More Ramblings on Death and Dying

I am often perplexed by the many different perspectives surrounding death and dying.

Do we ‘move on’? Do we go to a ‘better place’?

Or do the electrical impulses and chemicals coursing through our body simply slow down, recede, stop…and that’s it. The end!?

During my nursing career, I was present and often almost intimately involved with many deaths.

I have seen patients simply expire. Their heart, or some other critical part of the body’s functioning, stops working and they cease to be. The life is gone from the body quickly, often quietly, and easily.
No amount of resuscitation brings it back and you can see that the person is gone – the body looks and feels ’empty’.

I often used to think whilst resuscitating a patient – “I can keep your body going for only so long, so if you want it, you’d better get back before we call it!” I really felt, and feel, that whether a person lives or dies is not my decision. My job was to keep the body going as long as I could. Beyond that, I could do no more.

Outside of all the flurry and happenings of a resus situation, I have been with patients who, as they breathe their last, stretch their arms out, as if reaching for something or someone.
I have seen other patients smile, as if to themselves, then give their last breath.
I have seen some look up, with a far away look in their eyes, then smile and leave.
I have heard others whisper the name of a loved one already passed, as if in greeting.

Are these, as some scientists would have us believe, simply the last actions of the brain?
The nervous impulses and chemicals causing one last reaction?

Or is there more – something ‘beyond the veil’?

Although I’ve been close a few times, I can’t say I’ve experienced death as such.
No bright lights; no already expired loved ones holding out their arms to me or calling my name; no viewing from above (or below!). So, I simply can’t say, with certainty, what actually happens or what we go through during the process.

Maybe, like life, it is different for each one of us. Maybe our thinking and our choices at that time create the experience. Who knows?

What I do believe, beyond a certainty, is that there is more ‘beyond the veil’, once the physical body has died; once it can no longer support life – no matter how hard one would like to stay. Oh yes! I have seen patients fight death. Thrash around; moan; groan; ask for more time to be with someone or to do something, as if talking to someone, or something, that could grant their wishes. However, often their body simply cannot function anymore. It is old or tired or impaired in some way and just cannot be of any further use.

Which leads me to an idea.

Believing as I do, from all my experiences (which include growing up in a family of mystics, mediums and ‘sensitive’ people), that life does go on in some form; that when I die I will leave this body and the inner will continue to experience, to be, think and behave in some format; is it not, then, that our bodies are simply tools for us to interact with each other and our environment?

In other words, could it be that our souls are unable to effectively partake in this environment without being appropriately dressed?

Rather like the movie ‘Avatar’ where humans take on large blue bodies so that they can interact with the people and the experiences of the planet Pandora?

Of course, this could mean that when we die, we simply ‘step’ out of our body and carry on….much as we are now!

A scary thought!

I used to believe that when I die I will return to my spirit state and be all knowing, all wise! That I will understand the reason why I came to this life, what part I have played and what the larger plan is. You know, the plan that God/Source/Creator/The Universe – however you relate to or name the source of life – has for humans, the planet, the Galaxy – well for creation really.

What a shock when I became aware that this might not be the case; that my thinking as it is now, may continue much as it is. Sure, I will have different experiences and perspectives and so change and grow through them, but there will be no magic awakening, no bright light of instant knowledge, no masterful stroke of genius. Just me, more or less as I am now – just without a body.

Kind of shocking, yes?

A vision of a ‘heaven’ or a place of ultimate peace and everlasting love is much more attractive.

But is it real?

Plus, of course, the question – if our bodies are simply tools for interaction, why do they take up so much time and effort to run and maintain?

Just basic good hygiene takes a goodly time out of our days. Food and sustenance even more – especially if you consider the ‘western’ type lifestyle where we usually work to earn money to provide for the body – house/home; food; heat and/or coolness; travel; etc. etc.

Then the demands to keep the body ‘healthy’; plus any extra requirements of any health issues – prevention, treatments and management, etc., etc.

