The beginning of A Course in Dying
Let me dedicate my first personal post to the very reason why I started this website:
The urge to break the taboos that surround death.
My mind has always been filled with a deep sense that there is more to life than what we might initially perceive, and the idea that death, is perhaps, a marvelous, beautiful phenomenon.
I always knew there were other sides to life than the obvious waking and sleeping states. As a child I had prophetic dreams and visions, and later on I had several out-of-body experiences (OBEs – I will share more about this later). These all showed me how this one waking reality we know is not the only reality there is. That one can communicate with beings in other dimensions, living or dead, human or otherwise. That linear time is something that works well ‘in here’, but that the true time is always now, always omnipresent.
How we deal with death
Throughout the years, the more I was faced with the actual reality of death, the more I realized this is a field in which there is still enough room for improvement. Ignorance and fear lead us away from the truth of death and its lessons. When we allow ourselves to face it, we will be awarded with its possible beauty and liberation.
Each and everyone’s death is a highly personally experience of course, for a person who is dying as well as for those who are with them. But commonly, physical death is nothing pretty. Yet it is one of the most basic human experiences. And one thing I know, is that death is an experience the living can make much more bearable, both for themselves and the person dying.
“Ignorance and fear lead us away from the truth of death and its lessons. When we allow ourselves to face it, we will be awarded with its possible beauty and liberation.”
My dad’s death and his gift to me
My own father died in a hospital, at the proud age of 83. During his last moments, I sat with him, holding his hand and telling him what I believed awaited him. I told him how I thought death was not the end. That he would go to a place of ultimate freedom, where he could rest for as long he wanted and then decide how to continue on his journey as an eternal soul, incarnating in various lifetimes. I told him that nothing was ever really lost, and that he could let go now, that it was okay. And that I loved him, so, so much.
About a week after he passed, a curious thing happened. It was early in the morning. I was at home doing simple household chores, which always put me in an almost meditative state of mind. Suddenly, I felt my fathers presence. It gave me goosebumps and at first I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this. But then I took a deep breath, opened up and allowed it to happen. I saw him, with my mind’s eye, as if in a daydream. He seemed much younger, somewhere in his early 20’s. He looked very handsome and happy, as if this version of him was the essence of how he had experienced his life. He said only three words to me: “You were right.” And then he was gone.
Those three words meant the world to me. It confirmed to me that how I had tried to guide him during his last days, and what he had experienced once he passed on, had been right. It was the greatest gift he could have ever given me.
“Death does not equal darkness. It is not by definition a frightening nightmare. It is what it is; a personal experience, just as personal and unique as every single life is.”
But I learned a lot more of the process I went through with him. I learned that it is extremely important to have respect for the situation when a person is dying. I noticed with my own family that a lot of them tried to ignore the situation, even though it was happening right before their very eyes. I know that ‘losing’ someone is incredibly painful, perhaps too painful to be able to deal with. But I know that if you allow yourself to go through that pain, a beautiful experience can and will arise. To a person who is dying, acknowledgement of the situation is immensely valuable. It is the truth of their experience, and sharing in this with them will help them let go easier.
I also learned that death does not equal darkness. It is not by definition a dark, frightening nightmare. It is what it is; a personal experience, probably just as personal and unique as every single life is.
I hope that by sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, I can help you figure out the truth of this for yourself, and break the spell of fear. Because death is ultimately at the core of all our fears. Which is not a strange thing, for no one wants to lose everything they have here in this life. This grande adventure of growing older, expanding your knowledge and gaining all kinds of experiences and strengthening human connections. But, what if nothing is ever really lost? What if we carry all of this with us, forever, way beyond our physical selves?