A few whiles ago a dear friend and neighbor returned home after a long couple weeks away. Her mother came to the end of a long terminal illness. My friend packed up her children and traveled hours to be with her mother at this final stage of her moms’ life. Now that she had returned home my friend was exhausted. She came to me asking for books and ideas for her children to understand what happens after death. She felt they needed some guidance to help them process their grandmother’s passing.
As we talked, it became apparent it was my friend who needed the help most of all. She tearfully described her mother’s fear and pain and anguish as she moved closer to her passing. Her mom didn’t understand, or accept what was going to happen and couldn’t be comforted. My friend grieved the loss of her mother. More powerful than that, she felt a profound loss and helplessness because she wasn’t able to comfort her dying mother. As we talked she began to realize the gifts that she and her mother shared in that very difficult time.
The most common question asked of a medium is “Are they ok now?” My friend’s experience raised a question in my heart: “Can we learn to be ok before passing to spirit?”
Our current culture doesn’t have a terrifically profound way of teaching us about death as part of life. In this hi-tech medical age we strive to live at all costs. One thing we all know for sure, but haven’t come to terms with is that when we are born, we are certain to die. Physical life does come to an end. As Bugs Bunny put it: “Ain’t none of us gettin’ outta here alive.”
A Swiss – American psychiatrist and pioneer in near-death studies named Elisabeth Kubler-Ross made an incredible breakthrough by studying people who were terminally ill. She wrote a ground breaking book called On Death and Dying. In her book she discusses her discovery of the 5 stages of death and grief. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. She presented a compassionate and higher conscious awareness of the death and dying process.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross mentored a student, David Kessler, who continues her work today. In his book Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms he speaks about another stage of death that we, as mediums, know all so well. This book is a series of events witnessed by end of life care-takers. This book talks about the visions, the unique preparations, and the visitations from spirit that those who are dying often experience.
Our own discomfort about death can make it difficult or impossible to talk with our dying loved ones. This can be magnified when you have painful history with your dying loved one. Speak from the heart to your loved ones, even if it seems they can’t hear you, they can. It is those words of love that are remembered on the spirit side. I often hear them repeated back to a loved one through a medium session later on.
Often times our minds and cultural and psychological conditioning get in the way of this wisdom. We all know our minds can be a source of tremendous fear. When you are an end-of-life caretaker, listen to your loved one, encourage them to talk. Believe what they tell you, even if you can’t see or feel it yourself. Encourage them to express fears and anxieties. Sometimes the pain of the terminal illness triggers deep emotional reactions that can push people away. Compassion is the key. Stay the course with your loved ones. As a medium I have often brought through the message from loved ones in spirit: “I couldn’t say it, but I am so glad you were there.”
The Gifts of Dying I have heard over and over family members and friends minimizing the flights of fancy their loved ones experience during end of life care. These flights of fancy are the Soul’s preparation to move to his or her new home and new state of being. Allowing the dying to be heard, listening to them with an open mind and heart, is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. And possibly what they say is the greatest gift they give to us. Our heart and Soul know where we are going, that deep wisdom part of us knows how to prepare for our transition. Kubler-Ross explained that showing our loved ones how to die is that last great gift we give in life.
If you are deep in grief and need more learning and support go to David Kessler’s website https://grief.com/.
You can also contact the many mediums and readers here on the BAP site to reconnect with loved ones to help you with your grief.
Nancy Smith of Angelscapes is a nationally known medium, spirit artist, author, teacher and illustrator. Please link here for more information on how to contact Nancy: Nancy Smith