Monday, May 31, 2010

A Good Death

I don't know if it was a good death or not because I wasn't there, but it sounded like a very peaceful transition as described by a regular to one of my classes, who's also a yoga teacher.

She's been missing a lot of classes because she's been spending time with her father-in-law as he was passing away in a local hospice. So when she turned up yesterday to class, I knew something had probably happened. He died Saturday night.

What stood out for me in the few details she gave me about the passing was how she sat and meditated with him. "And instead of watching my breath, I started watching his breath." So I'm imagining her tuning in with him, really being with him in whatever state he was in at the time. And then she said, "and then he took his last breath and I was there." That's not exactly how she said it but I got it. Other people were there too, but she was really with him as he transitioned.

As she told me I teared up. I was really moved by how present she was with him and what a generous gift he gave her by allowing her to be so close and to share such an intimate moment of his life. And for her to be able to go right to the edge with him, and then let him go. It was clearly a special moment.

She's inspired by all of the people who work at the hospice and by how peaceful everything is and how they have to handle that sort of transition on a regular basis. Helping people to have good deaths, both the people transitioning and the families taking them as far as they can.

I'm inspired by her story of being so connected to her own breath that she could shift that and be with someone else's breath. That's a great yoga teacher.


Lola said...

That's a great person period-yoga teacher or not. It takes a special person to work in hospice and for those of us that don't and experience what your friend experienced, well, it is, well i can't even really put it into words here but i too have experienced what i used to term a curse and now realize it was a gift. To share that moment with a loved one...death rattle and all.

anna said...

Deeply moving and a great reminder. Powerful. Thank you for this post.

Jamine said...

Thanks for your comments...just the conversation is a nice change of pace. Slowing down, breathing, enjoying and knowing it's over at some point.