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Syndicated Columns

Death and transformation

Posted February 24, 2007


Q. When my husband died I viewed it as a spiritual experience; partially because of the hospice environment, but mostly because I have been transformed. Can you explain this? C.V., Delray Beach

A. The Hospice movement originated in Great Britain in 1967 and has helped rekindle the spiritual nature of the end of life process.

Hermann Hesse said, “To die is to go into the Collective Unconscious, to loose oneself in order to be transformed into form, pure form.”

A good death experience can lead to a positive grieving period and the desire to get on with the business of living.

You may have witnessed your husband transform his own awareness as he prepared himself for transition. And you have been the beneficiary of his acceptance.

Stephen Levine, author of Healing into Life and Death, writes, “They were more whole, more healed at the moment of their dying than at any other time of their life.”

When circumstances permit, death becomes a spiritual experience for all concerned.

Note that survivor guilt can rear its ugly head. Outdated ideas about what the grieving process should look like can potentially infiltrate your enthusiasm to resume living fully.

Criticism from those who believe you should act and feel a certain way, whether imagined or real, can deter you from being authentic.

Remember, your personal transformation is a new model for embracing death, celebrating life and honoring your own evolution.

As Dorothy Parker said, “You might as well live.”

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