My Journey with Dying and Death Continues!
How does one start a conversation about a subject that is almost taboo?
With a personal story of how death has shaped me. And how I am ready to re-shape dying and death !
When I was 15 yrs old my mother Maria (Mary) Vetter died, she was 43 yrs old and left 8 children the eldest my brother 19 yrs old and the youngest my sister just 4 yrs old.
This was my first experience with death, it was not a good experience as nobody in those days thought about telling and or supporting the children, they were only children, my next door neighbour told me that my mother had died.
I recall my aunt asked if I wanted to visit my mother and dress her, I could not comprehend this at all, I mean she was dead, whatever that meant and I really did not know, the funeral came and I went, I remember seeing the coffin, I cried and was swiftly removed from the church and taken to someones house, I missed the rest of the ceremony, the burial along with the family gathering, to be returned later that evening.
Thankfully children today are considered and even offered counselling,
I wonder how different it could be if we allowed our children to experience death as early as possible and see our tears and emotions as natural in a familiar setting, at home, sharing the emotions and feelings as it should be. Without fear.
As a Counselor and Energy therapist I know that our first experience with death shapes our world and those unexpressed trapped emotions can remain with us throughout our life's journey only to be reawakened at our next encounter with death, often still unresolved waiting to be recalled in the hope there will be a final release, so we can move on, become stronger and learn that death is a journey.
However in reality especially in British culture, where sadly the-
Stiff upper lip.
Pull yourself together.
Movies & Media send messages of fear and Gore.
All these and more still exists.
My next life changing encounter with death set me on my journey, my brother in law Bobby was taken ill on holiday in Turkey, he refused to see a doctor and simply said "I am not going to no forieign doctor or hospital" that night his heart stopped, luckily I was next door and I had said to my sister " call me if you need me" The call come, I joined my sister and we realised there was no pulse or breath, we started CPR and continued for what seemed forever, 45 minutes later a doctor arrived ( without his defibrilator) Funny I thought the doctor is here, we can stop now, that however was not the case we continued CPR whilst the doctor did all he could, my brother in law died that night in a foreign country, that holiday continued to bring forth problems we saw that same doctor a total of times 8 times, in fact he begged us to go home.
We decided that as we were half way through our holiday and it was impossible to find a flight to take all remainging 11 people home, that we would take the time to grieve together in Turkey.
This experience left me wondering and looking for answers to many questions.
What is death? What is the meaning of life?
Along with the obligatory, did I do enough? Could I have done more to save this person?
My journey into exploring Healing, Energy and the journey from Birth to Death is continueing to shape me and yet again I am able to see that life truly is a natural cycle, a journey.
Just as we celebrate the birth of a new baby and nurture their spirit, I feel that at the end of our life when the physical body is tired, and in my view the spirit is released from the physical restraints of the body, we can give thanks and gratitute to our physical body and honour our story, learn from the wisdom as the spirit is freed, this time honoured tradidtion of caring for our dying and dead has been forgotten, I wish to be part of the remembering and sharing of this sacred tradition.
I have been honored and privileged to have experienced and participated in what I will call a sacred journey where I shared a 24 hour vigil of sitting, caring, reading and simply sharing memories with my Step Mother "Vera"
And at the point of death, we closed the doors, turn off phones and held sacred space, while myself and my two sisters lovingly bathed, cared for and cleansed her body, whilst talking to her, telling her what we were doing and she was safe, at home and being cared for by her family, we then anointed her body with oils, cleared the room of all unnecessary signs of her dying, we brought in scented flowers from her own garden , photos of her family and whatever we each felt she loved, she looked peaceful and natural whilst her spirit was leaving her body, we again told her then she was at home, in her own bed.
Then we took time together and talked about what we needed to do next and the Funeral Director should we call him now.
I felt strongly that I did not want my mother to be rushed off to a funeral cold room so soon, I also felt it would be beneficial for the remainder of the family to visit her at home, in her own bed , without a coffin in a place they too were familiar with and felt safe without feeling rushed.
This happened and remaining close family were able to say farewells the next day in a familiar setting, without coffins and the formal austetity of the funeral staff at a cold, sterile funeral home.
I still feel privilidged to have been part of her final journey into spirit. This time with her was in itself healing for me, we had time to allow what had happened to become reality I thank my two sisters Anna and Maria for their compassion and sharing in this final journey,
For me this was my grieving time, with her and my sisters.
As my years increase with it so to has my experience of dying and death, some sad, some a happy release, some too short and some too long,
Many have been somber events where the service or memorial has been spoken by someone that had never met the deceased along with a script of Birth, Schools, Work-life, Relationships and hobbies then demise, even sometimes along with missing important people and events and even mispronouncing names.
How pleasurable it is to experience a true celebration of life, to hear their personal story, their wisdom and their idiosyncrasies.
I wonder if your experiences have been similar?
I know which I would choose.
I am happy to be part of a new revival of the Home Funeral Network where compassionate caring individuals can guide and support you through the dying process and death into remembering we have the choice to bring and care for our loved ones at home, our way. Wherever they have died.
You do not need to be rushed into contacting a Funeral Director, you can legally bring your loved ones home and make all the arrangements yourself. Ommiting the costly expence of a Funeral Director.
Doing it Your Way is The Right Way!
In sacred rememberance.
If you have any questions please feel free to talk to me...
Thank your for hearing my story...