I don’t know that there is any more heartbreaking experience than to watch someone you hold precious and dear live their end journey. And then to know that that journey is coming to its completion, yet there seems to be something stopping your loved one from taking their final step into whatever lies beyond this life.
It’s not that we want them gone – in many cases it is quite the contrary. But we have awareness that there is no return to the life we know, or even to the person we knew, and we just want to this journey with any suffering – physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual – to come to its conclusion.
And so we lovingly and respectfully ask, “Why are they still here?”
The answer could be for a number of reason – some of these could be :
- They are waiting to see someone special
My mum was determined that she would meet her first great-grandchild before she died. The timing of both of these things was such that it was going to be a fine line. In the end this precious little babe came 4 weeks premature so that her wish could happen. She got to hold him & within 2 weeks of those cuddles she was gone.It maybe a loved one that is in another location that they are wanting to see. If it is possible, make it happen. If it is not possible to make it physically happen, can something be arranged via technology – Skype etc? There maybe words that need to be expressed on either/both sides to enable closure and healing to take place.
- There is something they need to do/say
A significant part of someone’s end journey can be doing a review of their life and that may include the desire to make amends. Forgiveness, when asked, given and received is a powerful healing agent. If your loved one has specific religious/spiritual beliefs, there maybe an appropriate person who can assist them with this process.They may have an unfulfilled wish. The Bucket List movie was fabulous in terms of bringing to the fore awareness of things we wish to achieve in this lifetime. Is there some last wish that your loved one wants/needs fulfilled? Is there anyway this can be completed? Creativity and imagination can come to the fore here if there are physical limitations.
- Have they received permission to go
Sometimes the sense of responsibility can be a powerful force of resistance. Is there someone particular in your loved one’s life who needs to give them permission to leave this physical life? Does your loved need to hear that while they will be so very missed, those left behind will be OK?
It can be so very hard for those of us who are left to let our loved one go, but it is something that we need to do; for our own benefit as much as our loved one.
One lady’s father was just holding on for some weeks. He was uncommunicative and completely physically incapacitated. She was resistant to visiting him as she didn’t want to let him go and would not spend much time when she did. One day, something shifted and she sat quietly with her father for a very long time, just stroking his arm and hand and lovingly released him, giving him permission to go. The father passed the next day.
- And sometimes we don’t know
Just like when we hear the cries of a newborn babe who can’t communicate what they need, we can feel so very helpless if our loved one is not able to communicate what they need to give them peace. In this instance I would just suggest that you surround your loved one with much love. Ensure that the space around them is peaceful and that the situation is being treated as the sacred experience for all concerned that it is.
None of these suggestions are designed to hasten the passing of your loved one, but to work towards creating a sense of peace and love to make that passing as easy as possible. Not just for your loved one, but for you as well. It’s all about creating peace.
If you are needing support, please do not hesitate to contact me.
With love and peace to you, Sharon