Bed bath and Beyond.
This pretty much sums up my work as a hospice nurse. There is the physical world-bed bath- I tend to and then there’s the spiritual world-beyond- that I minister to. My “job” is to manage symptoms of the dying and keep them as comfortable as possible in the setting they choose to spend their last days. It is more about living those days with grace and dignity than it is about dying. Dying is the last choice a person makes. Yes, it is a choice. A choice to return to the world of spirit and the infinite light. How do I know this? Just yesterday I went to a patient’s house who was what we call “actively dying”, an oxymoron, yes I am aware. But dying (from chronic illness) does take time and energy and thought. This patient was at the precipices of our two worlds, clinically ready to leave, and yet she lingered. “Why?” the family asked. Because her spirit was not ready to leave. The day before was a holiday and today was her birthday, and she didn’t want to leave this world with those memories for her loved ones to face each year. At least that is what I think. We will never know because she was in the throes of doing some very important work, dying. Coming into this world is work, we call it labor, and I believe leaving can be just as arduous. Not that this is a bad thing, anything worthwhile is a labor of love, both birth and dying are just that.
So what I wanted to impart is this really: when your loved ones make that transition from our physical world back to the spiritual world they are leaving us with the gift. Their departure may be witnessed or it may not, each of these is a choice by the dying and a gift to the ones left. If your loved one chooses to leave without you by their side, know this, this was a parting gift to you, a protection of sorts. And also know they were never alone, perhaps we may not see the spirits in the room, or the Angels, but they are there. No one dies alone, I can promise you that. They are embraced and welcomed home by those who went before them. And they are now in a place of peace and healing and love.
The bonds of our love are never broken, that is an illusion of the human mind. Love knows no boundaries, it permeates our lives here in the land of bed baths and the land of beyond.