“The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise their departure is taken for misery and their going from us to be utter destruction, but they are at peace.” – The Wisdom of Solomon
Why did I think, when my mother went on hospice, that it would be like the movies or TV? The fading loved one, pain-free as morphine gently drips from an IV, the family gathered around saying goodbye, it’s okay to let go, we’ll be all right. The last slow breaths and it is over. About as unrealistic as expecting a Facebook profile picture to resemble the real person. The long goodbye was only beginning for us.
As a Lemurian teacher, I work with students going through end-of-life experiences. Yet I didn’t fully realize how long and complicated this process can be, even in its simplest moments. Death is as individual as the unique person going through it. And though Lemurians have a deep understanding of and respect for death, or transition, we still grieve the loss of someone we love, even if they have not yet departed.
Dementia is often called “the long goodbye” and it surely is. Ours began with Mom’s moderate cognitive impairment and physical difficulties. When she suffered kidney failure, with the advice of the medical personnel, my sister and I found a way to gently speak with Mom about moving to a care facility and going on hospice. This face-to-face acknowledgement of impending death is a shock, yet Mom was okay with this and even grateful, and handled the move with grace.
As time marched on, unfortunately so did the dementia, weakness and mini strokes, leaving her unable to convey her thoughts. She tried and we tried but, unable to make herself understood, this kind, friendly person gradually withdrew. In unexpected moments, in her anger, she didn’t seem herself. But think of the deep frustration of being unable to make oneself understood!
Mom declined for years. We could no longer take her for a drive, she became bedbound and stopped eating. We prepared for the end and said our loving goodbyes. But after some days she began to eat again, even though unable to feed herself, needing bed baths and skin care. Sometimes she’d stare off into space. Other times she’d say her father (who passed in 1989) was there. At one point she seemed to go “out” for a bit and was sad to return to her confined existence. But more months went by and she just grew weaker day by day.She’s been at the end of life for over six years. This brings mixed feelings that there is seemingly no end, yet grief that soon she will be gone.
Without our Lemurian Philosophy, this would be an almost intolerable situation. But we have practiced finding the good in every circumstance, even seemingly hopeless ones. It’s always there somewhere! And we’ve used this time wisely. My mother has her affairs in order, and we have talked about transition, our love for one another.
Our understanding of reincarnation is a great comfort. We may feel so close to this person not only because she is our mother in this incarnation, but we may have lived other lives together too. And we know this life is not the end but only one chapter in a large book of our experiences on earth. In comparison to the lives we have already lived and the many ahead of us, this one is a passing moment and its difficult times will soon pass.
We also know we each have a purpose to fulfill that we decided upon before this lifetime and until that is completed, we are not ready to leave this life. Is that why mom still holds on? Some karma from another lifetime she wants to work through now to free her for a more uplifting next lifetime? Isn’t this her life alone –– between her and God? We may die with family all around us, but death is still a very personal moment. Yet as Lemurians we know that loved ones who passed before, and Egos of higher advancement, are there to take our outstretched hand as we let go of the earthly ties and return to a familiar astral home. We’ve all been through transition many times before. We can know our loved one is okay, at peace and in good hands.
It’s difficult to live through the long goodbye. We probably won’t know when the end is near. It has seemed near so many times and she bounces back. But we do know we’ve said all we wanted to be sure we’d said. We no longer say goodbye. We just visit, hold her hand, tell her news we think she’ll understand, kiss her and trust she is well cared for and in God’s hands.
As Lemurians we are keenly aware of not wanting to intrude into the choices and life of another person. So our prayers are for his or her greatest good, not for specific outcomes. But when we do pray in this way it is saying to God, “Thy will, not mine.” When it comes from our heart it truly brings a measure of peace.
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