Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Daily Domestic Clips 07/24/2011 (p.m.)

  • A wonderful article on learning from death!

    tags: death dying grief

    • Below are some of the key lessons I learned from her as she began to embrace  death in the final days and weeks of her life. These are simple (although not  easy) reminders for each of us about how to live life more fully:

       

      1. Express Yourself:Say what you have to say, don't hold  things back. As my mom got closer to death, she began to express herself with a  deeper level of authenticity and transparency. We had conversations about things  we'd never talked about and she opened up in ways that were both liberating and  inspiring. Too often in life we hold back, keep secrets, and don't share what's  real -- based on our fear of rejection, judgment, and alienation. Expressing  ourselves is about letting go of our limiting filters and living life "out  loud."

       

      2. Forgive:My mom and I come from a long line of grudge  holders. Like me, she could hold a grudge with the best of 'em. I watched as she  began to both consciously and unconsciously let go of her grudges and  resentments, both big and small. It was if she was saying, "Who cares?" When you  only have a few months (or weeks) to live, the idea that "Life's too short,"  becomes more than a bumper sticker or a catch phrase, it's a reality. And, with  this reality, the natural thing for us to do is to forgive those around us, and  ourselves.

       

      3. Live With Passion: Going for it, being bold, and living  our lives with a genuine sense of passion is so important. However, it's easy to  get caught up in our concerns or to worry what other people will think about us.  My mom, who was a pretty passionate woman throughout her life, began to live  with a deeper level of passion, even as her body was deteriorating. In her final  days and weeks, she engaged everyone in conversation, talked about what she was  passionate about, shared grandiose ideas, and let go of many of her concerns  about the opinions of others. It was amazing and such a great model and reminder  of the importance of passion.

       

      4. Acknowledge Others:At one point about a month or so  before my mom died she said to me, "It's so important to appreciate people ... I  don't know why I haven't done more of that in my life." Even in the midst of all  she was going through and dealing with (pain, discomfort, medication, treatment,  and the reality that her life was coming to an end), she went out of her way to  let people know what she appreciated about them -- and people shared their  appreciation with her as well. My friend Janae set up a "joy line" for people to  call and leave voice messages for my mom in her final days. We got close to 50  of the most beautiful messages, all expressing love and appreciation for my mom  -- most of which we were able to play for her before she passed away.  Appreciation is the greatest gift we can give to others - and, we don't have to  wait until we're dying to do it or until someone else is dying to let them  know!

       

      5. Surrender:While my mom clearly wasn't happy about dying,  didn't want to leave us or her granddaughters, and felt like she had more to do  on this earth, something happened about a month and a half before she died that  was truly remarkable -- she surrendered. For my mom, who had a very strong will  and was a "fighter" by nature, this probably wasn't easy. However, watching her  surrender to what was happening and embrace the process of dying was truly  inspirational and life-altering for those of us around her and for her as well.  So much of the beauty, healing, and transformation that occurred for her and for  us during her dying process was a function of surrendering. Surrendering isn't  about giving up, giving in, or selling out, it's about making peace what is and  choosing to embrace life (and in this case death) as it shows up. Our ability  (or inability) to surrender in life is directly related to the amount of peace  and fulfillment we experience.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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