By Paula Bianchi –
Death. We all think about it. We all fear the day it’s gonna happen. Some of us may fixate and worry about death our whole lives, while others thrive on looking death straight in the face every day. There are people who plan their death so their loved ones are taken care of. They plan their funerals and share their plans with those who are close to them. This may be considered the ideal plan, but death comes for us whether we plan for it or not.
Depending on our interests in life, most people hope they will die while they’re asleep in their beds. Some want to leave this Earth doing what they love. We fear any death by murder, accident, or war. Others choose to take their own lives for reasons of their own choosing. Death comes to us in a multiple array of possibilities.
When we’re older, we may wish for death to come sooner rather than later. After a loved one dies, we can’t wait until we can join them on the other side, and some of us can get so lost in our grief that we die from a broken heart. Having a terminal illness, can make you long for death to come and free you from your misery. Some people may have a death wish and live recklessly as they challenge death to take them.
No matter how you look at it, death is coming, and we know it. We may try to live in denial of it, thinking if we never speak of it, it’ll never come. Even when we know someone is on the brink of death, we won’t talk of it to them nor will they speak of it to us, unless, we choose to.
My experience with my parents was quite different. We spoke of death all the time because of our conversations about my metaphysical views. They knew they could confide in me because I wasn’t going to judge them for wanting to die. Both of them had had it with life, and with what their bodies had become. I listened patiently as they voiced their wishes, and I supported them with their choices. I believe this is what made our connection stronger after they crossed over. I have experienced, though, the kind of death where we didn’t want to talk about it.
My father-in-law’s death was due to terminal cancer. We never really spoke of his impending death in front of him when he was brought home to die, even though, we knew this was going to be the outcome. Why didn’t we? Because, he didn’t want to leave. His greatest wish was to stay here with his wife, but it wasn’t his choice anymore.
Hospice was helping us during Dad’s last days here, and they were wonderful. They explained what was happening to him, and what he’s experiencing as he leaves this world. It was the last nurse who cared for Dad that we learned the most from.
When Dad came home from the hospital, his arm was so swollen from his IV that he could barely lift it. On the last night he was with us, he was in a lot of pain. The nurse arrived when it was time for Dad to receive his pain medication. This time, she hooked him up to a little pump with a button to push to help relieve his pain.
All of us stood in a circle around his bed as she began to explain what was happening to him. Dad looked tense with pain, so she began to push the button until we could finally see him becoming more relaxed. He looked like he was asleep, but he was listening.
She said to us, “Right now, he has a foot in both worlds. One is here with us, and the other is firmly planted on the other side. He can see people that we can’t see.” Just then, Dad raised his swollen arm to wave to these unseen people. I got the tingles.
The nurse went on to say how sometimes people won’t let go of this life with someone in the room. They wait for solitude to exit. My husband and his brother had been taking turns sleeping in Dad’s room, so someone was always with him.
Next the nurse pointed out how it’s hard for them to leave when they’re worried about someone. Dad’s only concern was for his wife, who suffers with rheumatoid arthritis, and who was going to take care of her when he’s gone. We all promised we would take care of her. I found out later that during one of their talks, Dad told my husband there would be hell to pay if we didn’t.
After the nurse left, my husband and his brother decided not to sleep with Dad that night. When my husband checked on him, in the early AM before he left for work, he found Dad had passed sometime during the night. The nurse was right, and we’re grateful she helped us tie up the loose ends Dad needed taken care of so he could cross over.
Losing someone is never easy, and we all wish to God that we’d never have to deal with it, but it’s a part of life. We have no choice but to one day deal with it, and this thought fills us with so much sadness about leaving those we love behind. Sadness for the things we’ve left undone. Sadness for the things we wish we could’ve done differently. Sadness from the thought of losing a loved one, when they die, and the dread we feel about moving on without them leaving us with an empty hole that only time will heal. Maybe.
Death is a personal thing. The how, why, when, and where of it, is in all of our futures. This is why we should make the most of our time spent here. We should find our happiness, but never at the expense of another. Spend your time lifting people up instead of knocking them down because the secret to life is how we treat others. Choose to be kind and treat others how you would want them to treat you. What a wonderful world it would be if we spread love instead of hate.
In my next Mind Games article, I’ll write about change. Hope to see you next time, and thanks for checking me out. Take care. Bye for now.