It probably took around nine months for you to be born here on earth. As you were growing in your mother’s womb you were not terribly aware of what was happening in your parent’s life. Well, as you can imagine they were making important preparations for your arrival. For your great adventure, your parents were building a wonderful nest for you with toys, clothes, etc. For some your mother had to wait more than nine months or you may have popped out early. She had to become very patient and adaptable for your intended arrival time.
Very similar to your birth is another major event in life which is your death. In contrast to building a nest at birth, at the time of death you are letting go of the nest of things you have collected over the years. Like birth, death also has its own time as to when it arrives.
Both of these transitions cannot be controlled. Your pregnant mother may feel that your body has a mind of its own as you grow in the womb. The dying person may experience the dying of the body as something they cannot control.
As the time comes for your birth, your mother may worry about the process of giving birth, “Will it hurt? Will I like you when you arrive? What will you be like?” Also your mother worries, “Will I have supportive, nurturing, people to help me?” She may have feelings of fear and growing anxiety. In the same reality, the dying person as they approach death may have similar anxiety with many of the same questions. The truth is that the body knows how to give birth. If interventions are kept to a minimum the process of birth has its own rhythm and process. If there is too many interventions the birth process can become very difficult. In the same way too many medical interventions can prolong the dying process and interrupt the natural inner experience of the dying person.
As with the birthing process, fear and confusion by family and caregivers about what is happening as dying progresses can not only interfere with the process of the person giving birth to their dying, but can create uncertainty and inappropriate actions from the family and caregivers.
Surrender, patience and letting go are needed in both birthing and dying. In the end as you go through the positive nature of this transition called dying, no one will be able to change the way you feel or how to deal with your fear or uncertainty except yourself. Learning to face your death without fear is like learning to be separated from your mother at birth and facing the fear of a confusing world.
Just as we have the gift of birth we have the gift of our death. Both birth and death and what happens in between we call our life. Learning to accept all of it including death is the great adventure. Kahil Gibran in his book, The Prophet said, “You would know the secret of death, but how shall you find it unless you see it in the heart of life.”
In my book, Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening, I have created a guidebook to help us prepare for dying and accept death as part of this great adventure of life.
Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening will be released in September 2017. I invite you to pre-order now on Amazon.com.