Art of Dying Art of Dying_Volume III_joomag | Page 82

SUSAN BUHLMAN In both the facility and in people's homes, the TV is constantly on. The Golden Girls and the news are favorites. I'm thinking to myself, 'You know, they may only have a few days left here. Is this really what you feel is the most important thing for them to be listening to as they end their physical journey?' Sometimes I'll talk to the family and ask, "Would it be okay if I played some music?" Once they’ve seen some of the things that I do and see the difference in the person, they welcome it. When I'm alone with them I can do Reiki if they wish. I can share affirmations. I find that much more appealing than just asking, "Would you like some juice?” I try to relax the person. With their permission, I gently rub the bottom of their feet or their hands and put them in a mood where they can stop thinking about all the stuff around them and just focus on their journey. I tell them that they have total control, that they can separate from their physical body when it no longer serves them. That they can move on. I assure them that they've done a wonderful job in their life, that they have an amazing family that loves them, that does not want them to be in pain. Several months before my mom died I hung a sign in her bedroom that just said, “Love." It would be the last thing she saw when she went to sleep. I know that “Love” was the last thing she saw when she went into her final rest. We didn't share the same religious beliefs, but love is something everyone can relate to. Simple acts like that can make a big difference. It's very important to recognize that people, even if not aware, hear everything that's going on. I've talked to several people who have come out from comas who said they could hear everything. People don't realize the star of the show is laying within ear shot and will say "I hope my sister gets here soon because I've got to be out of here by four o'clock and it's her turn to take over the shift." Would you want to hear that when you're dying? People are on edge and make stupid jokes, not because they're bad people, but because their nerves get to them and they're uncomfortable. I gently guide them out of the room and suggest, “Can we talk about this out here?” We should plan how to make the dying as comfortable as possible in advance, when they're still communicating. "Where would you like the bed to be?” Would you like to be in here so you I’ve found that as the physical body declines, the spiritual activity increases. 82 | ART OF DYING