When I think of the circle of life I always visualize the Lion King where Rafiki holds up young Simba and the song is playing while people are cheering for the new prince. Birth and joy are what we think of but not death. It is something most avoid thinking about at all costs. The logical part of us knows that death is inevitable and that it has to happen; but the emotional part of us clings to those we love and life.
My mother is in the last days of her life. She is in renal failure and so it wasn’t unexpected and she is in her seventies. She was given six months to live five years ago so I consider myself blessed to have had so much more than I expected. This whole process has only strengthened my conviction that natural is better and that we have to strive to be as healthy as we can for our loved ones – if not ourselves; but I digress.
When we lose a parent or someone we love, it is one of those experiences that you just can’t really relate to unless you’ve gone through it. I don’t mean that there isn’t empathy… the thought of losing a parent brings a crushing wave of pain even when they aren’t terminal. I’m sure psychologists have written mountains of books on what to expect, how to deal with the feelings and everything associated with it so I won’t go there. I am simply choosing how I want it to be. I want to show her she is loved. She is safe and comfortable and I am honoring her wishes. It is really tempting to try to encourage her to fight and stay with us, but I’m afraid that would be selfish for her to go through more pain just so I don’t have to go through the pain of losing her.
As the end comes closer and closer I’m reaching for my oils to help soothe her and help her pass. It is really common for support to maintain clear airways. I diffused Respiratory Blend and it was very soothing and helpful. Massaging Frankincense at the base of the skull and bottom of feet is very comforting. Some also use Grounding Blend when extra calming is needed. I like to mix lavender, a and water in a spray bottle and sprite the sheets for a relaxing scent. Lavender is also relaxing so putting a drop on the bottom of the feet is nice.
When I was in Hawaii I found a shop that sold Shaman Stones. They are said to help our loved ones release a fear of death to ease into the next world. While I don’t tend to dip my toe too deep into the ‘woo woo’ of alternative healing, there is something very peaceful and comforting about holding one of these stones.
I also highly recommend going to www.bkbooks.com and looking at the information there. Barbara Karnes specializes in end of life and there is a short video on the site as well as some books and dvds. I found them very helpful and comforting.