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serene sky and hillside of white poppies

Grandma’s Emergency Room Story

The hospital terms ER or emergency room and ICU or intensive care unit are part of our everyday lives. I attended a conference a few weeks ago and heard an Emergency Room doctor, Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy, share her concerns about what is happening at the end of life for many elderly folks in ER and ICU.  She shared a story of a “Grandma” who is 89 years old grasping for breath when a neighbor finds her and calls 911 to have an ambulance take her to the hospital.

The Living Will and Health Care Proxy

Once in the ER Dr. Williams-Murphy asks the neighbor if Grandma has a Living Will and the identity and location of her selected health care proxy and if she has signed Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or Do Not Intubate (DNI.)  Her neighbor had no idea about those documents because nothing like that had been discussed.   Dr. Williams-Murphy said 70% of Americans are not prepared to face these questions. It is likely that most of us have thought about death but have yet to make plans to meet it. Dr. Williams-Murphy said, “Trust me, ER is not the place to set your affairs in order.”

Since Grandma’s affairs were not in order Grandma will most likely be physically examined, possibly given an EKG, then a variety of other tests, medications and possibly placing a tube in her lungs, or an IV in her neck or emergency CPR attempting to shock her heart back into a life sustaining rhythm and then sent to ICU to sustain her life on machines. However, Grandma may be in the process of dying and does not want to have chest compressions but if there is nothing written doctors are trained to fight death to the bitter end. Dr. Williams-Murphy proposal is that we should not do emergency medicine on the elderly but without the indication of what a patient wants in writing emergency procedures will be automatically preformed.

serene sky and hillside of white poppies

These are different times

One hundred years ago families were multigenerational and children often witnessed parents caring for their dying older family members. Usually these elders would die in their own homes.  Today we have moved very far away from those times. The power of advanced technology seems to have taken over our bodies with medical procedures that make it seem that it is just not OK to die anymore.  There is less closure and peace with one’s family and less preparation for Grandma to end her life with dignity.

In my book, Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening, I have created a guidebook to help us prepare for our death. This guidebook is reminiscent of past years where community can be formed to share what is important to each person and to support each other when the time comes for our dying.  We do not have to be like Grandma at the end of our life.

Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening to be released in September 2017. I invite you to pre-order now on Amazon.com.

gamma brain waves are active at end of life

Brainwaves at the End of Life

Many of you have had the experience of being with a friend, family member or a relative when they died. For most of us this is an unforgettable experience. When I was a hospice volunteer I was overcome again and again when someone passed. The room lit up and filled with a love that unquestionably was beyond words. When that energy and love touches us so deeply, doesn’t that make you wonder what creates the beauty of a person passing out of this life, especially when the fear of dying is so prevalent in our society?

Here is something that may give us some insight of what is happening at the end of life. There is growing research about brain waves that may shed some light on the quality of brain and mind at the time of death. As the dying process progresses the brain slows down to delta brain waves. Delta is our slowest brainwave. It is the one we are in during sleep. Also, in the dying process the right hemisphere brain activity is more prominent than the left hemisphere.

We can see what this slowing of brainwaves happening to the brain before death, but a recent seminal research study at the University of Michigan has provided more information about the brain and the dying process. The study reported that after death when the heart stops the brain continues to function and enters into heightened activity associated with wakeful conscious or gamma brainwave activity. These gamma brainwaves are the fastest waves in our brain and are associated with high concentration, conscious awareness, high lucidity and creates “feelings of blessings” and compassion when activated.

Researchers indicate that at the time of death there may be more evidence for conscious related activity than even during a normal waking state. What the research is indicating is that there is evidence that in the last moments of the dying process that the light and love filling the room that we so often feel is being generated by the person that has died.

This new awareness about the end of life is so different from all the fear we carry about our dying.  Death may not be as frightening as we may think. Death may be a time to welcome love not fear into our life.

My soon to be published book in September, Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying & Awakening takes the death conversation further into learning how to shift our fear of death into becoming free of fear about dying now before we die. As a guidebook, Embracing the End of Life allows the reader to formulate how to express to our love ones our end of life wishes.

Click to Pre-Order Embracing End of LifeA free bonus set of 16 guided meditations that employ color, sound frequencies, binaural beats, and visualizations to augment The Journey to Freedom section of my book are available online for when the book releases September 8, 2017.  I invite you to pre-order now on Amazon.com.

Death may be a time to welcome love not fear into our life.

Bird of Paradise

Are we just a visitor here on earth?

