Gallery A

Death And Dying

page 2
Page 1

Death – That Forbidden Subject

By James Donahue

Death is a subject that people shy away from talking about. Most people don’t even want to think about it, except for those times when a friend or relative turns up dead and we are obligated to attend his or her funeral.

This is a mistake. All people must eventually die and they need to be prepared for what will happen to them.

I remember when my mother was dying and she knew it. There was fear in her eyes and a deep sadness. I felt a sense of helplessness when I saw her last because I realized that I did not know how to comfort her. She was experiencing something that I hadn’t dealt with, knew nothing about, and could say nothing assuring.

My wife worked for years in a hospital setting and had already experienced the loss of her parents and two brothers, was more familiar with death than I. She took Mom’s hands and told her it was going to be all right. She told her that she was free to let go and leave the body and that death would be a comfort. She also instructed her how to look for the spark of light and keep her eyes on it. Mom seemed to be more relaxed after that. I think she just needed to know that someone cared and understood.

What she was experiencing was something that was privately her own. It was a mysterious part of life that all humans must deal with in their own way, because few ever come back to give us advice as to how to leave this world. Those who do return after a near-death experience, rarely have any advice because they are unprepared for what happens and don’t understand it.

Our accepted way of preparing for death, if we have time, is entirely wrong. It is a deadly program created by world religious systems that feeds fear and consequently sets us up for eternal disaster.

It is ironic that people are totally unprepared for death when it comes to them, even though we live a lifetime knowing full well that part of the life experience is going to include death. It is as if we think that we are going to be immune to the thing that happens to everybody else around us.

In fact, other than the religious experience we are steered into, we choose not to talk much about dying. It is almost a forbidden subject in conversation. It even can be a forbidden thought when we are alone with ourselves.

The only thing we think we know about death is that we pass from this life into another existence. The church teaches that we are judged then for all of the things we did in this life. Thus we spend a lifetime being indoctrinated by a fear of the hereafter . . . of a judgment by a powerful god that can smite us for eternity if we are unworthy of his holy Paradise. Our punishment is an eternity of suffering in a place called hell.

Not a good prospect after a life of a few pleasures, many trials, and much suffering before we ever get there.

Thus the church is a total failure when it comes to preparing humans for death. The teaching of the church puts folks in a state of a fear of dying. I heard a terrible story about my former landlady during my college years. Grace was a good old soul who operated that off-campus home with an iron fist. She was a worldly person who had little use for church. But they said when she died, she went out kicking and screaming. She had no fear of man, but she feared the unknown and I think she was sure that she was heading right for hell. She did not deserve that experience.

People who have been revived following death experiences on the operating table and other events have a much different version of what happens to us when we die. There is a brief moment of anxiety as we reach that state of death, but then once our spirit leaves the body, we enter a state of peace and tranquility that most people say is extremely pleasant.

One man we spoke to, who has not only had a near-death experience, but purposefully went through a death state of mind in a course offered at the Monroe Institute, says death is a very pleasant experience once it occurs.

After that we enter a total blackness that is wonderfully serene. It may be possible for some people to remain in this state without ever leaving it, or wishing to.

But there is a light. If we look up, it appears as a very tiny pin-prick of light. And if we stare at it, we find ourselves flying toward it and eventually entering it. There we find people we know, who passed on before us, who are there almost like a welcoming committee. This is a higher level of existence. It is a world like our own, filled with the beauty of our present world but lacking the pain and agony we suffer here.

There is no judgment by a powerful God. Everybody has the option of going into this new and lovely existence when they leave these worldly bodies. The trick is looking for the light once we enter the blackness. We are told it is a very tiny pin prick of a light at first so you must look for it. Once you find it, never take yours eyes of of it. Doing this sends you quickly down what appears like a dark tunnel until you pop out into the light.

This is the real experience of death that awaits us. It is not to be feared.