Monday, October 11, 2010

Death as a Door



The process of death is a subject that fascinates some, but terrifies most; usually do to some hard wired religious beliefs of hell and damnation. I have been part of a number of death processes this year.I feel empowered in the strange but powerful gift of death as  life beams through the cracks.

I guess I have a different perspective, having spent years talking to the dead. It is the various things I have heard from the deceased that have convinced  me that there is a much bigger picture going on. I believe death is a door to greater possibilities.

I've been shown and told numerous times that when loved ones were dying, they were out of their body before too much suffering takes place. Yes it is terrible to watch others in pain, but the body can only take so much. "I was out of my body before the end came” “I watched as you held my hand, drove away from the hospital”, and in cases of murder I often hear, “I was just shocked that someone wanted to hurt me and I was taken right our of my skin by a loving benevolent force that did not want me to feel any more pain”, “my mother came and got me, I was met by angels and escorted to a party for me”, " "I walked into the light and have never felt so much love" "thank God I am out of that broken body", the stories go on and on.

That is the point when loved ones die, we are left with the pain of their loss. However the living don’t understand that the dead can see and  feel our pain too. The dead get a better  perspective that we all have things to learn about love and compassion and sometimes they know their death is for a greater purpose.


I recently got to spend time with Bob and his daughter Robin, who three years ago lost their beloved wife and mother Diane, to cancer. Diane was my dear friend who understood and believed in my work. She was a terrific soul of love humor grace and tenacity. We enjoyed each other so much that no matter where we in the world we’d chat on the phone each week. I was not permitted to see Diane’s illness, she’d ask, “can you see what is wrong with me, all I could see was a black wall when I tried, I was prevented from  seeing,what could have been helpful to her as an early diagnosis or could have helped her beat the cancer. The only thing I heard was, "tell her to see another Doctor” and Diane wrestled with that, until she finally did and was diagnosed with 4th stage ovarian cancer.

We had time to plan her death. I remember in June of 2007 sitting on my deck in the Hollywood hills talking with Diane on the phone.I was so very sad that she had such little time left when she said,  “Marla, I have to go, my family won't grow unless I am gone”. She had an understanding that was bigger than what we knew.

This seemed to resonate in both of us like the gospel truth.  "I cant stop doing so much for them, they look to me to handle everything. Some how this family dynamic is stopping them their development,"  "I know I can’t change this here on earth, only in my death with this transform”, We were both stunned by her revelation. This gave her strength to die and it gave me more reason to live. 

Three years later Bob and his children are thriving, they miss her deeply but ever thankful for what Diane in her life and even in her death gave them. Could this be one of the great reasons for death, to help we the living?

Its there opportunity that death presents for growth, or can we only think of the pain it causes? It is that excruciatingly wonderful pain that transforms lives.

Every family has issues, but it is true that in death comes change. Our departed loved ones, who grieve for us on the other side, WANT us to live better, WANT us to be healthy, WANT us to have full and rich lives.
It is curious to think that we have a job to do when our loved ones die that goes beyond us making funeral arrangements and giving eulogies.The loss that comes is tremendous but perhaps the loss is what we need to embrace our lives. 

 It is in how we see death that might give us more life.  Perhaps death is a door to greater possibilities.


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