Where in the world did I get such an idea? Consider this: all of us are born, and we live here on earth for so many years then we die.  It happens to all of us – there is no exception. However, what happens before we are born and what happens after we die? What if living and dying is like going on vacation having many experiences then leaving everything to go back “home” again.

When we die are we going back home?  This could be. Mystics and spiritual traditions describe our time on earth as a place of learning. They say we are infinite beings that come and go in many forms to evolve, learn and expand in consciousness. But for most of us in this “vacation” time between birth and death the real issue is we don’t think much about dying or going “home” because it is a little scary and we really don’t want to believe death is going to happen to us. Could leaving this “vacation” life be in the plan all along?

I do not have the answer but I do have some ideas. Recently, I was forced to face my own death which encouraged me to focus on my dying. From that experience, my work in Hospice, meditation and a lot of research I have explored this journey of birth to death and what it may mean for us to a live more vital and joyful life while on “vacation”.

The result of my investigation is my book coming out in September 2017 called Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening.  Going through the writing process I learned that confronting one’s own concerns about death and putting everything in place for family and friends is part of the valuable preparation for our “visit” here. The book is a guide for the physical, the mental and the spiritual preparation for the trip “home”.  Through exercises and self reflection, you will explore for yourself your fears, your preferences, and new understanding for how you want the final journey of dying to be filled with peace, wonder and self love.

To help you discover how you want to live more vitally and die with grace, I have created 16 videos to support releasing of old personality patterns that create our fear of dying as well as how to awaken to a new inner awareness and energy as we live our life now. My book-guide is designed to be used to create a supportive community with family, friends and social groups as well as spiritual communities and gatherings. The poet Rumi says it so well, “Out beyond ideas of right and wrong doings there is a field. I will meet you there.” This is the field of embracing the end of our life and awakening.    

Embracing the End of Life, A Journey into Dying and Awakening will be published September 8, 2017 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Out beyond ideas of right and wrong doings there is a field. I will meet you there. – Rumi

child education on death and dying

Teaching Death Education In Schools

Is this a deplorable idea to teach the process of dying to kids? Maybe not. Many years ago the National Education Association sought to make sexual education a necessary part of a national education curriculum. Over time information about birth control, safe sex and other elements of the sexual experience has helped kids reduce unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.  Being informed offers each of us a choice to control our life in a healthy way. It gives us back our power of choice through knowledge, understanding and awareness.

educating children on death and dying

So, what about teaching death education in schools? Would that make a difference in the lives of our children and in our own life? Forty five years ago Elizabeth Kubler-Ross  rocked the world with her pioneer work on a person’s five grief reactions prior to death. The result of Kubler-Ross’ dedicated work helped open and birth the Hospice movement as a place of caring for the dying.

I imagine if we each had a preparatory class that guided us to our choices on how to approach our own death it would make a huge difference in how we would experience the end of our life.  A training to understand death physically, emotionally and spiritually would release the burden of the fear of death that we all carry unconsciously. To live without this fear would be a gift to ourselves. This would give us peace and a new sense of vitality in living our life now.

Jessica Nutik Zitter, M.D., a critical care and palliative doctor, recently taught about death awareness to a ninth grade class. She was delighted in the response. The students were open to exploring their own approach to death. No student fainted or ran out of class but rather they were totally engaged.  Dr. Zitter believes people need conversations about death and asserts from her experience that most people want to die at home instead of in the intensive care unit –ICU of a hospital where for the most part instead of having a peaceful dying process they are hooked up to a machine to prolong their life. Her book, Extreme Measures, demonstrates what needs to be done in the medical community at end of life choices and decisions.

My soon to be published book in September, Embracing the End of Life: A journey into Dying and Awakening takes the death conversation further into learning how to shift our fear of death into becoming free of fear about dying now before we die. As a guidebook, Embracing the End of Life allows the reader to formulate how to express to our love ones our end of life wishes. Death “education” can remove the deep fear we face in this society.

 

Gull at sunset

It’s a Mystery

Recently two movie celebrities, a daughter and a mother, died 14 hours apart of each other. Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds had a close and difficult relationship. Carrie Fisher died of a heart attack returning from Europe. Debbie Reynolds after learning of the death of her daughter and best friend died fourteen hours later of a “broken heart”. What is this mystery that caused them to die so close in time to each other?  Death is the one thing in life that we have difficulty understanding or an event we are unable to control.

Pixabay are released under Creative Commons CC0

Thirty thousand years ago few people lived beyond 30 years old. It was a difficult and dangerous time in order to stay alive. Ten thousand years later with the agricultural age we began to live longer.  Over the ensuing years many important discoveries helped to add more years to our life, such as removing sewage from drinking water, increasing medical means to save lives at birth, etc. Today our life expectancy is 76 years old. This much longer life gives the mental illusion that we will live forever. But death is real and we will die, and it is still a mystery.  It will happen to all of us and the time and place of our death is yet another mystery.

