Thursday, 15 May 2008

Slow Death Experience

When my Father was dying of cancer, Hope Hospice left a pamphlet informing the reader of what to expect as the end drew near. Reading this pamphlet I found myself fascinated by how the human body prepares itself for death. More interesting however was how the psyche prepared for this “final” transition.

The pamphlet stated that many people will talk about a pending journey; an experience my Father had right before he left us. I wasn’t there for the final days but my Mother said he spoke of packing his belongings and going to the train station for his departure. There were also other strange conversations with “imaginary” people and odd tales he would relate back in his final hours.

What I learned from all of this is how much dying is as important and as beautiful a part of our life as the living is. Life has created a well defined reaction mechanism to the termination of our time on Earth; a process I feel could not have possibly been influence by natural selection.

My question to the blog is what kind of experiences (if any) have you had relating to this phenomenon? I also wonder how it all fits in with the primary topic of CTF. What do you feel are the mechanisms and forces at play here as it relates to ITLAD?

8 comments:

ken said...

Recommended reading is "Who Dies" by Stephen Levine.

I was able to spend about 10 days with my Grandmother as she prepared for her death. Yes, it is a process and if we give it the time it needs and don't try to hasten/prolong it, I think it works itself out. She was in the position of having her mind ready but her body was too strong and so she lingered longer than expected. But I think she needed that extra time to deal with some issues. And I appreciated that time when I could just sit with her and hold her hand. She was fortunate enough to be quite mentally clear and alert. The things she remembered about me was amazing!

Karl L Le Marcs said...

RAC: Robert, interesting post and question.

I have not personally had any experiences relating to this no, but then exactly who and what I am is open to debate!

Regarding how this fits into CTF I would say that in the Virgin Life it doesn't, but in subsequent recurrences the Daemon has prior rememberance of the 'dying process' and can thus guide the Eidolon through a more conducive transition.

A kind of dying evolution if you accept the oxymoron.

Robin said...

RAC, I agree completely that dying is as important and beautiful a part of our lives as living. It must be comforting to see your loved one prepare for their journey. Was your mother comforted by what she witnessed? I would think so.

I have been present at the end of life for a few patients. None of them were coherent during their final transitions. (this probably due to the efforts we made to prolong their lives and/or control their pain up to the very end.)

One thing that was common with all of them is the far away look in their eyes. In fact, they seem to all look up and slightly to the right. This even holds true for babies who are delivered hypoxic and near death. We labor nurses refer to it as the baby was "seeing jesus" when it was born.

I've always been curious about this looking up and to the right phenom. My eyes take the same position when I'm trying hard to recall something and I've noticed others do the same.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Robin: NLP can tell you a lot about what the eye accessing clue means. But it depends if they are looking up and to the right from their perspective or from yours. By which I mean if you look up and to YOUR right, then if I am looking at you, you have looked up and to MY left.
So which is it? Up and to the right from their perspective or from yours?

Robin said...

Karl:
Healthcare terminology dictates speaking from the patient's perspecitive, so their's.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Thanks Robin. Well in MOST right-handed people, looking up and to the right (subjectively) is accessing Visual Rememberance, this is why you look there usually when remembering an image.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

But when observing someone looking up and to the right, (given they are right-handed), they mostly are Visually Constructing an image, thereby it not being within memory.

Anthony Peake said...

Guys. This topic is a fascinating one. In response I will place a new posting that will contain an unpublished section from the original version of ITLAD.