ABOUT DEATH AND DYING (part 3)
By: Stephen & Ondrea
Posted: December 18, 2012
IS THERE A WAY TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE I LOVE BECAUSE I AM GAY AND NOT IN A LEGAL MARRIAGE, BECASUE OF FEAR THAT MY FAMILY WILL TAKE OVER WHEN I LOOSE CONTROL AT THE END OF MY LIFE?
There is nothing quite like the approach of death to display loose ends, illuminate unfinished business and establish priorities! But don’t wait for a frightening diagnosis to attend to exactly such issues as these. Some of the difficulties, legal and otherwise, that surround dying--including of course choosing the venue for the end of one’s life--hospital, home, spiritual center, or alone like Jim against a giant ponderosa. Such decisions might be based on the difficulties put on gays (perhaps time for a ceremony!) and/or unmarried visitors in critical care units in typically restrictive hospitals.
Because of this and other distancing methodologies in less enlightened hospitals (limited visiting hours, over-burdened nurses who would be there as soon as the buzzer is pushed if they could, but they can’t!). From these limitations to the sharing of their final process with a loved one, if the medical condition allows, may cause one to choose to die at home. To put their bed by a bright window and their mind sinking into their heart. The home death when possible also overcomes the problems one might have visiting, much less staying bedside through the night. It would be wise to address lawyers, bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, even realtors, to clarify in what manner the person’s possessions as well as their body may be handled both before as well as after death.
FIND THE NAME OF THE LEGAL POWER OF ATTORNEY SO UNMARRIED LOVED ONE’S MAY VISIT IN HOSPITAL
CAN A LOVED ONE BE TAUGHT ABOUT HELPING ME AS I JUST DO NOT WANT ANY STRANGERS AOUND ME AT THIS TIME, (EVEN A NURSE THAT IS KIND IS NOT WANTED)?
Everyone may not have the “luxury” of being ill and/or dying at home in which condition such medical and palliative treatments would be most assuredly required. The methods can be imparted in a short class that includes such things as changing bedding while the patient is still in bed, washing them as need be, helping them sit up if necessary, giving a hypodermic shot, changing catheters, message techniques to counteract bed sores, helping them to urinate, etc… Most of this is usually attended to by the Visiting Nurses Assn. who will even set up (upon the doctor’s orders) an analgesic drip to help manage ongoing pain.
The decision, when the end may be in sight, whether to use a hospital’s somewhat impersonal; immediately available technology or the very personal, though admittedly taxing, intensely loving (including, for instance, listening at 2 am to a loved one’s story again as they complete their life review), home environment.
DO MOST PEOPLE KNOW THEY ARE DYING?
Most do not know or want to know and may even ignore signals of impending difficulty, pains traveling down their left arm or that “weird moment when I woke up kind of numb on my right side”.
The person about to have a sudden infarction or a collapsed blood flow in the brain may well not have an inkling that the law of impermanence is about to display itself. Indeed it is said, “Fortune changes like the swish of a horse’s tail”.
It has been noted however that though one may not be conscious that death may be approaching. Carl Jung and others have recognized that simple signs, perhaps even drawings, may well portray the undermind’s (subconscious) sense that death may be coming close. As the sun in concurrent pictures crosses the drawing from left to right, into the upper right hand corner that symbolizes the present.
We even heard a story (true or not who knows?) of an older fellow who turned to his wife late one evening and said, “I’m dead!” and slumped over.
There are parts of us that know us better than we do. Just below the level of awareness is the primal knowing that what passes into death and comes out the other end is our essential nature, what some call “the deathless”. There, in our original nature lies the beginning of the world. The love and fear that drives us to take birth, that draws the next breath, that opens to the healing we took birth for.
THE DOCTOR TOLD ME I HAD A YEAR TO LIVE AND I WONDER IF HE OR SHE REALLY KNOWS?
No one can be certain when the curtain may fall. It is not a good idea to schedule cosmic events. They have a way of finding their own path trough time. Few people who wake in the morning realize they are going to die that day.
Many people have found that taking on the YEAR TO LIVE PRACTICE as outlined in our book A Year To Live, how to live this year as if it were your last . Some that undertook the year of practice were at the outset a bit concerned that the practice might hasten death but of the hundreds that have taken on this experiment in consciousness no one has died. In fact many have mentioned a heightened sense of being alive, clearing up unfinished business, clarifying priorities, a somewhat greater capacity to love and allow oneself to be loved.
Beware the person who says they can tell what is coming. There is a story about one of my teachers passing through a crowded marketplace and overhearing a fortune teller warning a frightened listener that he would die in three days. “How remarkable that this fellow should say that.” said our teacher, “For it is he, the fortune teller, who will be dead in three days!”
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ABORTION?
Abortion is an individual’s choice. It is written in the body’s bill of rights that if you were born into it, kept it relatively healthy, did not use it for the detriment or humiliation of others, then it more or less belongs to you for the meantime. Rented domicile though it may be it still is interconnected with all sentient beings.
I knew one woman having an abortion who began to sing to her embryo/blastula about how much love and kindness she had for it and she asked its forgiveness for not being able at this time to have it born through her. She felt it would be best for the newborn to stay clear of her as she was having considerable difficulty taking care of her first born and would almost certainly have to give the child over to the frightening uncertainty of The State Child Care System. The only other option her untended heart believed was suicide.
But there are as many reasons and feelings for getting an abortion as there is for having a child. One poet writing about an abortion he was part of spoke of the event saying, “We traded kisses across the soft sarcophagus of our bed. Who could have imagined that so entwined in life and love, death and hate would not be far behind?” That is one kind of “cutting through” as the I Ching might put it. Acting out an aborted relationship. Hiding our unskillfulness from view. Or the foul aftermath of a forcible encounter, of rape and incest! Or sadly the laziness and indifference.
Sometimes when the heart is so ensnared in unforeseen circumstances that our inner compass spins out of control, we don’t know which way to turn and just trip and fall headlong into a life situation one hoped would never occur, but, as they say, just as the mind has a life of its own so life itself has a life of its own.