Our death is a significant event for each of us. If we explore our feelings about death we will find there is within us a fear of it. It is important to familiarize our self with the dying process and to face our fear with understanding and self-compassion in order to live our life more fully now. Death happens to all of us and it is a major spiritual event of our life.

In coming blogs I will outline some of the things I’ve learned about the death process and how we each can work with our fear of dying and how it can give us more joy and freedom in our lives now.

My new book, Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening can help prepare us in a way that will affect how we want to die as well as live our life now with both vitality and freedom.  The book is a guide book with exercises about understanding our death process, assessments, spiritual and religious practices to help in dying, 16 bonus videos to find our path to inner freedom and practical methods to prepare our family and caregivers for our dying, as well as how to help our friends and family to meet death without fear. The book will be available in September 2017.

Patt Lind-Kyle Prepare to Die - Awakening process

Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening Workshop

A New Workshop by Patt Lind-Kyle
in Nevada County

This is a pre-publication workshop of Patt’s new book  Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening

An invitation …

Rainbow registerDeath is a sacred act. It is the most important moment in our life. It is also the moment of waking up. Death is inevitable no matter how repressed we make it in our culture. We will all die. How do we prepare now and discover the freedom from the fear of death to live more expanded lives?

After facing my own death a few years ago I learned about the process of dying. I also discovered the process of how death helps us wake up to an expanded life now.  I have learned the importance of community with family and friends as we unravel our fear of death and for meeting our actual death itself.  This is an invitation to you to embrace your own death and for those whom you love.

Objectives

Together in this workshop we will explore the death process, the perils of medical interference, the kind of caregivers we want to be with us as we die, the legal process and the stages of awakening of how our death helps us be more alive now. I want us to share together how we can be prepared for both a healthy life and a healthy death.

Join me as we create community together in an ongoing experiential workshop.

  • Engage together in exploring as a community how to support each other in facing the fears and challenges of our death.
  • Learn how to awaken and expand more fully in our lives now.
  • Develop your own personal guide for supporting you and your loved ones in the dying process.

Process

  • This workshop will be a progressive deepening process with information, discussion, exercises, reflections, visualizations, and meditations.
  • We also will be working with a new DVD that will accompany the book. Integrating binaural beats and coded color music, the DVD takes us through the various stages of our awakening.

The next step

Attending this workshop will take courage and commitment. Take this next step in your life for yourself and for friends and love ones who you can support in their dying.

This is an on-going weekly workshop for three months.

We will meet every Wednesday from 6:00-8:00pm

Starting April 6, 2016 through June 22, 2016

This will be a closed group

To be in the workshop the commitment is $80 (x3) to be prepaid at the beginning of each month. You will be prompted to pay by credit card or Paypal during the registration process on Patt’s website.

When you sign up you will receive directions to Patt’s Meditation Cottage.

Registration is now closed.

Please contact Patt if you have questions about the workshop.

More about Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening

If you missed Patt’s interview with Elisa Parker about her soon to be released book  Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening, visit Patt on Conversations to listen now.

For more about Patt’s book and accompanying DVD visit Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening

 

Patt Lind-Kyle

Patt Lind-Kyle on Conversations

Patt Lind-Kyle spoke about her soon to be released “Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening” formerly entitled “From Fear to Freedom: A Guide for Life and the End of Life” on KVMR 89.5 Radio Conversations with Elisa Parker.

Patt shared perspectives on the fear and denial our culture holds around death.  Patt reflects on the time in our recent history when people were born, lived and died on their own property.  As people moved off the land and humans turned to mortuaries for burials, we lost our day to day familiarity with death. As we pushed death away, death became a painful experience.

From Patt’s research and meditation, she has discovered the concept of the constricted-self.  The constricted-self is a state we develop in this life but not the state we move into at death. In her book Patt has found that an understanding of the process of dying releases the fear of death. The reason to release the fear allows us to live free now.  Her book shows how death is a mental, spiritual and physical experience.

Through exercise, visualizations and meditations, Patt guides us to transform our relationship with death.  Patt’s book is a workbook that is designed to work with families, friends and organizations to serve each other at the time of death. Once we relearn to see that death may be the most important experience in our life, it changes our day to day life.

Patt’s book “Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening” will include a DVD of guided meditations to aid individuals and groups through awakening and preparing for death.