I was born in a particular environment where death was always present and a parallel state of being. My mother was a well-known curandera from the Spanish tradition. Thus, at home ordinary and not ordinary realities were a fact. So about my own death, the only thing that mattered was, first, how do I want to die, how do I cross that door? And second, how do I want to live?
My spiritual practice which is everything in my life, helped me to feel at ease with Death. She was a friend, a guide in your path as my beloved Castaneda shared in his books. Listening to her (for me is her – la Muerte) helps you to live your life, the key to be at peace with my own death.
As some situations close to my death showed me in my life, that was my way of making peace with it. Following the heart’s path, “el Camino con corazón”, no matter what.
On the first question, how can I cross that door? How do I want to die? The answer is being aware of that moment. Knowing about it. Getting deeper into the traditions that contemplate about it. In my case, Spanish and Mexican shamanism traditions.
The death of a loved one, though, is the factual work. But that has nothing to do with death but with loss and attachment and your feelings towards it.
You can meditate, contemplate, etc… The real thing is the experience of it. There you can see how strong is your own practice toward your death and the death of all things and beings.
If it is solid, the only fear you have is how the other person would die or have died and helped her/him. Being with this person in the moment of crossing that threshold if you can, or praying, meditating, or doing ceremony; depending on your spiritual practice.
Afterward is how can you grieve and move on with that loss.
Because it is a loss, and always will be.
Both of my parents passed away. I could see that the grief and how you deal with it depends A LOT on how is your relationship with the person and how it is her/his death.
My mother passed away unexpectedly. She entered the ER with pain in the kidneys, and she died 15 minutes later. I was living in Mexico and after two years away from Spain in two months I was about to visit my family. I hardly made it to the funeral, and to my surprise, it didn’t hit me during my 12 days stay in Barcelona. I was too busy helping my family, as long as all the clientele of my mother’s healing practice. My siblings and I had to comfort them.
Her death hit me when I came back to my life in Mexico and I had to deal with it. It was a shock, it was intense grief but almost immediately I felt her and remembered what she used to say. “You’ll see, we are going to be more connected than before” And it was true. I was living far away and now I felt her more than when she was alive. The sadness was still there though. I had in life an amazing relationship with my mother, we shared a special bond. She was my first teacher in my healing practice and later she was my colleague. She was a loving mother that although her flaws was a compassionate and earthy angel to me. I still miss her embrace and her voice, but I am at peace with her death.
My father was different. He took some years to fade away, with seven difficult months where he needed help. He was taking care of by my siblings, especially my brother that lived with him. When I was doing a visit to my family, soon after, he had a crisis. Not being able to walk much, vascular dementia, and depression. I decided to stay until it was necessary and not coming back to America again.
Although we always had a difficult relationship, in the following months, our relationship was different. We started over in a way and that changed us. I could witness that for the first time my father could open his heart. He could express the love he felt and that was the way he died. A beautiful way. I discovered another person that I didn’t know before and I realized who he was. He died and the grief was so different! Not intense, but overwhelming! Because he not only died, he took all the narratives that I had about us that helped me to build my persona for 44 years! And without that narrative, I was another Antonia. All the memories that didn’t fit in that old narrative came back and the truth was there to be seen. It was no easy because something died inside me, and I was grieving that death too. I felt also that I didn’t mind dying at that moment, life was nonsense and I didn’t care if I was alive. All was the same for me. I was in the Inner Void.
When both of my parents were gone I felt a void that was overwhelming in the beginning. I let myself feel it. I held that vertigo and I was one with that void, I did realize that actually, it was a new space open for me to be! To be what l am! A sense of freedom and total potential opened around me and I felt the gift of the situation. While I was feeling the loss at the same time.
I felt my ancestors behind me, supporting me, and receiving the blessings of my own healing. It is unspeakable how compelling was for me. That awareness changed me three years ago. Changed my life and I do believe, it changed how I will die.
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