How DO YOU draw closer to one who is dying?
What does “closer” even mean?
If you live on the other side of the country from your parent or child who is ill, “closer” means to be geographically right in the same city and likely in the same room as your loved one. Or maybe by phone.
If you already live in the same city, town, village, rural area, then what does “closer” mean then?
Perhaps you are visiting every day? Or every few days, every week already? What then does “closer” mean?
When you are right beside your loved one every day, how much “closer” can you really get?
If you are a personal caregiver for your loved one, how much “closer” is even possible?
When you enter the space where someone is getting very close to their last breath, you know something is different in the room. There is often the sense that time has ‘shifted, for your loved one. Day or night doesn’t seem to matter. There is a kind of sacred space surrounding them. They are ‘in between’ two worlds, if you like. The one where time/space are very insistent and this different sense surrounding a loved one.
This ‘silence’ surrounding our loved one, may not actually be without sound. There may be the sound of breathing, perhaps labored, noisy, mucous-filled.
Still, behind, beyond, within that breathing is this silence.
Silence is most difficult for those of us not in the throes of death to get close to.
If you are entering the bedroom of the house, hospice, or hospital, it is almost like you need to do something to help you acknowledge this difference. Something like taking off your shoes. Something that enables us to acknowledge this different ‘place’, this silence.
Actually I think that this field of silence surrounds all of us all the time. This silence is also within us too. But we aren’t normally conscious of it. When we meet it ‘head on’ though, it can have a huge affect on our senses. Like a cold shower perhaps. Takes our breath away.
Some folks feel they can not enter this room of silence that surrounds their loved one. Perhaps briefly or not at all.
Others seem to be able to enter into this ‘space’.
It is true, our normal ways of thinking and feeling feel very very inadequate or even inappropriate.
In my experience, it takes one’s own courage of the heart to draw “closer”.
What is your experience of courage of your heart in this moment? What helps? What hinders?
I would love to hear. Click on the ‘Comment’ field above.