In a session with a dying client, she told me about how she had begun experiencing visitations from across the veil. The experiences are still fleeting at this stage, but they’re undeniable. She describes it as feeling like she enters a “thin place” where, for example, a pet who died years ago suddenly flits across the corner of the room. Or she finds herself reaching for something that was in front of her one moment, but not the next.
This woman is able to meet these experiences with curiosity and, even though she’d never heard of Nearing Death Awareness (one of the technical terms for these phenomena) she intuitively knows that they are part of her dying process. As we talked, and I explained to her how common these experiences (especially the reaching) are and taught her more about what she might experience as she moves more fully into active dying.
The image I have for this special awareness is of a radio that’s tuned to two stations at the same time. A dying person is often fully alert and oriented here, aware of everything that those of us who are fully lodged in our bodies can see. They sometimes simultaneously get glimpses of the other world, of where they’re going, of what’s only fully knowable from the other side of the veil. The two realities coexist for a time, as people loosen their attachment to one dimension and prepare to move fully in to the other.
Much of my work is about helping clients and their loved ones orient themselves to the energetic process that occurs spirit separates from body. It’s a whole new kind of physics, and once people learn what to look for, and how to make meaning of it, everything about dying changes.
I offer community teaching sessions on this, generally for a dying client and their family and closest friends. We walk through what happens, spiritually and energetically, as the dying process unfolds. More importantly, I teach them about how supporting the sacred and transpersonal aspects of the experience can amplify them. And it’s amazing how it does. When dying people and their families know what this process looks like, and how to meet it, the experiences they have can be incredible.
Dying is hard, and these lived experiences of a larger reality (for the dying person and those close to them) are part of what can make it more bearable. If we’re lucky, death allows us to see that the world is much bigger and more magnificent than we might have imagined it to be.
(sculpture by me, it’s the inspiration for the Soul Passages logo)