Observing the breath, the muscles in the face, the brow, and the jaw, as well as the hands – are they clenched in fists or slightly open? There is so much to pay attention to with a person that is actively dying. Paying attention with presence and meeting people where they are in their transition gives the dying person agency, respect and support.
Watching the breath of a Beloved One in transition is to enter into liminal space, space where this Beloved One may be journeying in various dimensions. They may be in space with Beloved Ones who have gone before, the angelic realm and perhaps also come in and out of awareness of our presence and voices in present time.
Sometimes, we don’t get the privilege of midwifing our Beloved Ones into the next realm. Their death may be sudden and unexpected. There may be unsaid words, and plans that never materialized. This is a different pain.
AND- There is the reality that for all of us, our lives come to an end, the lives lived in these physical bodies.
Letting go is so hard. Have ever sat with the intent to meditate and even in stillness and silence, wrestled with the thoughts careening in and around each other?
Letting Go. Is. So. Hard.
Surrounding our Beloved Ones with love, grace and presence in their journeying home is sacred witness. It is a hard and beautiful thing to do.
Surrounding the messiness of our relationships, our confusions, our own fears of loss in love is so hard, yet it expands our capacity for love in the face of suffering. It is also a form of letting go. Letting go of our hopes, dreams and desires surrounding our Beloved One is real and to be tenderly mourned.
Letting go is a way Spirit expresses beauty.
May we find the grace in dying- in the countless small ways and in the really hard ways we are called to Let Go.
Note by Rachel:
Part of my work in the world is entering into this liminal space during various stages of life/death transition with music, particularly the Celtic Harp and voice. It is an honor and a privilege to be present in some of the most intimate moments in someone’s life.