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If you think that "be ready for death “ is a taboo then you may want to read on.
In 2008, my youngest uncle’s wife was diagnosed of breast cancer and I saw how she was suffering with pain, supported by the oxygen tank at the last few hours leading up to her death. Finally. She blew the last breath in front of me.
In the following 3 months , my mum also was diagnosed of breast cancer and it didn’t last her for too long.. In less than 3 years she lost her battle. However, she dragged on for almost 8 months before she left this world. During which, about 3-4 months she was on morphine to reduce her body pain.
What a 2020!!
In July 2020, my 2nd uncle who was healthy and whose voice was louder than anyone else at the age of 79, was diagnosed of a type of blood cancer called MDS. In less than 3 months, he too lost his battle to the big “C”
All three of my beloved ones, I was there by their dead-beds and I trust that none of them was ever ready to leave though they were in intense body pain. Mom dragged on for months with morphine, uncle had no food and drinks for 10 days . It clearly showed their bodies were dying but the spirits were not. They kind of were still fighting to live for some extra days.
I knew it very well, my Uncle was not ready to leave as when he was still in the hospital he kept asking what could be done to prolong his life. In addition, it just happened too fast and I strongly believed, he himself couldn’t believe and accept what had happened to him. Just like mom. my dying Uncle was left with a tiny skeleton and I could’t recognise him when I rushed back to Penang to see him (during CMCO) . HIs mouth was widely opened as he breathed through his mouth. All his loved ones were crying. I didn’t know what to do and just say “ thank you ‘ in my mind. I was helpless so as his children and loved ones.
From falling sick leading to death , funeral, it all happened just in the blink of an eye. . I observed that neither uncle nor his wife, children, loved ones were prepared and ready to let go of one another.
I kept this book “ The Tibetan Book of living & Dying "written by Sogyal Rinpoche in 1992, for more than 10 years “ I couldn’t read it then because I thought death wouldn't happen to me until when mom passed away in 2012 . This is a powerful book based on Tibetan Buddhism teaching on live and death. You can read this article about Seven Teachings from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by By Azriel Re'Shel.
My Reflection & Observation
As I reflected and observed what had happened last 2 weeks, Death is one sure thing in life, thus die a peaceful death is surely a better choice than suffering from pain. Hoping for a peaceful death, we must cultivate peace in our mind and in our way of life.
Key ways to cultivate Peace from Body Mind & Spirit perspectives
We are a traveller, who is on a business trip to this world to inspect, to experience and play our roles so as to have fun and be happy. it' essential to seize the moment and enjoy life to the fullest while we can.
Make Peace with Body
Although we are not our body, we still need to take care of this body which is like our car. Without a healthy body, we can’t fulfil our purpose as a traveller in this earth. .
Healthy lifestyle with healthy diet and exercise will keep this body healthy.
Slow down and enjoy whatever we do and wherever we are. Set reminder to put “me “ in the calendar
Make Peace with Mind
Make “ Peace “ your daily goal. Would you choose to be right or to have peace? Don’t sweat over small stuff. Whenever you are triggered, agitate by someone or situation. Take a deep breath and choose Peace.
Practice Mindfulness through meditation, conscious breathing to pay attention in the present moment with a calm , focused and clear mind
Make Peace with Spirit
“The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.” —Norman Vincent Peale.
Spirit , inner self, inner world, inner being., you may decide the term.as you prefer . Start self - discovery journey by be connected with your self. Observe your inner thoughts, behaviours and actions. Raise your self awareness. Accept the beautiful and ugly part of you, Accept the imperfection. Face your fear, do the inner work.
Lastly, while the world is experiencing the impact of Covid-19, fear not , as many are dying everyday not because of the virus. Regardless,for your contemplation:
Are you ready for death?
Are you really living your life to the fullest at this moment and onwards?