be there. *smile*

14 05 2008
Andy

Yes, TGW! I hope, like you, that I can face the death of my body in the way that you describe. I know I’m not there yet, I know that if I am honest, fear still lurks there when I consider my own passing over. I want to be rid of that, but I’m not totally there, yet. It’s another part of the journey, isn’t it? Moving into that place of deep realisation that the circle is indeed unbroken.

I do wish your friend safe passage. I will be thinking of him and his wife. I hope his wife has people who love her around her.

14 05 2008
Ceri

I understand where you’re coming from completely as I work with people who are are terminally ill and are at the very end of their lives. Recently, one of them asked me to ‘help’ her as she had had enough of the suffering. Needless to say that I didn’t ‘help’ her but explained that it was okay to talk about death. She was so pleased as she had felt unable to do this with her family and friends.
She was not afraid of dying and viewed it as a release from her illness. I am not afraid either. So long as I am in the place where I ‘need’ to be and achieve the things that I ‘need’ to achieve in this life then I will be content. And yes you are right it is a very big adventure. In the end there is a new beginning.

15 05 2008
The Green Witch

Your replies touched me very much. I remember wishing for heaven to gather me up to God when I was a little girl; I thought that anything so wonderful would be impossible to wait a whole lifetime for!

Death is with us always, and we should celebrate and reverence it. Ceri, your job sounds amazing, and your work essential; giving people a forum to speak about their own death and the possibilities surrounding it is the most wonderful gift you could give. I hope I have someone as fearless and wise with me at the end.

Andy, I don’t think the trepidation will ever leave me; it’s like the feeling you get before you go on stage in a play – nervous anticipation, an emotional high, fear and a longing to get there all rolled into one.

beweaver, I can see it; my home. It’s with me in my dreams. I long for it! But, I’m going to enjoy the ride on this side too!!! πŸ™‚

15 05 2008
Ceri

Thank you, Gw. I feel honoured to be part of a very precious time. The acceptance and honesty of these people humbles me.

15 05 2008
Andy

I think you meant me when you said ‘Paul’ but I like the way that you paint the act of dying – I’ve been in so many plays over the years I can relate to it! The longing is something I can also relate to, but remember ‘as above, so below’ – I don’t think we have to wait!

16 05 2008
The Green Witch

Correct, I did mean you!! How did that happen?? 😦 I’m sorry, my dear!

17 05 2008
Andy

Don’t tell me I have something else to explore in meditation . . . “am I really Paul” . . . on the angst!! Hehehe!!

17 05 2008
The Green Witch

Oh, blimey. WHAT a turnip I am πŸ™‚ !

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