Death and dying

Pain is not punishment, Pleasure is not reward.

~ Chögyam Trungpa

There shouldn’t need to be a global pandemic to wake us up to the fact that we will all be leaving this world with neither clothes, care packages nor those that we love.

Preparing for Death

The biggest effort of this principle of Life is to stay alive, even in death!
~ Jaques Derrida

 

The dying process is a natural time for physical, mental and spiritual cleansing. The ancient yogic teachings I study and practice, provide techniques through which to do so.

For example, one may want to:

  • Clarify regrets, settle conflicts, establish self-care protocols, and set intentions for one’s dying process.
  • Tie up loose ends in all important relationships.
  • Receive ongoing emotional, mental and spiritual support.
  • Create a support network in all necessary areas, including a core team of care.
  • Look at the research and choose plant medicines as a way to assist oneself.

Price : $140/hr  

Initial session is two hours. After the first session if the money would be the only obstacle to continue our work, the fees may be re-negotiated. 

Vigil - Staying with the Body

(after death)

According to the teaching of Osteopathy, Breath of Life is still passively moving through and around the body up to three days after our heart has stopped! Just as nails and hair keep growing for days, the fluids continue moving inside of the cellular consciousness, carrying the living awareness in them.

Similarly, according to the indigenous traditions of Tibet, the three days after death are considered the most vital to have a container of support wrapped in love and care to walk with us right through to the other side.

Wake Ceremonies in the Balkans, where I come from, as well as other regions like Ireland help the family to say their goodbyes and express mutual grieving.

Should you choose to have the Wake Ceremony after your death, I’ll be there to coordinate the event based on your wishes.

MY STORY

When my husband passed away from cancer in 2012, he had written in his will that he would like to have a Wake ceremony and for me to take care of it.

The Indigenous Tibetan Buddhist custom, which I respectfully practice, suggests leaving the body in a quiet space for three days. On the third day comes the planned ceremony.

After the nurse pronounced him dead, I called the funeral home and requested the coffin to be brought to our home. Then for three days, my chosen community of support made our home a sacred place of passing. We kept the doors of our home open 24/7 to allow visitors to quietly sit with the body.

On the third day I asked a Buddhist community leader, Susan Chapman, to perform a Ceremony for Passing called a “Sukhavati” – meditating on our intention that he be taken to the realm of Sukha, or Bliss.

When the ceremony ended with the burning of his photograph as a way of sending him off, we opened the floor to people’s stories, which brought tears, laughter, sadness and joy. Grief has many faces, and all are welcome.

The guests who walked through our home expressed their awe in “bringing death home”. While at first it may have felt unusual and uncomfortable, it soon became intimate, real, dignified and sacred.

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