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Death: The Awakener

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I was asked if we “invite” the death of someone close to us. Indeed it is a commonly held belief that we are somehow responsible for someone else's dying. I thought I'd share my thoughts on this perplexing question.

Let me first say that the human body is a “form” and therefore, by definition, temporary. All forms eventually fade away, disappear, dissolve or die. That doesn't change the fact that we become very attached to life forms. So naturally, when we lose a form that we are greatly attached to, we suffer – sometimes unbearably. Having lost loved ones, I understand how hard it can be to lose someone you love. With that said, let's examine the true nature of what causes grief.

Grief, like all low frequency emotion is caused by our own distorted beliefs – just because these beliefs are shared by the majority of humanity does not make them any less false. What are these distorted beliefs? I'll just mention a few … “God did this TO me” is a good example.
It is not unusual to think thoughts like,

“God has let me down. He and I had an agreement that he would protect my loved ones, and now he's let me down.”

Do you hear the Victim perspective here? First of all, there is the accusation that God does this TO us -that there was an “agreement” with God that this wouldn't happen … can you hear the presumption in thinking that we can even know, much less tell God when and what he will do! Dying, how and when it happens, is clearly ç. It is not up to us and frankly, has nothing to do with us! Trying or believing that it's possible to work out such deals with Deity is ego's way of feeding a painful victim story. “She/he wasn't supposed to die … It shouldn't have happened.”)

There is only one reason someone dies and that is because their life is complete. What takes the body out of form, whether it be disease, accident or even suicide, is simply a means of exit. It is that simple.

It is the ego that wants to personalize death, making it about being punished or “let down by God”. Again, the “God did this to me!” victim mentality. Can you hear the tremendous suffering that that sort of thinking creates?

There is also the distorted idea that if someone dies, it's a bad thing … even a failure. Could this possibly be true?

As I said earlier, every form dissolves eventually. It is the design and destiny of all form life. It is the Way of It.

The Law of Mentalism teaches that we are made of Universal Mind Substance that is formless and eternal. This is what we truly are and cannot be destroyed through death. It is much like putting salt crystals in warm water and watching them dissolve. Is the salt gone just because you can no longer see it? Of course not! Neither are we “gone” simply because our form dissolves. Taste the water and you can see that the salt is as much present as before it was dissolved – only the form has changed.

The Law of Cause and Effect teaches that there are no accidents … no chance happenings. This implies that the dissolution of the body can only happen “right on time”. No one dies “before their time”. How can that be in a world where there are no accidents or mistakes? As Byron Katie says, “No one dies who has not completed their life”. (Even by suicide – we cannot take our lives without Universal consent- why? Because our ego self is not in charge of such things.)

Another story that creates great suffering is that this shouldn't have happened. This is ego in resistance to Reality. It did happen so it must've been supposed to happen. We don't need to understand “why?” in order to trust that this is so. There is another principle that brings inner peace here… and that is the reminder that the Universe is a friendly and benevolent place. It is only when we project our painful stories out that it appears otherwise. Death is natures way of moving us on to what's next – it is not wrong or bad or unfortunate. It is only the ego's story that sees death as a terrible thing … as something being “taken from me” – frankly, these feelings have little to do with “loving” the deceased … they are more about a “how could this happen – what about me?” perspective. I know this may sound harsh and it may not be “right time” to share some of these ideas with someone who has just lost someone they love… they may not be ready to hear it yet.

Grief appears to be a process our emotional body must go through in order to let go. It is our story about what the deceased meant to us and about what losing them means that is being grieved as much, if not more than grief for the deceased. Our relationship with them always took place in the mind through a story we created about them and that does not change. The story about that person may change through death – for instance, going from a story that says; “She is my precious daughter , etc”, to an extremely painful grieving story, of; “I will never see or hear her again – I can't stand it!”. But Reality is that that person is as much alive today as ever … form has been dropped, that's all. We are simply being required to move our relationship with the deceased to the limitless confines of our mind. This offers the chance to make conscious and release our story about them. I do not mean to imply this is easy … we are ingrained in a way of seeing the world that, because we believe these collective notions without having ever questioned them, can make this process a very difficult one. This, to me, is the sacred purpose of grief.

