Yes, most everyone shields away from that thought. But hey, it is going to happen. Have you met anyone who has cheated death for good? No I don't think so. I know that sitting with my own father when he was fighting to die was a heart breaking event. But it was also one of release of pain that brought peace to me too.
Image by UK Pictures via FlickrSo what is it that does just that. What brings a person peace in knowing they are going to die. Or how can a family deal with that certainty with both love and a inner calmness? For most it is a belief. That they are going on the next journey of life. One that they take from their soul instead of the body. There are different beliefs and different ways of dealing with it.
Neil Hanson shares the truths that came to him in 'Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty' (his first book) when his own father passed. I am glad that a few years have passed since my dad left but this book was one to touch that well of indecision that I had at first. It was so soul wrenching hard to "wake" my father from a drug induced coma (to keep him out of pain) only to tell him that he was going to pass instead of get better. He went into that coma willingly thinking that a surgery was going to help him. We only found out afterwards that no surgery would happen due to the acceleration of his disease. And that to be in any kind of waking form he would be in unbearable pain. Holding his hand as Dear Hubby explained the results to my father, we faced a swirl of emotions and quick acceptance from him. Not so much as he had already known this, but more so of if it was going to happen then let's go ahead and start that journey. My Dad looked at life that way, straight forward, shoulders back and ready to take what was coming with grace. So why would I not think he would take death the same way.
Neil tells in his book, "As the crush of grief washed out of me and the sense of detachment grew, I began to feel incredibly light and bright. The dance that I had just experienced had left behind a brightness to the world, and the Soul within me continued to sing with the angels that I could still hear in the distance." That section alone said what I had felt at the time of Dad's passing. The fight with life was over finally. The gasp for breath that wracked his body in pain, released. And in that moment of deep sadness of loss I also experienced a wonderful peace. Like I was cleansed from the inside from tears and all that was left was the shining love that I had for my Dad.
I do not think anyone wants to make those last decisions for their loved ones. But they have to be made. Weather if it be in early discussion of our desires. We have a few of these very discussion with our parents as well as with our children for ourselves. Or in a sudden fight of death, that we have to make quick ones for those we love. Still they have to be faced. What takes us through that process and still leaves us a peace. The general belief is just that a belief. In a better place like heaven. Many feel that the energy of the soul will be sent back into the spirit of the world. Some think that it is just over, finished. But I do not know anyone who does not have so sort of belief. We all fight over who is right and who is wrong. That does not help. Instead it is important to honor the soul within us. The energy that creates our own lives. That 'knowing' of what we feel at peace with is right.
In a world of highly effective medicine and life-support, Neils family faced the difficult and wrenching questions our culture must face:
- When does life begin and end?
- What are the complexions of distinction between bare and primitive "life" on the one hand, and "human-ness" on the other hand?
- Where and when and how do we "play God" with our decisions to withhold feeding tubes and respirators?
- How do we face these questions, and work our way to effective answers?
My own father professed not to have a belief in a greater 'God'. But at the very end of his life he did decide to find a peace for himself and made a commitment in his soul. It may seem light but Dear Hubby and I tease about the many lil ol ladies in church. "Studying for the finals" is a statement often said. College Girl combines her own beliefs of Christian thought and a base of Wicca. And my dear girlfriend at the end of her boyfriends life, stopped crying for him, stood up and said well he is no longer. I have grieved over his life. Now is time to live so let's go get ice cream. What your spirit guides you to feel is very personal. But it is in that feeling we all unite.
How our view changes when we do not see the familar.
The world is set off center or we awake to the beauty that has surrounded us all along.
Just changing our perspective.
What a way to learn what we know anew.
Thanks to Neil Hanson and Tribute Books for sharing 'Peace at the Edge of Uncertainty' with me. I believe that had I read this before my father's passing I would have had a lil relief from the fear I experienced. This is certainly a book that will help start conversations with your family. And hopefully bring some answers at to what is believed and desired. As always no pay, just a book that helped south my soul.
Yes! Neil is giving a paperback to the first to comment on your post and a free ebook to all who comment on your post.
Following please find the info:
PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY (U.S. only)
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Copy of the ebook version of the book (in choice of format) to EVERY person who leaves a comment on any blog review along with an email address during the month of September 2011.
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