Many people talk about "life lessons" parents teach them, but I have found that my parent's deaths taught me six valuable lessons useful for leadership of any team or family. Here's what I learned.
Mindfulness was my guide in pleading on his behalf for a dignified death, and mindfulness was all that remained when he was permitted to breathe his last. And, mindfulness is here now, in the constant change of mourning and the enduring love.
Pain simply is. It's a natural, normal response to loss. But the literature in the self-help world, in the therapy world, and sadly, yes even in the world of spiritual guidance, is heavy on blame. Grief is considered unhealthy. A "bad" experience.
I'm so acutely aware of Death in the field right now. Always with us, Death is. And yet I've been carefully and heartfully tracking, as I know so man...
By being aware of these simple things to do or not do, you will be a much more appreciated and valued comforter in this dark time. You will be truly supporting and helping the person you care about in their hour of need.
You're dealing with divorce, not actual death. You've got a life to live! For you, acceptance brings the promise of a new beginning -- one filled with infinite possibilities -- not an end. And that's a precious gift, as any dying person would tell you.
I was honored to know my mom and I'm grateful she let me share in her journey. It was a bittersweet gift filled with life lessons. I was lying on the sofa beside her at her home when she took her final breaths, and though it was of course a time of grief, she made sure we were ready.
He also doesn't plan on stopping. In addition to doing speaking gigs and creating a mindfulcop.com site to get the word out, he's even taught his kids to meditate. Carson recommends anyone who is open to it-- especially those interfacing with the public-- should try an app like HeadSpace or take a mindfulness course just to see how it improves their life.
The following is my interpretation of a family member's journey to find peace with dying. I was close by with my sister and brother-in-law while they struggled to find a cure. I watched, listened, and gave support. The path to cancer remission is hard, and I honor those who fight it.
I started with a very basic definition of dead: something that's not moving or breathing. Then I explained how some things are never alive and others are alive for a while and then they die. And finally, I used Elmo's World type questions to help him sort out the ideas and the differences.
Along the road somewhere, deep into the night, I began to reflect on why it was so important for us to be there. Why were we making such an effort to see someone who would neither know we were there, nor have any chance of speaking to us? Was there any logic to it?
Death will definitely come. There's no avoiding that. Morbid curiosity will be sated. The scales will tilt to the point of falling over. I see no reason to place my thumb on them now.
The heart has many ways of calling us home, of bringing us into the poignancy of being alive, from moments of oceanic rapture to life-threatening illness. What I know to be true is that both are sacred, both are equal and both invite us into a palpable sense of what it means to be present, human and fully alive. Both are the call home.
I felt self-conscious for slowing everyone down, even though my dad and brother were nothing but encouraging as we climbed. But mostly, I missed my mom. I missed having her in the back with me, asking me questions, singing songs. I missed the lightness and easiness of it.
"Has anybody asked the patient?" Jessica Nutik Zitter raised her hand to pose that question some years ago, at a "Morbidity and Mortality" conference...
Grieving the loss of alcohol or the girl I was when I drank is just part of choosing to be sober. It's nothing in comparison to grieving my brother, which I think will forever be a part of life my. But no matter what it is that I am grieving, the process is the same and acceptance is the answer.
People say goodbye to beloved pets everyday so my experience is hardly unusual. Probably most clicking on this blog post can relate. But viewing such loss through a theological lens is not so common. A rather trivial incident turned my thoughts in this direction.
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When someone says the word "bravery" out loud it sounds like it's from a book on noblemen or knights. I can almost hear the clank of sword on shield. Call it medieval if you want, but I believe in trying to be brave.