It just seems so crazy.

The ‘tool’ to allow the soul to interact and learn/give/experience whatever it came here to learn/give/experience, ends up dominating the time, energy and need to be here.

Something seems out of balance.

Add to this, the impact that each of us have on our lives, environment and each other with our thoughts and perspectives; expectations; needs; desires; etc. etc. and it’s no wonder we get so mixed up and lose the plot.

Well, maybe there isn’t a plot.

Maybe the moment we live in is the plot.

The choice we make, thoughts we have and voice, and the actions we take in each moment lead us to the next – consequences and all!

So, if you’re still with me (and I’m not sure I am!), where does all this leave us?

As has been said by many wiser than me – AWARENESS.

To be fully present and aware … in … each … moment.

That way we will know the best choice, thought, words and actions.

Our inner will tell us and we will hear/feel it and respond!

So, whether we are living, dying or dead, ….. does it matter?

It would seem that it’s all in the moment as we experience it.

Whatever your perspective on life and/or death (is there a difference other than place and time/dimension?), I do hope you find what you are comfortable with and what you find fulfilling.

Hopefully, as we are all learning and growing, this changes from moment to moment!

Have a Happy Moment! 🙂

9 comments on “More Ramblings on Death and Dying

  1. This is a big interest area for me. I read about it constantly. Just finished “One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters” by Larry Dossey (I think that is the correct author?) And I just finished Pim Van Lovell’s research on 2000+ patients who experienced cardiac arrest. It is fascinating reading……and opens one mind up to a very rich universe that we are all a part of.
    Love you writing….


    • So agree Cindy! I find it difficult to see how the human brain could be capable of understanding the vastness of what is beyond it, if that makes any sense! 🙂
      One huge Universe of which we are all a part of and which we affect and are affected by!
      Maybe our consciousness may find understanding difficult – but I believe our inner knows! Life is energy and it simply just is! 😉


    • Excellent quote Johanna. Very true I believe – and connected in ways we have forgotten and starting to remember. Thank you for your comment… And for the follow! 😊


  2. Wow Rob this is some amazing post and actually something I have been pondering on quite a lot lately. I am however no further toward reaching a conclusion as a result of my pondeings than I ever was. I wrote a poem about it only the other day which may appear on my blog sometime in the near future. Watch out for a poem called Death and Snowdrops.
    Regarding people’s experiences, I wrote a poem a couple of years back describing my dad’s death. I’ve copied and pasted it below for you to read.

    Smiling at Death

    Your whole life was wrapped around you
    on that day,
    propped up on a pillowy white cloud,
    a few extra ones, cool, crisp
    arranged in a special way,
    a privilege for the dying.

    How could your tiny fragile frame
    have carried so much,
    braved storms at sea,
    ministered prayers from pulpit.
    The swimming lessons you gave me;
    you had the patience of Job.
    And the turnip faces you carved
    for Halloween, they were perfect;
    (you would have cringed at pumpkins.)
    But then you could do everything in my eyes;
    you knew everything too.
    I remember you trying to
    show me how to use a slide rule;
    I still haven’t a clue.

    And there,
    on a warm day, early May
    in a special bed for the dying,
    lay all of that,
    your whole life in a cradle of time,
    and it weighed next to nothing –

    except for your smile.
    Your smile was stronger than ever,
    big enough to carry us all
    as it led you, without doubt,
    to a place you had always believed in
    and where you were sure
    we would meet again.

    I remember you turned your head toward me.
    Is my grandma here yet, you asked
    in whispered voice.
    Now it was my turn to smile.
    I looked into your bright but fading eyes.
    Yes dad, I said, I think she is.
    And you slipped away,
    smiling at death


    • Oh! Beautiful poem Christine! Says so much and paints the picture perfectly – thank you for sharing.
      Thank you, also, for your comment! Doubt we will reach a conclusion until we make the journey! 🙂


  3. Pingback: More Wayward Ramblings on Death and Dying | The Wayward Warrior

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