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The dying process

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I find it encouraging that they talk even obliquely of "the dying talking to invisible people in the rooms; they talk of journeying and being welcomed." The fact that death is not the end should become more widely accepted and seen outside a Christian context, but in a more secular view.

    Bunks
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    One of the finest and most poignant books on the subject of what to do yourself, when people are dying is indeed, The TBoL&D. I would say this is also a must-read.... Nice article. I recognised much of my father's passing away, in it. :)

    Bunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Useful info, I have a relative who is declining rapidly ... so good to know this stuff. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying @federica mentions is worth reading.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tibetan_Book_of_Living_and_Dying

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I'm sorry to hear that, @lobster. I hope all goes well. Insofar as such things can....

    lobsterVastmind
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @federica said:
    One of the finest and most poignant books on the subject of what to do yourself, when people are dying is indeed, The TBoL&D. I would say this is also a must-read.... Nice article. I recognised much of my father's passing away, in it. :)

    I have this book at home but haven't read it. Must get round to it

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Around 12 years ago I volunteered at the Resting Buddha respite care which had been set up on the island by a couple who had experience with hospice work in the UK, they had set up the first hospice for people dying from Aids there...( One Buddhist and the other a Quaker-my Buddhist friend has since died and his partner the Quaker has moved off the island-Beautiful caring kindhearted people)

    The Resting Buddha was set up for any person regardless of their sexuality, gender, religious beliefs or no religious beliefs( we cared for the terminal ill and for those with long term illness) ...

    I volunteered there for a couple of years until it closed, I think the premises we rented went on the market, plus there was of all things, a conflict with the local hospice group who thought the Resting Buddha would be competing with them for government funding which from what I gather was not the case..........

    Anyhow......

    Part of the volunteer training was on death & dying ie, what to expect and so forth...It covered most of what's mentioned in your article @Bunks , plus what may happen when the consciousness/life force leaves the body and how some people present at the time can feel/sense it as it leaves the body...

    We learnt quite a bit about our selves and our conditioned reactions to death & dying...

    Then just last year (around this time last year in fact) I had the good fortune to attend a Dharma talk by Ven Robina Courtin

    Understanding/coming to terms with death & dying is one of life's greatest lessons...

    BunkslobstersilverVastmind
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @federica said:
    One of the finest and most poignant books on the subject of what to do yourself, when people are dying is indeed, The TBoL&D. I would say this is also a must-read...

    It's definitely worth reading. My father took some of the techniques from there and tried to guide my stepmother as she lay dying of cancer. Some months later a medium came to town, and he was picked out of the show, and given the message that "she thanked him for the way he assisted with her dying".

    The one thing about the description of the Bardo - the "between state" - in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying that bothers me is meeting the kind and wrathful deities. It seems so archaic, so culturally bound, that I wonder if a modern mind would generate the same kind of imagery. The sequence might well have remained the same though.

    If you do get a hold of the TBoL&D it's worth keeping an eye out for the latest version which is sometimes sold with a DVD containing an accompanying documentary.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    This is part of the two-part documentary narrated by Leonard Cohen, I'm sure the other part must be on YouTube as well but I'm having a little trouble tracking it down.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    Understanding/coming to terms with death & dying is one of life's greatest lessons

    Certainly true, and something that pervades the second half of life. When people around you start dying and you are left behind, it's an interesting thing... you get to contemplate our ultimate state of existence when parents and lifelong friends have gone. You can get isolated, if you don't have the knack of making new friends, and that isolation can have things to teach you.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome said:....The one thing about the description of the Bardo - the "between state" - in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying that bothers me is meeting the kind and wrathful deities. It seems so archaic, so culturally bound, that I wonder if a modern mind would generate the same kind of imagery. The sequence might well have remained the same though.

    It's worth noting that this is figurative.
    If you read the article posted by @Bunks (you may well already have done so) it describes different behaviours and emotions expressed by those dying. Those are your 'kind and wrathful deities' - the Mind-states of a person going through the final bardo which is a pre-cursor to the comatose state....

