The Living Medicine of Dying
Yes you read correct – The Living Medicine of Dying. A term I have come to know and experience through the recent graceful departure of my father.
Over the last eight years I have been witness to profound changes taking place within my father as he began the process of accepting and surrendering to the final phase of his life. These changes were varied and many, but essentially included:
A greater understanding and appreciation of our life cycle and just how short one life is
His willingness to converse and discuss life, moments, challenges and issues at a much greater depth
A willingness to go into those ‘uncomfortable’ feeling zones to let rise what needed to be ‘felt’ and if needed, discussed and let go of
An increased connection to God and life being much more than the physical temporal existence that we superficially know it to be
An increased sensitivity, vulnerability and tenderness
In 2015 he was diagnosed with bowel cancer which accelerated the above changes to an even greater depth. What I observed during this time was the transformation of a man who had lived the roles of a husband and father, dutifully providing for his family, to the unfolding of a truly great man and being called Raymond.
The person that I knew as my father growing up was not the man who was appearing before me in the last 8 years. And the more my father surrendered to the cycle of life and his impending death, the more I got to meet and cherish his beauty and quality of being, particularly as he humbly dealt with the impact of cancer and its effects on his body. The raw vulnerability, sensitivity and tenderness that came forth were endearing and so reflective of who we are at the core of our being that it was immensely inspiring.
During this time our conversations were expansive and deep, like nothing I had previously experienced with him. They embodied a mutual understanding of our depth of connection and the connection with life and our other worldliness.
During this time he began to express how he felt. He began to express his love with others on a more intimate level and there was no holding him back.
At this point it needs to be said that an impending surrender to the final phase of life gave my father permission to express and acknowledge this depth of connection within himself. Yet, it had always been there but we often don't live out the majority of our lives from this depth of acknowledging and expressing that love, the love we are.
We bring focus to all that sits outside the essence of our being and drop ourselves to live out and express from a lesser version of who we are. As human beings we are here to learn, grow and evolve. We are perfectly imperfect and have lessons to learn to support our evolution back to the knowing of who we are in truth – love. And although we may be dealing with ‘stuff’, it doesn't negate the fact that we are love at the core of our being.
Being witness to the accelerated evolution of my father during this time was a confirmation of all that I share. It highlighted how much we choose not to honour and live the essence of who we are in our everyday lives.
Why wait until we are near our final call to live the call we were originally birthed forth to be?
In the final weeks before Raymond departed he was in a rest home. Being in his presence was beautiful on so many levels. As he surrendered more deeply, he emanated a quality of being in stillness. This quality allowed all who came into his presence the opportunity to ‘simply be’. He offered a space from which to be at one with yourself, an ease of being and a place in his presence where I could have been all day, every day. There was no imposition, no force, no drive, no intensity. Instead there was an exquisite space of tenderness, love and vulnerability; the kind that simply melts your heart.
He shared the raw humanness of who we are and how we are all truly vulnerable and sensitive beings. His body and his being had become so light that any slightly aggressive tone or touch was an assault on the delicate nature and sensitivity of his being. Raymond shared this openly and offered a reflection for me to feel this exquisite state of being within myself and to feel the fact that this is within us all.
We simply mask or hide this delicate and sensitive nature underneath protection, guardedness and control from buried hurts. But crack the surface, dig a little deeper and we are all of this same essence. No matter what skin colour, religion, culture, nationality or gender. We are one and the same.
As a family, my mother and my brother all had an inner knowing that our job was to hold Raymond in the love that we are to support him to pass over. And this is exactly what we did. All of us were present around his bedside as his body was preparing to pass. The quality and unity of love held was palpable. We gently guided and supported Ray to know and feel the love he is and to let go and surrender to that love. This was precisely what he chose and as he took his last breath, we all arose with him.
In that moment Raymond became the universal man he had always been.
The at-one-ment felt in that moment and that we were graced with after his departure was a confirmation of the universal and divine order we are a part of. We were left in awe at the inspiration that had been bestowed upon us.
His body left on the bed was simply an empty carcass and gone was the light that had once been en-housed in it. The light of Raymond’s Soul had moved on from this life and into his next. His body was left as a reminder of the person and essence that he had lived out in this life and the lessons learnt. The body and its purpose were clear, in that it enhouses the Light of the Soul and that we have the choice to live and express this via our body, in every movement, gesture, action and expression.
We are more than human beings. We are multi-dimensional beings.
We are universal and hold a magnitude of magnificence that would blow us away because of how awesome we are!
In Raymond I meet his magnificence and in doing so his departure was a celebration and a blessing. It offered a true gift for my family and consolidated the fact that life is about love. Being love, expressing love and sharing love, just by being you.
What we experienced and how we brought understanding to the cycle of life and death is actually normal and a natural way in which to prepare a loved one and oneself to pass over. It showed me that, as a society, the way we deal with death in this day and age is actually archaic and false compared to the true light that comes with embracing the cycles we are naturally a part of.
The way in which my father embraced this stage of his life to let go, heal and surrender and the way we as a family chose to support and also embrace this opportunity was true medicine for all. As such there is a completion within us with no grieving or sense of loss. Instead we have been imbued with an enrichment of all that we experienced and a confirmation of the beauty of the cycles in which we intrinsically are a part of and a life that offers us the opportunity to learn, grow and evolve.
Thank you Raymond for sharing the essence and light of your soul with us.
Published with the permission of my awesome family.