When my friends and family began dying around me I saw that how we handle death ( so impersonal) really could use an upgrade from “how it has always been”, words that make me cringe when I hear. In my life now 69 I have never gone to a funeral. I agreed with my Mom that I would prefer to have memories of life or at least a look not with make-up. Not sure when this custom began. I am glad to see celebrations of Life happening. https://archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/the-fragrant-dead-how-to-treat-your-dead-the-roman-way.htm
I found this to be a good start for change…Shared with Public
When someone dies, the first thing to do is nothing. Don’t run out and call the nurse. Don’t pick up the phone. Take a deep breath and be present to the magnitude of the moment.
There’s a grace to being at the bedside of someone you love as they make their transition out of this world. At the moment they take their last breath, there’s an incredible sacredness in the space. The veil between the worlds opens.
We’re so unprepared and untrained in how to deal with death that sometimes a kind of panic response kicks in. “They’re dead!”
We knew they were going to die, so their being dead is not a surprise. It’s not a problem to be solved. It’s very sad, but it’s not cause to panic.
If anything, their death is cause to take a deep breath, to stop, and be really present to what’s happening. If you’re at home, maybe put on the kettle and make a cup of tea.
Sit at the bedside and just be present to the experience in the room. What’s happening for you? What might be happening for them? What other presences are here that might be supporting them on their way? Tune into all the beauty and magic.
Pausing gives your soul a chance to adjust because no matter how prepared we are, death is still a shock. If we kick right into “do” mode, and call 911, or call the hospice, we never get a chance to absorb the enormity of the event.
Give yourself five minutes or 10 minutes, or 15 minutes just to be. You’ll never get that time back again if you don’t take it now.
After that, do the smallest thing you can. Call the one person who needs to be called. Engage whatever systems need to be engaged, but engage them at the very most minimal level. Move really, really, really, slowly, because this is a period where it’s easy for body and soul to get separated.
Our bodies can gallop forwards, but sometimes our souls haven’t caught up. If you have an opportunity to be quiet and be present, take it. Accept and acclimatize and adjust to what’s happening. Then, as the train starts rolling, and all the things that happen after a death kick in, you’ll be better prepared.
You won’t get a chance to catch your breath later on. You need to do it now.
Being present in the moments after death is an incredible gift to yourself, it’s a gift to the people you’re with, and it’s a gift to the person who’s just died. They’re just a hair’s breath away. They’re just starting their new journey in the world without a body. If you keep a calm space around their body, and in the room, they’re launched in a more beautiful way. It’s a service to both sides of the veil.
10-2022 note; Since often your friends and family do not know what to do or say to the grieving mate or family, processing your grief can be a very lonely self-discovery time. I am happy for you if this is not your situation. Not everyone has the strength or desire to seek out their life commandments we have been told to stifle our sad emotions. For some, it takes work to find embrace and let go of old ways-habits-beliefs. But if you can embrace your grief and sincerely replace your heartache with heartwarming memories, it is what is wished for us to move on, in this new life, finding joy, forgiveness, and gratitude with breath. You may have to learn to love and care for yourself. I believe that dis ease if not processed will settle in your body as a disease.
3-2023 It has been 7 years since I lost my true one love of this lifetime. I have had to learn so much while my mind was hard to focus often in the beginning. Scared of everything in the beginning I was, everyone close to me gone. My daughter called me each day during the first year. That may have saved me, least she gave me support. I had 3 health advisors, for months even years for a couple. They were all I had to talk with. I learned my emotions were suppressed deep in me due to my upbringing. I the era of “you must be tuff” you don’t cry! I was told if I cry I would be given something to really cry about. I was told as a child to be seen and not heard, laughter and being outspoken was rude and I would not be asked back. The longer story of that. I was 45 when I began a quest to learn to love myself. My true love never interfered nor tried to fix me he just was supportive of me doing my work. That I was LOVED became real after I learned to love myself. Today I share my experiences each month in a grief group as I am not the only one who was not prepared for this. I am processing the loss of my Daughter still today as she passed on in October 2020.