Rest In Peace
R.I.P. – Requiescat in pace
Something we say when someone dies, but is this really what we want for them?
I understand what we mean – we wish for them to not have regrets, to not be tormented by difficulties and darkness, to be free of struggles.
However, maybe we shouldn't rest. Maybe it's time to do just the opposite.
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Starry Sky
With a bow to Dylan Thomas in his poem Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, I'd like to say, don't rest in peace. Do not go gentle into that starry sky.
Live it up.
Hoot and holler.
Fly, be free. Soar into the cosmos with your heart leading the way.
It's time to kick up your heels now that the burden of this physical form is lifted.
The Journey Of Aging
I said goodbye to my dad in May of 2012.
He died of "natural causes" – an aging body with a heart that failed to beat one more time.
His youthful body was handsome, strong and healthy. He was naturally athletic – snow and water skiing came easily to him in his youth. He was a member of a ski and figure skating club.
He knew the difference between the inside and outside edge of a blade and bemoaned the elimination of compulsory figures in the ice skating competitions.
A gifted dancer, my mother and he won more than one dance contest. He was also a fly fisherman, one of the inspired ones who tie their own flies.
That vibrant physical form had been exchanged for a stooped and frail one.
We said our farewells to him as his 89 year old body succumbed to respiratory and congestive heart failure and kidney failure.
A natural cycle of life, they say.
He suffered the aches and pains of aging and its limitations of movement with great patience and little complaint. In his last year, he required continuous oxygen. The oxygen generator in the house was noisy, the tank he had to carry when he went out was bulky and awkward. He didn't like lugging it around. All because of the heinous asbestos he was exposed to at his job.
He worked hard all his years, always bringing home the paycheck and taking good care of his family. As a GS civilian in the naval shipyard, he fully earned his government retirement. He was an engineer for the life-support systems on nuclear submarines and would go to sea to perform ship checks.
By the time we became aware that the nastiness of asbestos was to blame for his damaged lungs, it was far too late to do anything about it or to get compensation. Many have paid this exorbitant price in silence.
Rest In Peace – What Do We Know
I was with him in the hospital, my hands resting in his heart center, as he lifted out of his physical form.
I couldn't see the road in front of him.
You'd think that being right there, I would have a glimpse of something beyond. As if I should be afforded a peek past the partially opened door.
It didn't work that way.
I mentioned to my dad, as the time of his departure drew near, that I'd like to get an email from him from the other side. Our eyes met and we paused. We grinned at each other just at the thought of it.
To tell the truth, I was only slightly kidding. An email any day now would be great.
Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) have a wonderful way to support loved ones through their dying process, whatever the circumstances. We can apply TRT® hands-on for them as well as for ourselves. Use of TRT® supports our courage and strength as we handle situations, even ones we'd prefer not to have.
Dancing With The Stars
He took his last breath.
His heart willed one last beat.
A moment of complete stillness.
Almost a sound, but not a physical sound, and his spirit lifted up and away.
Faster than anything we can imagine.
Did I perceive a final goodbye, even a thank you?
Imperceptible. At the edge of awareness.
Slowly, the heat in his body began to dissipate, the fire within his cells became tiny embers and then disappeared until no warmth was left.
Where To Now?
I imagine he must have felt a lightening of his load. The shackles of gravity were broken, the oxygen tank tossed aside. He was free now.
They say we are star stuff.
We come from the stars. The molecular bits that make up our bodies also make up the stars. In a sense, we are fiery stars.
I don't think my dad is resting.
I like to think he is laughing with a true lightness of being and dancing with the stars.