Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘people die as they live’

Greater Clarity in Life

It is said that when a person is near death they have a greater clarity of purpose as they reflect back on their lives. We are also told in our Hospice training that people die as they live. The first time I heard that I was a bit puzzled. Now, a couple of years into my volunteer work it has become clearer to me. I have the opportunity to hear this clarity first hand as I listen to them relive the important moments in their lives. What I hear is about love of family and friends and the times when something happened that just took their breath away. It’s about whether they feel they made the world a little better off by being in it. Basically, it is all about gratitude for being a part of this experience we call life on planet earth. I don’t hear people worrying about how much they have accumulated or how much, in real dollars, they are worth. They seem to realize at this life changing time in their lives that what we do and think on a individual level really does affect not only ourselves but the entire world. Their hindsight is, indeed, 20/20. They seem to just know that we are all made up of energy and what we think and speak about most often comes back to us triple fold. Our thoughts really are the key to life and open or close all doors for us. If there is a yearning from these wonderful folks, it is to help the world understand the importance of loving others and lending a hand to someone in need. I am so fortunate to be in this classroom of life called the Hospice experience. It makes living that much more meaningful. You can see first hand that the entire world really has a very deep energy connection.

Our lives can be about so much more than just getting by or getting ours. Do you know of someone that has recently gone through a life transition or is struggling? If so, did you take the time to show them that you are concerned about them. If you don’t know what to say, that’s easy… simply, ” I care and I’m here for you,” is enough. It could be the lifeline they need at that precise moment to make it through another day.The Hallmark people are right, it’s never too late to show someone how much you care. Sooner or later we will all be at the end point in our lives on earth and will see with greater clarity what our lives represented. Let it be about compassion, gratitude and love. As I said in my book, love is the Alpha and Omega of the Universe.

Have a great few days!

We Die as We Live

In addition to being a retired educator and author of the book, Just Behind the Door, I volunteer for various charities. One of these charities includes being a Hospice volunteer. Some people say to me, “Oh, that must be hard, depressing. I could never do that.” I tell them that when you are with people that realize their time is close, the real meaning of life comes through as they let down their ego and just communicate from their heart. To me, working with a patient gives me joy. It is not something I think that I HAVE to do but rather something I really CHOOSE to do. I look forward to seeing them on my regular weekly visits. Toward the end, they tell you from their heart what they think about their lives, what has been important to them and even things that they see clearer now. What a gift these wonderful people are to me.

The remember the joy in their lives. They are grateful for even the smallest gesture. Interestingly, even those who originally did not espouse a particular religion or belief become more conscious of their closeness to the Divine Energy/God. You can see it in their faces. At first, they want to know about world events, about your life and other connections to the outside world. As the months tick off and they realize they are getting weaker they want to talk about what the end will be like for them. Although their relationship with others is very important to them, they want to reflect on their own lives. As a volunteer you become their life line to the outside world and, ultimately, to themselves. The few things that are left that can make them happy are simple; food, books, writing notes to their friends, and most importantly, listening to them as they remember – with gratitude their life and what they have learned on their journey. They dare to look at you and ask, “What will the end be like for me.”

We are trained to see watch for the gradual progression in these wonderful souls. During the training many things made an impact on me. One of these points, in particular, however, stands out. We are taught that people die as they live. When I first heard that I had to think about it for some time. Now, as I have worked with quite a few of these patients it has become clearer to me. We really do die as we live.

Think about that in reference to your own life. It can be a life changing moment when you take the time to consider it.