“Thank you for your tireless work to learn and communicate what life and death mean and how we might better handle them. My question is how can I help my very ill close relative in her mid-nineties to let go when she seems to be holding on to meet the needs of others. I pray for comfort and assistance by those on the other side who are meant to help her. I wonder where they are or if she feels any support. Over several years of end-stage illness now, I visit and reassure her as simply as I can, that it’s okay if she wants to go, that everyone will be okay. Months go by. She continues to subsist with 24/7 RN care, beset by serial challenges like fevers that seem likely to free her, then do not. With dementia, seizures, and progressive loss of faculties and bodily functions, and largely immobile now, she can’t clearly communicate, but her eyes and vocalizations say that she is suffering and desperate. She can’t process language at the level of ordinary conversation or your CD ‘As You Die,’ which I had hoped to use. Sometimes she cries quietly. I have a very strong feeling she wants to go, but doesn’t know how. I have to work mostly from a geographical distance. Thank you.” . . . Michele
Since a book or CD will not help her, use visualizations. I assure you that on some level visualizations will get through. What I mean by visualization is this:
In your mind’s eyes, see her becoming more calm and more peaceful. Be with her. See her. Know for her that she is letting go of all that holds her here, all that holds her back. Affirm this “letting go” as you would affirm for a child, that a step-by-step process is working. See her beginning to let go. Flood her with music and images and feelings and knowings of how good it is to float free from her body - that her body will be just fine. Focus clearly, hear, see, feel, respond - in-depth and fully. Take all the time you need to do this. Help her to get used to leaving her body with the knowledge that she can come back if she wants to. Do this again and again, like training a child how to ride a bike. Then, help her to let go even further, and then set her free to fly away and not come back. Affirm and know that her soul is in charge and her soul can handle things from here on.
Visualizations, knowings. . . trust your part. . . will eventually be felt by her and she will eventually respond. NOW HEAR THIS: No matter how she responds, feel good about what you are doing and continue doing it until she or you feels enough has been done. When that moment comes, affirm that all is well. Your loved one is fine. Once you let this process work it’s way out, mean it. Don’t go back. Don’t collapse into a puddle of “I didn’t do enough.” You have trained her to let go. There comes a time when you must remove the “training wheels” and walk on. You could, if you are there when she actually expires, put “As You Die” back into the CD player and outloud play the last 10 to 15 minutes. The end of the CD, that particular part, is so designed to help the soul separate from the body. This may be beneficial for both of you. Give the CD to her family once she leaves. Ever so many families have contacted me, even a year later, and told me how important is was FOR THEM to hear the CD. They gained much comfort just from listening. ...PMH