The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

terryboxing
  • No tags were found...

The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

180 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGI have often seen also that people who are very sick long tobe touched, long to be treated as living people and not diseases.A great deal of consolation can be given to the very illsimply by touching their hands, looking into their eyes, gentlymassaging them or holding them in your arms, or breathing inthe same rhythm gently with them. The body has its ownlanguage of love; use it fearlessly, and you will find you bringto the dying comfort and consolation.Often we forget that the dying are losing their whole world:their house, their job, their relationships, their body, and theirmind—they're losing everything. All the losses we could possiblyexperience in life are joined together in one overwhelmingloss when we die, so how could anyone dying not be sometimessad, sometimes panicked, sometimes angry? ElisabethKübler-Ross suggests five stages in the process of coming toterms with dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, andacceptance. Of course not everyone will go through all thesestages, or necessarily in this order; and for some people the roadto acceptance may be an extremely long and thorny one; othersmay not reach acceptance at all. Ours is a culture that does notgive people very much true perspective on their thoughts, emotions,and experiences, and many people facing death and itsfinal challenge find themselves feeling cheated by their ownignorance, and terribly frustrated and angry, especially since noone seems to want to comprehend them and their most heartfeltneeds. As Cicely Saunders, the great pioneer of the hospicemovement in Britain, writes: "I once asked a man who knew hewas dying what he needed above all in those who were caringfor him. He said, 'For someone to look as if they are trying tounderstand me.' Indeed, it is impossible to understand fullyanother person, but I never forgot that he did not ask for successbut only that someone should care enough to try." 2It is essential that we care enough to try, and that we reassurethe person that whatever he or she may be feeling, whateverhis or her frustration and anger, it is normal. Dying willbring out many repressed emotions: sadness or numbness orguilt, or even jealousy of those who are still well. Help theperson not to repress these emotions when they rise. Be withthe person as the waves of pain and grief break; with acceptance,time, and patient understanding, the emotions slowlysubside and return the dying person to that ground of serenity,calm, and sanity that is most deeply and truly theirs.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines