“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.” John Lennon
But what do you do when the person you are helping toward Death has no belief in God? My mother died Sunday afternoon, surrounded by her four children and husband. We had recited a prayer, then told funny stories about all of us growing up. We told her we would keep the family together and take care of Dad.
I spent the last few days easing her through the process, but what I discovered is her lack of belief caused anxiety and fear–to the point where she desperately clutched the bed rails and wouldn’t let go. She would have moments of clarity where she would open her eyes and whisper, I’m dying. I continually told her I was with her. I held her hand, and so did my siblings. We encouraged her to let go and let God, to take the hands of the helping angels, and to go with the white light. But she was mad. She never thought this would happen to her. Well, dear reader. It happens to all of us and what I have learned is when you are not prepared you suffer more.
There was a peace when she finally took her last breath and exhaled. Her face was serene. No more labored breathing, no more chest rattling.
“Wisdom is nothing but a preparation of the soul, a capacity, a secret art of thinking, feeling and breathing thoughts of unity at every moment of life.” Herman Hesse
Now it’s time for me to practice what I preach. Wisdom, grace, serenity, compassion, empathy, love? Do I really have it? Can I embody all those traits as I enter the Hospice room where my mother lies dying? My mother, who has disregarded her soul for decades, now confronts Death with fear. At least now with the help of drugs she is not agitated. While on one hand she says she wants to die, the part of her that is having difficulty with Death, won’t let go. My job is to sit and hold her hand, massage her feet, help my father, and be the older sister to my siblings. I have read, meditated, had past lives readings, sat in sweat lodges, and glimpsed the other planes of existence.
And I will tell her it’s okay to go. We’ll all be fine.
“To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.” Confucius
We only have this moment in time. When we practice gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness we enter the flow of life. The past is over, the future has not arrived. Why not dust off these attributes of your soul and savor this wonderful thing called your life. You will achieve more natural energy as you seize the moment and embrace your life.
How do you enter the flow? Here are a couple of techniques. Clear your mind and become focused. I use the word PEACE as I inhale. Sometimes my mind struggles with this and thoughts skip across my brain. I am learning to let them go. Next I choose a simple activity. Washing dishes is an activity I can become absorbed in. As I pick up each dish and study it, I focus on the washing, then the rinsing. I breathe in the word PEACE and exhale any negative thought. This activity can be done with any simple task. It will help you learn to become totally involved in the “now” as you perform the activity. Practicing a musical instrument is a good exercise, unless you are learning it! Then it will become stressful.
The key to staying in the flow is the minute you let your focus drift into the past or future you have lost the flow. Be gentle with yourself as you practice and learn this skill. This flow is where your power lies.