An Invitation to
Embracing the End of Life:
A Journey into Dying and Awakening
by Robin Milam
In the predawn silence, an internal alarm caused me to awaken, almost with a start. My first thought was of my mother in the adjacent room. Over the last few months, pancreatic cancer had been aggressively depleting life from her body. After tiptoeing into her room, I gently kissed her forehead and said “I love you.” Her eyebrows raised ever so slightly in an acknowledged expression of love and peace. Mesmerizing tones from the DVD Graceful Passages1 , filled the room with a pervasive sweetness. Minutes later, Mother rolled over, reached out to my father sleeping next to her, and took her last breath. It was – and is – a cherished, sacred moment of tenderness, joy and a profound sense of freedom.
Over the years since, I have reflected on how that moment transformed my own relationship with death and dying. Societal fears and angst around the death process had been very familiar to me and certainly my mother. Many people don’t know how to talk about death and therefore don’t. Until that moment, I didn’t know what to expect, or how to prepare, or how I would react. We Americans read a lot of obituaries but resist planning for and talking about death.
When my friend and teacher, Patt Lind-Kyle shared her manuscript for Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening, my heart leaped resonating with a sense of continuity and the opportunity to actively explore what my mother’s passing could teach me about preparing for my own death. A doorway opened.
Patt is an author, therapist, and consultant who integrates her expertise on how the mind works and how the brain is wired with her sagacious meditation practice. Several years ago, Patt arrived at a meditation retreat fatigued after a day of dealing with extreme heat, not conscious of just how close she was to heat exhaustion. Later, alone in a small, stark room in the wee hours of the night, her deepest fear flared up forcing Patt to confront death and the possibility that her own body was shutting down. Hours passed and Patt transcended the fear, her body rejuvenated itself and she was relishing a deep peace and freedom. The seed for her newest work took root.
Embracing the End of Life takes us through an amalgam of related journeys. The first focuses on how to prepare to die. Patt outlines the physical, psychological, and spiritual processes of death. Her exploration includes examining, letting go, and transcending the complexities of resistance. She provides comprehensive, pragmatic tools for preparing oneself and beloveds for one’s own death and personally defining how you the reader want to die. Intended to serve as a workbook for individuals and groups, Patt provides a series of exercises which create a safe space to intimately engage the reader, or collective of readers, in applying the learning and wisdom.
In Part II of the book, Patt guides us on The Journey to Freedom. The fear of death and resistance to life that we harbor creates what she calls the constricted self. Patt leads us through an examination of how we give birth to and nurture the constricted self through specific age ranges of our life. Only by fully embracing the constricted self can we move beyond it. Through exercises as well as guided meditations one experiences its physical, psychological and spiritual aspects. In this way, Patt lays the foundation for releasing our constricted self. The Journey to Freedom culminates in a series of profound steps, each with a set of exercises and meditations to deepen and experientially anchor the discoveries that unfold. Patt shows us how to transcend the Path of Freedom, fully embody five fundamental aspects of love, and experience an awakening to freedom in this life and beyond.
Patt has developed a set of 16 guided meditations that employ color, sound frequencies, binaural beats, and visualizations to augment The Journey to Freedom section of her book. The meditations will be available online on PattLindKyle.com as bonus videos when the book releases September 8, 2017.
Don’t miss Patt’s transformational guide Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening. I invite you to pre-order now on Amazon.com.
About Robin Milam
Robin is a social entrepreneur who partners with Patt Lind-Kyle in co-facilitating Patt’s workshops on Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening.
1 Graceful Passages A Companion for Living & Dying (Gary Malkin and Michael Stillwater, 2000, New World Library)