The grieving process can serve us – it can bring us depth through the questions it evokes. It can prompt us to seek greater understanding and offers an opportunity for real awakening. I believe it is possible that a loved one dies to offer us this very opportunity. This may be an answer to “why?” death comes to those we love. Perhaps it is a way for the Universe to offer us the chance to really explore our limiting beliefs about ourselves and life. Do we “attract” death of loved ones to us? I think it is more likely that the “agreement” we may have is one made with the Universe to experience the very loss. The daughter, through her death, offers her mother a chance at rebirth. Death comes, not as the enemy, but as Healer and The Great Awakener.

3 Responses

  1. This Is a very difficult situation. It certainly can push all sorts of buttons in us, as a friend and a professional. That your friend confided her thoughts to you is telling. Makes me wonder, if she is really seriously intending suicide, why she would tell anyone at all? Perhaps she is reaching out in some way … or maybe she wants to convince herself that it’s her only option.
    You are right, you cannot stop her if she has made up her mind to end her life – Letting her know your concerns by asking some of the questions that K. Byron suggests, like, “You can’t take it anymore, is that true? When you believe that thought how do you feel? What would be different if you didn’t believe that thought?” You do not have to believe “along with her” that these thoughts she has invested belief in are true.

    Your friend’s misery, like our own, is created more from the unquestioned beliefs in her mind than from the pain in her body. Pain is intensified through the stories we tell ourselves. Even chronic and unbearable pain can be greatly reduced through acceptance. Whether or not you decide to intervene in some way, helping her question these thoughts can be of great service – if she is open to it.

    Whether or not she is wiling to question her own thinking,your business is to address your thoughts. Ask yourself what the situation triggers in you. What thoughts are you running about this situation that bring on a migraine? Since there are no mistakes or accidents, the fact that two people have approached you expressing suicidal thoughts is significant! I would encourage you to ask what the message is for you in this situation. I trust that there’s a gift of self-understanding through exploring the thoughts that this situation aroused in you.

    It’s important to remember that it is your business to take care of yourself, legally and professionally. Cover your own bases in terms of your professional and personal ethics. That’s part of loving and taking care of you!

  2. In my own experience with the loss of loved ones, I have found that the acceptance of an individual’s death is a process. A process consisting of a “going through ” the emotions and thoughts regarding the individual’s life, as well as, their death. A “going through” my own emotions and thoughts attached to their life, as well as, their death.

    For me, death, is an awakening, an opportunity, and a shift of one’s perspective. The shift occurs once one makes the choice to “go through” instead of around, and around the experience of the loss of a loved one. For me, I have experienced and observed from others attempting to discount the individual’s death by making “what appears” to be helpful to the individual sharing. They may include the following statements: “Oh, that person is better off, now. Or, just get over it. God took them, you will feel better soon. Or, they got what they deserved.” As I mentioned, earlier, these statements are all attempts to “make” the grieving individual feel better. When actually, the individual making the above statements project their own need to either “fix” or have a need for the grieving individual to get out of their “funk” and do something with them.

    Professionally and personally I have observed individual’s that appear to have unresolved grief issues due to their thoughts indicating that they “should feel guilty that they didn’t spend enough time with him/her that died, or “should have done better in taking care of the dying/dead individual”. The above thoughts keep individuals in a “victim” role. The dead individual has gone on to grow more, and to me, on a different level than the surviving individual. I do know particular individuals that are unable to move past the above thoughts, and remain victims. The loved one may have died 20 yrs ago, but the survivor is still living their lives as if they are “stuck” in time to when the individual was dying, or died. Ah, what a wonderful, awakening experience to embrace the possibility that one can go on with their lives, matter of fact, to me, the individual that died, has gone on, growing and becoming more of who they are meant to be, only on a different level. Wouldn’t the individual that died want the same for the survivor?

