Monday 16 July 2012

I'm considering volunteering in a hospice that provides community day care and outreach services to people who are dying.

It's not really something that you would yell from the rooftops, is it?  Not in a world where the weight of denial is so heavy that if we could have seen into the future 20 years ago we would have been in denial about it.  What chance does death have when there are so many other things we need to push away and keep at bay every day just to keep on our piece of the treadmill?

Do you think people can see into the future?  I think sometimes it happens.  There are veils or portals that are thin and some tear through.  I don't know why it doesn't happen more often.  Maybe there are only a small minority of people who are willing to look.

I want to volunteer in a hospice for a few reasons.  Firstly, I think dying in a death-denying culture would be pretty shitty.  I feel bad that I wasn't there more for relatives who have died in the past.  I think a lot of people are lonely and I would like to be able to provide some sort of comfort or assistance in a minor way for those people.

I am drawn to people who are dying because they are being forced to really live.  To let go of their possessions even while they are owning them.  If you look at that in a certain light, it is a very beautiful and fragile thing.


  1. If we're afraid of dying we're afraid of living, 'cos the two are one and the same, happening every instant. Kudos to you, Sue.

  2. This post is a beautiful and fragile thing also.

    I like Harry's comment.

    I'll share from my journey so far.  My mother was in a coma with brain cancer for many months, nothing to her life except a body with no being in it, all hooked up to medical equipment to keep her alive. I felt so sad.  And they were using radiation treatment on the scalp, where there was no hair at all.  But she woke at one point and for a short time I could communicate with her. So  I asked her what it was like all that time in the coma, and she said it was "absolute bliss."    There is so much more mystery to our existences than we have any idea of.  A glorious statement by Emily Dickinson, in a letter composed when when she was a teenager written to a school friend and offering reassurance  — ED says: "We are very small, Abiah — I think we grow still smaller —  this tiny, insect life the portal to another."  

  3. Thanks for this post. And Sarah's comment too.

  4. We don't do death well.   I realized when my best friend was dying, that so many people would visit, but they would not say anything of import.  As if there was this big elephant was in the room and no one could walk around it to really touch each other. So, when friends came to visit,  I started asking them both questions about their relationships - where they met, interests, funny stories, etc., - and it gave them permission to reminisc without having to say,"This is the last time we will ever talk of this".  It gave them permissiong to laugh, cry, hug.  It was beautiful.....

  5.  It's so true, Harry.  I feel like I am most living when I'm learning how to die well.  Seemingly paradoxical :)

  6.  Thanks so much for your comment, Sarah.  It's truly *beautiful*

  7. And thank you for your comment as well, Brenda.  Honestly, between you and Sarah sharing your stories I feel kinda blessed.

    And I loved Sarah's Emily Dickenson quote and it struck me as I read your post that you were like a portal between your best friend and other people, even while your friend was on the verge of her own transference into whatever is to come after this.  What you did was awesome.

  8. When the 'me' in our heads dies completely, that is, when thought ceases to have any mastery, then pure Life - the essence of everything - glows in all its glory. That's why Sarah's mother was in 'absolute bliss' in the coma, and why deep, dreamless sleep is enjoyed. That's when we return to source, knowing that 'we' are simply the One, expressing in infinite, unique, magnificent ways as the Many, playing hide and seek with itself until it finds Itself, with laughter that echos through eternal, infinite space. It sees through the joke it played on itself, and hugs itself silly.

    Or as close as words can get before they dissolve in silence...

    I hope you go for it, Sue:)

  9. PS:  I keep coming across references to Emily Dickinson lately.  I have just had a test come back positive for pyroluria.  Apparently she displayed many symptoms that lead people to suspect that she was pyroluric as well (  I feel I'm in fine company, in that case :)


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