One of my dearest girlfriends received the call two nights ago that most of us dread—her beloved mother was literally on her deathbed. After battling stomach cancer for almost two years, the time of her transition was very near. The morphine drip to ease the pain was imminent. Within hours, my friend was on a plane headed south and watching the sunrise all the while knowing that she had been called to nurture and assist her most animated mama who loved walks on the beach, her dog and her sexy black leather pants in her death experience.
In less than twenty-four hours, her mom transitioned through the ever so thin sacred veil and into the larger perspective that physical death allows. They had time to laugh and to cry amidst nurses in and out. Many friends and family members stopped in for their moving good-byes, as well. And there my beautiful friend stood, the witness and keeper of her mother’s death experience. The magnificence and glory of it all was not lost in the sadness of losing the woman who gave her birth. Of course, she felt the sadness, but she simultaneously felt the incredible beauty and profound joy in all of it, too.
I am honored to have been in touch with my friend throughout her vigil with her mom yesterday, and I was so moved by her willingness to remain present, wide-awake, and available to her mother. She did not shy away from the authentic soul to soul moments that her beloved mother deserved. My friend spoke openly to her mom about her life, about her death, about her feelings. She thanked her mom for ALL of it—the ups and the downs. She told her mom that this was not the end, but rather the beginning of a new relationship in which they could always share through feelings and signs. My friend let her know that she would be ready, willing and able to continue an ongoing relationship with her at all times. She invited her mother to remain a felt part of her life.
My friend called me more than halfway through the day yesterday to tell me that she had never felt such compassion for her mother or another human being—that this compassion and love for her exactly as she was—overwhelmed her. Everything else—the judgments, the resentments, the labels—had simply fallen away. It was now just two souls without masks facing one another in truth. Her mother was so grateful to be fully seen and assisted in her death experience. She didn’t have to take care of anyone else’s fears while she faced the greatest and most glorious moment of her life.
In the end, my friend had said that she simply wanted to lie next to her dear mother, hold her and feel gratitude for their shared time on each of their infinite and eternal journeys. In the last few moments, that is exactly what she did. After openly acknowledging her mom’s death experience with joy by asking her mom what she was experiencing, who she was seeing and inviting her to release from the body whenever she felt ready, my friend finally told her mom that she desired to rest beside her. She laid down right next to her and simply felt her presence and held her hand. Within a few moments, her mother felt free to move onward and upward, and she made her transition.
I share this today because I am so very proud of my friend. She did not shy away from the death experience because of her own fear of death. She showed up for her mother and lovingly and openly and even joyously gave her mother permission to fully experience and share her transition. This can be a new model for all of us. Yes, let’s soul nurture one another in life, but just as importantly in death. The death experience is 100% guaranteed for all of us. There are no exceptions on this one. Can we become a culture that is more accepting and open and unafraid of death? I spoke to my friend this morning as she was now back at her mom’s house and laying in her mom’s bed. She both wept and laughed saying that it was the most amazing and beautiful experience of her entire life. We all feel tremendous joy when we usher a newborn babe into this world, but to usher a beautiful soul out of the physical body and home…well, as my friend discovered…what a true honor.