The Process of Dying

Reflections on Death


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I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions lately. Clearly, my upcoming move has something to do with it, but what’s been on my mind is the BIG transition recently—death.

Death has been on the forefront of my mind because my grandmother is currently working on transitioning from this life into the next. It has been ongoing process for quite some time, but recently has picked up speed. She is a lot more out of her body now than she was this summer when I spent time with her. There’s some confusion surrounding it and she’s starting to see more things that people claim “aren’t there”. (I let her in on a little secret this summer, “I see them too, Grandma. Just so you know—they ARE there…just not everyone can pick up on them.” There was a sense of relief and peace that came with that.)

What has been the most interesting and eye opening for me is that she’s ready to go, but doesn’t know how to let go. She’s not sick. She’s just….tired. She’s curious about “there” but also still tied to “here”. She’s definitely ready to see what’s next, but nervous about not knowing for sure what IS next or how to get to NEXT.

As a medium, my focus has always been on what happens after death occurs, so it’s frustrating not to know how to help her. The best I can do is talk about death with her openly and without fear. I can help her stay curious and open to what is about to happen. I can keep cheering her on as she navigates this by herself.

She has a really good sense of humor about it when we talk. I tell her that when she crosses over she has to come visit me. Or joke with her that when I get ready to cross over, she needs to pass down the instruction manual on how to do it. (She says she will.) She jokes that when she crosses over she’s going to have a lot of messages for people and I need to buy a notebook now to make sure I’m ready for her.

She has inquired about what I see in my mediumship sessions. She’s asked me what can she expect and I don’t have good answers for her because, honestly—how do you describe to someone something that in order to fully understand you have to experience it? There is this UNKNOWN about it all….I can’t tell my grandma what it is like for sure. I can just share my experiences of what I’ve seen when I work. I tell her it’s just a small sliver of what there is and then tell her to trust that it will be so much more.

Watching someone figure out how to rise like a phoenix and let go of their body is fascinating, difficult, sad, joy filled, and amazing. She’s moving into uncharted waters—or at least waters she can’t remember from the last time she did this. I’ve been amazingly blessed to watch her go through this part of her journey—and that she’s been open about it with me. It’s a gift that not everyone gets and I’m so thankful for it. I hope that the gift I give her is that she has someone to bounce ideas off of and someone who gives her an outlet to pose questions or joke about it, if that’s what she needs.

It’s also made me realize how much we don’t talk about death or the dying process in our society. How we ignore it and keep it hidden until it can’t be avoided anymore. We don’t talk about Death, but it’s a huge part of our lives. I think we need to talk about it more openly with each other before it arrives on our doorstep. We too often push it aside from fear, but there’s such worth to discussing it and daydreaming about it. Imagining what it would be like, imagining what signs you’d send each other, who would greet you, what things would blow your mind. Asking questions like: What do you think happens when we die? What do you think the transition is like? We need to go there with each other. I think it’s critical to embracing that next step of our journey and critical to our ability to thrive and find joy in our lives now. By talking about it, we normalize it. Like we normalize going from childhood to adulthood. It’s just another phase of our existence. We need to let go of the fear of it and embrace the AWE of it.

Don’t miss out on an amazing opportunity. Have a conversation about death today with someone you trust and love. Or email me your thoughts on it— I’d love to hear them.

Want to dive deeper? I love the book: Advice on Dying and Living a Better Life by the Dalai Lama. You can find an excerpt from it over on Daily Om: https://www.dailyom.com/cgi-bin/display/librarydisplay.cgi?lid=269