I wrote last time in my blog titled Great Expectations about the fact that we have to take care of ourselves when dealing with the death of a loved one and allow ourselves to let go of the expectations of others during this difficult time. Perhaps it is the time of year (late October) and the change of weather, and perhaps it is because another family member recently passed, but I seem to have death on my mind. And on top of that, a friend mentioned that one of her family members is not doing well. In that conversation the subject came up about wishing someone a “good death.”
This is not the same as wishing a person dead. So let’s get that out of the way immediately. A “good death” is something that has been around for thousands of years. In ancient times it was considered to be an honor to be wished a “good death.” This meant a number of things. It could mean that you were wished an honorable death, such as in battle defending your country or clan. It could mean a death that was swift and, therefore, relatively painless. It could also mean a death that was of your choosing.
In our day and age, most often it is referred to as a death that is painless. Those are rare. Our morgues are filled with corpses that are the result of a long, grueling battle with diseases, or with those who died horribly at the hands of another. Not so often are they the lucky recipient of something as simple as a heart attack or a terminal stroke. Car accidents might seem sudden, but all too often victims do not actually die suddenly as a result. So the pain aspect is definitely there.
So what is a good death? Some might consider it to be dying from complications of old age. Some might think that dying in your sleep is preferable. And yes, there are those who think that a bullet to the head is swift and easy and simply serves to turn out the lights quickly.
I had a past life regression done once, years and years ago. I was in my early 20’s I think. True to form, I ended up not going into a past life, but a future life. In that lifetime I was a teacher of gifted children. I had many children of my own, and I enjoyed seeing children learn and grow with their personal gifts and abilities. I lived to a very old age. I knew when it was my time to go so I made arrangements to go to the Centre that helped people to die. I was able to say goodbye to my children, grand-children and great-grand-children. Then I went into a large tube of sorts and my body was vaporized. No fuss, no muss, and my consciousness simply moved on to the next realm. This, to me, is a good death. Unfortunately, it is going to be centuries before we will catch up to that lifetime. We are still debating the right for a terminally ill person to choose when to die.
All I know is that when I do die I will, by that time, know that I lived a good life. It has been a lot of twists and turns through the decades, but with that has come some incredible experiences and learning opportunities. So whenever that time does come for me to cross over and join the Ancestors, I will be ready. I also know that what I do not want to do is die like most of my family members have died…long, gruelling, horrible deaths as they battled cancer of one form or another. I don’t want that for me, but more importantly I don’t want that for my loved ones. I have been on the receiving end of having to witness too many loved ones go through that. It is absolutely torturous. I don’t want my loved ones to experience that type of torture. I want my existence in this realm to end quickly and quietly with no long-term struggles. I would rather die in the blink of an eye than have to fight my way into the Light.
I know that sudden deaths can also be hard for those left behind. I have experienced that as well. But the shock eventually wears off and one does get on with one’s own life. The art of living demands it. What takes a LONG time to recover from is having to care for and watch someone slowly…ever so slowly…finally die. By that time, instead of tears of grief one tends to shed tears of relief. Their loved one is finally at peace. The exhaustion can now be acknowledged and addressed. The emptiness of that space in your heart where you were putting all your love for this person echoes. It has to be filled with the loving memories, but those will take awhile to surface up because, frankly, you no longer have any energy for anything. And still you have to go through the business of attending a funeral, or arranging it, and all the legal garbage that comes with settling an estate. The weight of that alone is often heavier than the weight of sitting beside a person on their death bed, waiting for the inevitable.
This is why I also am eager to say, “I love you” to those that I love. I don’t ever want them to go a minute in doubt of that fact. That way when my time does come and, hopefully, is fast, they will always know that they meant the world to me. They will always know that they were loved, treasured, adored. That, to me, is a good death.