Death and Dying

I often think that people we have loved and who have loved us become a part of us and we carry them around all the time whether we see them or not. And in some ways we are a sum total of those who have loved us and those who we have given ourselves to.We are scare of losing them more than losing our own life.

Death is just one of many painful losses that we are likely to experience in our lifetime. For example, we may lose our job, home, spouse (through death or divorce), money, health, friends, courage, independence, hope, or freedom. Practice letting go of your losses and accepting the transitory nature of life. Each loss you experience is an opportunity to prepare for your final loss. However, as suggested earlier, the best preparation is to live without regrets.

One way of developing the skill of living without regrets is by keeping what I call a “Gladness Journal.” At the end of the day, just answer four questions in your Gladness Journal.
1. What do I regret not doing today?
2. What do I regret doing today?
3. What will I do differently tomorrow?
4. What am I glad I did today?

As you can see, the title of the journal comes from question number 4. As you practice this daily, you will find the number of your regrets will steadily fall while the number of glad moments will steadily rise. Practice this regularly and you will be well prepared for a peaceful death.

I’ll end this article with a short story, a short answer to a question, a short prayer, and additional resources.

A SHORT STORY

A gravely ill man was asked if he thought he was dying. He replied, “Really, my friend, I care not whether I am or not; for if I die, I shall be with my Creator: if I live, He will be with me.”

WHAT IS DEATH?

“Death is only the servant who opens the door when Providence rings the bell, and ushers you into a larger building.” (George H. Hepworth, 1833 – 1902)

A SHORT PRAYER

Teach me to live that I may dread,
The grave as little as my bed.
(Thomas Ken, 1637 – 1711)

If people know that they are respected as part of the human family …  the ending of life can be a final fulfillment of all that has gone before. As the modern hospice began by listening to patients let one patient have the last word:  “Loneliness is not so much a matter of being alone as of not belonging”.  - Cicely Saunders -

If people know that they are respected as part of the human family … the ending of life can be a final fulfillment of all that has gone before. As the modern hospice began by listening to patients let one patient have the last word: “Loneliness is not so much a matter of being alone as of not belonging”. - Cicely Saunders -

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~ by UTS on September 25, 2010.

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