    In fact, we have discussed the 6 realms of the afterlife here many times, proposing as many have done, that in fact, these are also mental manifestations of specific states...

    If you do get a hold of the TBoL&D it's worth keeping an eye out for the latest version which is sometimes sold with a DVD containing an accompanying documentary.

    I have the originally-published copy, AND one published on the 10th anniversary...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    TBoL&D is one of my cornerstone books. I refer to it so often it is falling apart. My grandma, who was a devout Lutheran, became unsatisfied with the church because of the politics. She did not want anyone with her as she was sick and dying (from her church). I read to her some of the things from that book, she found it very peaceful. I was there when her essence departed. After that, the final processes of the dying of the cells and tissues just no longer mattered. I told her that it was time to go, that the family would be ok, we would count on each other like she taught us to. She departed soon afterwards. but her body did not die for another almost 2 days. She also experienced what in the US is often called a "rally" but in the article is called, more appropriately, "terminal lucidity." She had a massive brain bleed and it was a matter of waiting for it to spread to shut down her functions. It took several days. But the day before her essence departed, she sat up and for an hour or so had lucid conversations with everyone in the family. She told jokes, smiled, sipped juice (despite not having eaten or drank anything for 2 days). It was interesting. Even prior to slipping into her unconscious state before this event, she wasn't very lucid. Her conversations made no sense, her speech skipped, slurred and something she triplicated words. But she was 100% normal for that hour. So strange.

    Thanks for the article, @Bunks. I hope that we learn to do better as a society in dealing with dying people. Knowing what happens is a good step, a lot of people are too afraid even to read such articles, which is a shame.

    lobsterfedericaBunksVastmind
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    @lobster. The most important is to be with people in a present way. No book or manual can give us a clue. Its all trial and error. You will know when your there and from that place comes a calm which soothes the fears of those about to depart on a yet to be known journey. Cry with them,laugh with them even sing with them. For you see the dead eat good memories on their journey.

    ShoshinlobsterVastmind
  • IronRabbitIronRabbit Veteran

    This is the first I've ever heard of death-doulas....they sound suspiciously like Bodhisattvas...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/end-of-life-doulas_us_591cbce2e4b03b485cae51c2?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited June 5

    My teacher wrote a book "There's more to Dying than Death" and there are some youtube videos from her also on that topic. The book is available paperback and kindle.

    Shoshin
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    This is part of the two-part documentary narrated by Leonard Cohen, I'm sure the other part must be on YouTube as well but I'm having a little trouble tracking it down.

    This is the other part of the documentary - actually part one, so best to watch it first. I find both these films and the narration to be very calming so I occasionally watch them just for that.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Kerome said:....The one thing about the description of the Bardo - the "between state" - in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying that bothers me is meeting the kind and wrathful deities. It seems so archaic, so culturally bound, that I wonder if a modern mind would generate the same kind of imagery. The sequence might well have remained the same though.

    It's worth noting that this is figurative.
    If you read the article posted by @Bunks (you may well already have done so) it describes different behaviours and emotions expressed by those dying. Those are your 'kind and wrathful deities' - the Mind-states of a person going through the final bardo which is a pre-cursor to the comatose state....

    The way the TBotD refers to them is more like these are the states you will encounter after the death of the body, but before you continue on to whichever of the six realms you are reborn into. They are manifestations of your own mind, but would the manifestations as listed by the book be culturally bound? I mean, the mind generates some kind of imagery for a given mind state, would it necessarily be deities, or might I get video game characters from my youth?

    In fact, we have discussed the 6 realms of the afterlife here many times, proposing as many have done, that in fact, these are also mental manifestations of specific states...

    It seems more likely to me that they are aspects of the greater whole of samsara, states of being related to some of the unwholesome mind states that we might find ourselves in both there and here, but that what we might encounter there is slanted in quite a different way.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @IronRabbit said:
    This is the first I've ever heard of death-doulas....they sound suspiciously like Bodhisattvas...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/end-of-life-doulas_us_591cbce2e4b03b485cae51c2?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    A very good friend of mine is a death doula.

    Kerome
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