The subject of death and dying, especially in America, is abhorrent to most of us. We simply do not want to think about it until we have to, even then, most actively dying people resist the need for using hospice until they are in almost the last few weeks or even days of their lives. Yet, we all die at some point. No one gets out of this life experience physically alive. Last time I checked the mortality rate was 100%. It is not a question of if we are going to die but rather when.During the last phase of our lives, unless one dies in an accident or from a sudden death, there is an opportunity to heal ourselves and others, to bring a final sense of peace and closure to our life experience here on planet Earth. Yet so often those last months or weeks are spent in a futile attempt to deny, put up a brave front or search for a long shot cure and not address the inevitable situation at hand.
That scenario is what my late husband referred to as “the train wreck death”. Family members often long estranged remain so, or they spend time arguing over treatment care instead of just being present for their dying loved one and using those precious final weeks or days to tell each other they love one another and let go of past resentments. There is an opportunity, often lost, to use forgiveness to heal ourselves emotionally and spiritually.