Sitting with Those Who Are Dying Is A Blessing
Here is my short list of FEEL GOOD ideas I hope will inspire you!
1. Sitting with Those Who Are Dying is a Blessing. As my sister Maria, my dad’s girlfriend Mary and I sat with my dad a few weeks ago on the day before he died and it was an immense blessing. The doctor said he was “delirious” and I knew in my bones that dad was describing a sacred reality.
Dad had his eyes WIDE open…he was in a state of complete awe and amazement. He was looking up and pointing towards the ceiling. Curious about what he was seeing, I began to ask him about it. He described what he was seeing:
“The weather is perfect! (Looking up at ceiling) There’s a great breeze for sailing! ”
(Me: Are there boats dad? Dad: YEAH!!)
“So many toys and – dolls and cars – red race cars! (he loved cars and racing them!)”
Dad began whistling as if there were dogs nearby. He asked (whoever he was speaking to)- “Can we feed them biscuits?” and then he was delighted when “they” approved and he began (physically) tossing invisible dog biscuits to the doggies.
He then told us, with complete incredulousness, “There are FIVE bands playing- and I don’t even know why…and later I’ll be able to jam with them! (he plays guitar).
and then he said, “….This is some sort of healing place where you can get any kind of healing that you need….”
There was so much more, but I wanted to share just a bit of this with you because I think that those who are dying can often teach us profound truths about what it can be like for us when it’s our time..
A few hours after Dad died, I slept next to his body and I had a vision that dad was lying on the floor…covered in puppies and being licked and kissed all over! He was laughing and smiling.
What I know for sure is that we are SO LOVED and held in each and every moment…and it helps to breathe and relax.
(photo: dad describing the wonders he was seeing to my sister Maria and I )
2. A Power Nap Can Change Everything. I stumbled into Stanford neuroscientist Andrew Huberman’s podcast. It’s GREAT. He is a promoter of power naps (which I learned to take in med school). They can greatly enhance your sleep, boost your mood, and promote #Neuroplasticity – the ability of your brain to change and grow. If you’re looking for ways to boost your brainpower and improve your sleep, give this simple meditation a try! Your Dopamine levels will thank you! Many people who do not like naps or who find it hard to nap find benefit in NSDR (Non-Sleep Deep Rest). Here is a zero cost 10min NSDR
3. Soft Warm Blankets Make Everything Better. I’m grateful for “The Artists Way” book and writing 🌸 the prescribed “morning pages“. (Author Julia Cameron) I started writing them again a few days ago and was able to caplutre something imporant to me and (later) use this writing for my art.
MORNING PAGES: My dad who is 81 had gotten COVID and It was a long 9 hour wait in the ER before a room opened up. He was so cold and had the chills off and on. The kind nurses kept bringing us heated hospital blankets (those thick flannel things that can’t retain much heat?) but no matter – my dad was freezing.
I kept thinking…I wish I had one of our soft blankets from home- he’d be warm in a second?
Finally I threw my down jacket over him and we fashioned a ”hat” out of his polar fleece shirt (that he was not allowed to wear over his hospital gown) to help him retain heat.
When he finally got into a hospital room- I had to take my coat back and no visitors were allowed— he shared that he was cold all night until he asked a nurse for one of the disposable gowns which helped trap some heat. When you’re 115 pounds and have zero fat it’s tough to stay warm.
Such a simple thing..,to be warm and cozy…but so many are not?
Writing my morning pages that day helped me identify how upset and grief filled about my dad (and not being able to easily find comfort for him). That night I was not allowed to stay with him once he was admitted.
Not being able to visit him on the morning after (COVID RESTRICTIONS) I decided to paint this imaginary warm blanket full of beautiful and protective beasties.
Warm blankets make everything better.
Writing morning pages can help you see what you are feeling so that you can creatively express it!
“Warm Blankets” 36 x 36″ Acrylic and Oil Pastel original painting available 800.00 US (hit reply and say”I’m interested”) Prints and more here.
3. Quote I’m loving this week:
Art does have the ability to save us, in so many different ways. It can act as a point of salvation, because it has the potential to put beauty back into the world. And that in itself is a way of making amends, of reconciling us with the world. Art has the power to redress the balance of things, of our wrongs, of our sins… By “sins,” I mean those acts that are an offense to God or, if you would prefer, the “good in us” — that live within us, and that if we pay them no heed, harden and become part of our character. They are forms of suffering that can weigh us down terribly and separate us from the world. I have found that the goodness of the work can go some way towards mitigating them. ~ Nick Cave
4. Decisiveness is KEY to forward movement. If you are stuck, it might meant that you need to make a decision.
Author Carole Hildebrand on making better decisions:
“Most of us have weak decision-making muscles. We do not realize what it means to make a real decision. We fail to recognize the force of change that a truly congruent, committed decision makes. The word “decision” comes from Latin roots, with de meaning “down” or “away from” and caedere meaning “to cut.” Therefore, a decision means cutting from any other possibility. A true decision means you are committed to achieving a result and cutting yourself off from any other possibility. Committed decisions show up in two places: your calendar and your bank account. No matter what you say you value, or even think your priorities are, you have only to look at last year’s calendar and bank account to see the decisions you have made about what you truly value. See how you have reserved your time. Look at your expenditures. Those are the trails to the decisions you have made.”
Source: On Time (lightly edited for clarity)
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