    Talk about synchronicity, while at work, yesterday, I was beginning to read Lynne’s blog on death, when a co-worker/dear friend came into my office with tears in her eyes, stating, “I can’t do this anymore, it hurts too much.” She was referring to her experience as having sx’s of diabetic neuropathy, as well as, her experience of coping with chronic pain throughout her physical body. With tears running down her face, she went on to indicate her inablity to deal with the chronic pain. She shared how painful it was for her to get in/out of bed; put a dish in the sink; take a shower, etc. She then stated, “Anyday, sometime soon, I am expecting to receive a huge sum of money from a lawsuit. I tried everything possible from taking all sorts of pills and electrical stimulation, nothing is working. I have been suffering for years. The pain medication has me having migranes. I can’t take this pain anymore. I am going to take the money to pay for my funeral. I can also pay to have my body sent from here to Minnesota. I have this all figured out and I know how to kill myself with my pills. I have not told anyone this, but you..”

    Well, as a novice in “Loving What Is” I thought to myself, and told my friend I would honor whatever she decides to do with her life. I am not responsible in “fixing or saving her from herself”. I believe that some folks have a particular death wish. Some individuals choose to end it, and not desire to live another day on this earth. Whatever one may do to attempt to stop the individual fom killing theirselves, that individual will succeed. Do individuals have the right to end their lives due to chronic pain, illness, or mental issues? I knew intellectually that this was my friend’s need/want, to end her life. She walked out of my office and said, “I’m going to be okay, everything is all ready arranged”.

    I felt myself sitting back down at my desk, tearing up, attempting to pull myself together. What my friend shared with me appeared to be her truth. I found myself placing my hands, one on each side of my head, I felt a migrane coming on. I wonder at times, what would that mean. There have been several times, that if an individual describes a particular pain in their bodies, I then feel the pain in my own body, exact area, and not for a minute, but can last for several days. I am not sure what that means. Also, I felt a sadness welling up. I also had a memory of a loved one who had died. It had been my responsibilty to escort the body across the states by plane, and then by bus. This memory/thought along with what my friend had shared, felt overwhelming to me. To the point, I couldn’t remember simple things, like attempting to find my car keys. Professionally, if one is attempting to kill theirselves with a plan, I am obligated ethically and by law to assist the individual. That may include having either the individual hospitalized, or establishing/considering lower levels of care for the individual. Now, I struggle with my dear friend’s need to commit suicide with a plan. Is it for me to intervene, or is it my friends choice? I take the latter. For me to intervene, would feel selfish, wanting her to be around, to be my friend, to share good memories, etc. I feel torn, wondering what to do. I think about her other dear friends and family she will leave behind. Does she have a responsibility to them, to tell them what her need/want is to kill herself? I do understand that this is not my responsibility to tell her friends, or family. Before my friend left for the day, I offered my friend several therapist names. My friend refused my offer and stated to me, “I’ve all ready tried that and I am not doing that again, so no thank you.” I decided to go no further with her on her need/want to kill herself. .

    I think about, “Love What Is”. I think to myself that her need/want is her business, and not mine. I also wonder if I need to pursue this further. I wonder if I need to do more to intervene in my friend’s need/want. Do I have the duty to warn others?

    I wonder what it is that this is the second dearest friend to come to me within this month and disclose they have a plan to kill theirselves? The first dear friend, accepted my offer of a list of therapists. I’m not sure if she reached out to get in contact with any of them, however, as of last week, she was still alive. She had called my phone and left a brief voice message.

    Yes, I agree death is an awakening. It is also challenging to my thoughts, wanting to do the right thing without jumping in there to “fix” what is another’s truth to kill theirselves.

  3. A slightly different point of view which came to my mind when i saw “Death; The Awakener”
    … “To Be or Not to be” – Shakespeare Hamlet – Prince of Denmark 🙂

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