Dying, Death and Bereavement – From The Therapist’s Chair
Over the past 30 years as a therapist I have sat with thousands of clients and listened to their stories. Every single one has taken me deeper into my own journey of discovery of how to be a spiritual being in human form.
This is, I believe, because our capacity to access the peace and stillness of our true nature is enhanced by our willingness to meet our own suffering and to use it as a gateway to enlightenment. And that those who have been given this invitation can also be the ones who ensure that the cycle of any painful behaviours will be brought to an end.
I have heard some terrible things. Many, many times, I have wanted to get down on my knees and bow to the resilience of their spirit.
The awe and unconditional love that I feel for my clients as they trust me with their memories is made possible by the absolute knowing that I am in the presence of brave Souls, who are here at this time in our evolution to become conscious – that I am witnessing an awakening.
I do not get caught up in the details of the memories, however horrendous, so that I can hold a higher vision for them. And while there is never a condoning of others’ behaviours that have caused great suffering, I know that through their realisations, the cycle of their painful past will be stopped and not be passed onto future generations.
These are the courageous ones that will turn their suffering into a new consciousness which will make the world a kinder and more honouring place for us all. I feel we will no longer need to go through this level of pain to wake up in the same way in the future.
This is why I feel I can sit with anything and anyone in the therapist’s chair.
In the same way as one of my teachers, Brandon Bays, did with me.
Brandon showed me how to use my emotions as gateways to my Soul. And at this time of great change and human awakening, I cannot thank her enough for the resources she has given me to help hold steady at this time.
Through this collective awakening, I want to hold the vision that we will make more conscious and kinder choices and have a greater respect and honouring for all living things.We arrive on earth thinking we are separate from God. Eventually, when the suffering and the pain became too great, a gap of remembering appears and the quest for peace begins.
With so much loss and grief arising in the collective consciousness, I wanted to dedicate my latest ‘From the Therapist Chair’ post to the subject of Dying, Death and Bereavement.
Dying, Death and Bereavement
The ache and pain of grief can be almost unbearable.
Grief feels like a knife through the heart and the terror of going mad is often not far away.
In the west, dying, death, and bereavement are often hidden or neatly covered up, along with the deceased; boxed and buried and put away.
Leaving out the beauty, the reverence, the awe and the majesty in this precious time.
Hidden in plain view within the messiness of dying and death is an extraordinary invitation.
When someone you love is dying, everything changes.
The old, petty day-to-day concerns fall away. Most things feel meaningless. The ‘lights’ go out, the body, mind and Soul feel weary. Everything is grey. The nerves are taught and scattered.
The practical demands take us to the edges of our ability to function.
The bone-numbing exhaustion, the tears on the brink of falling, the ache in the heart… a constant reminder of what’s to come.
Concerns of friends and family, although kind and well-meant, can be an extra burden; their grief to manage on top of your own.
How you can sit with another in their dying process
In the therapists chair, what a relief it can be when there is an invitation:
To surrender to the feelings… the physical pain in the heart.
To let go, to allow, to fall into the depths of grief.
With someone who is there as a loving presence, a space-holder, full of compassion and love.
Someone who knows that they are witnessing an awakening. Who knows that grief is a gateway to a higher dimension, to a place that is ultimately untouched by any human emotion or situation.
Where there is no separation from a loved one, or from self.
Where there is only a boundless presence of stillness, the energy that gave birth to us, and to where we will return.
This presence, once felt, can hold us in our grief and longing, and will continue to do so for the rest of our earthly existence.
If you sit with your loved one from this knowing, while they are dying, then you will help to connect them to this place within themselves.
This is a valuable gift you can offer a dying person.
And you can do this from wherever you are. There is no separation in consciousness, so even if you cannot physically hold their hand you can be with your loved one in the field of awareness.
They will feel your love, and their Soul will be able to communicate directly with yours.
How to assist a loved one on their way home
At these times right now, it may not be possible to be physically present with someone during their transition. But you can still really help yourself and them by creating a sacred space ‘in the ethers’. As their Soul is already preparing them for their journey home, it is possible for you to ‘meet’ them in this higher vibrational space, offering both them and you a very valuable and precious gift to support them on their way.
How to begin
Choose a space where you can be quiet and undisturbed.
Spend a few minutes in meditation and reflection to help lower your brain rhythm and raise your vibration.
Light a candle and set your intention to connect with the energy that created you.
See your space flooded with unconditional love and light.
Ask for help and support from the unseen helpers in the spiritual realm as well as anyone else in physical form.
Give thanks for their presence and breathe deeply into the knowing that you are being held in the loving embrace of Grace right now.
Invite the Soul of your loved one into your sacred space.
Allow tears if they flow, or any other emotions that arise, or maybe there are none.
No judgements; everyone’s experience is different, and every moment is different too.
Ask your Soul to connect with the one who is dying or had died.
Let the transmission of the light embrace you both in the stillness.
Acknowledge them, either with words if these fall from your lips, otherwise in silence.
Reassure them that the unconditional love of Grace is preparing to take them home.
Know that during the last days and hours of their dying process, they will already have access to the boundless love and a higher perspective.
The physical body maybe in pain, but at a higher level, they will already be feeling the sacred invitation to leave their physical form.
The peace, the feeling of freedom of being released from the restrictions of an earthly body is intoxicating – I have experienced it myself. The love is beyond words, and the joy of being ‘home’ is all-consuming.
All the old hurts and resentments and remnants of the earthly existence melt into understanding and realisation. There is nothing to forgive, there is only love.
Knowing this, you can relax into whatever is here, say what needs to be said, and then sit together in this loving embrace.
When you feel complete, thank them for their presence in your life, and receive their love and blessings in return. Let your prayers and blessings carry them to the gateway of the unconditional love that is waiting for them.
Rest awhile in the stillness that you have created, be present with your feelings and to any guidance or wisdom that you may have received.
When you are ready, give thanks to everyone who was present, blow out the candle (or leave it burning if safe to do so) and take a walk or a rest, drink some water and give yourself time to integrate your experience before returning to daily life.
The descent of Grace, the divine energy, that comes when a Soul is leaving their earthly body is immense. It as if the heavens open and God reaches down to gather them home. And in the same way, when a child is born, the heavens open to bring a new Soul to earth.
(This is why when I see a hospital, I see a sacred place, a portal even, where Souls are leaving and arriving. I always bless and give thanks to a hospital when I pass by and to the staff who work there.)
You will receive this energy too. By your intention and the creation of the sacred space for your loved one, you will receive their love and blessings from this higher place.
You will be forever changed; you have been in divine service to them. Your ability to receive the light will be forever increased, and your capacity to feel their love and presence after their transition will deepen over time.
You will absolutely know that there is no separation, that your loved one is within you now, and that over time, your relationship with them will only get stronger.
The grieving process continues
As you are still in earthly form, your grieving will continue for as long as it helps to grow your awareness. There is no right way to grieve, everyone is different, it will be a journey of enlightenment, through light and dark, calm and storm.
And then one day, something will shift, a greater sense of peace, of unconditional love, a reverence and awe for the cycle of life will suffuse your being.
What a gift and a blessing that you have received.
One that you can pass on to another. All of us will be touched by loss and grief, often multiple times. How graceful that you can now be with another in their grief knowing what you now know.
PS – It is never too late to do this process, as there is no such thing as time in consciousness. So even if someone you love has already died, even if it was years ago, you can still create a sacred space and connect with their Soul in this way.
Photo courtesy of Sam Schooler on Unsplash