Art of Dying Volume II | Page 81

It is an unbelievable shock that you're going to say goodbye to every little thing, everything,—the sunrise, the sunset, your family, your friends, your hopes, your dreams, to everything. It's like, "What? After all that? What was it all about then after all that effort and it's all just gone?” The bewildered mind will fight with it, bargain with it, and try to make it go away until it's not true. This resistance takes you away from your dying process, which can actually be very sublime. Your last few weeks and months can be experienced in complete and utter surrender to what is, arms outstretched, chest to the sky, mouth wide open going, “Ah.” This is a sublime feeling that you rarely, if ever, experienced in your waking productive life. And now you get to. But, unfortunately, few people get there. I don't see it very often. Being present with the dead is different from being present with someone who is dying. It's different being with the dead body, when it's washed and bathed and laid out naturally. It looks beautiful. This is an illuminating facet of the experience, when two days later you've had a real opportunity to get used to the idea and relax, when you're not in a state of shock or trauma anymore. The body is still there and life feels new. By the third day, ‘you can wear it’, is what I say, you can wear this awareness like a cape and your life is forever changed. At first, people can't imagine it. It all seems spooky and weird and way beyond their realm of comfort. But after experiencing this, everyone has said, ”I can't imagine doing this any other way. Oh, my God. Thank you so much. I can't imagine her being in a refrigerator somewhere," and, "How would I have slept at night?" and, "Before this I was afraid to sleep in the same room, in the same house as the dead body.”All of that goes away, for they now understand how natural and normal and beautiful it is after a lifetime of being told the opposite. KATE MCCALLUM VOLUME II | 81