2016, Death & Dying, My Journey

What Dying People Fear Most

at-deaths-door

I was visiting with a man recently who only had a few days to live. I asked him if he was ready to go. He replied, “I’m a Methodist.” I said, “Well, if God is Methodist you’re ok.” He paused for the longest time, then cracked up laughing and said, “I guess I never thought of it that way.”

What Religion Is Death?

Death is not religious; it’s spiritual. Death doesn’t check your ID at the door because it’s not looking for one. Death is the entrance into the next dimension; so we believe. But none of us know that for sure. We read our religious text, we hear amazing, “I crossed over and came back” stories, but none of know for certain…except the one at death’s door.

As a Hospice spiritual crisis counselor, I’ve witnessed thousands of people die. Some die fast, some die slow. Some die easy, some die extremely hard. Some die peacefully, and others die, what appears to the outside world, tormented.

What causes one to slip peacefully into eternity while another seems to fight death with everything they have?

I don’t know. Religion would surmise, “He wasn’t ready.” Religion assumes, “She wasn’t right with the Lord.”

Yet, I’ve witnessed people of extreme faith be scared to death to die. And I’ve watched people who never expressed a particular faith their entire life die peacefully.

I’ve been with some people who bitterly beg God to take them. I’ve held others in my arms as they sobbed wondering what they are doing “wrong” because they couldn’t die, when all they wanted to do was die.

I visited a man recently who was uncontrollably grieving over how he screwed his life up and now he couldn’t even die right. 

What dying people fear the most is getting it wrong.  

Can you imagine living with a right/wrong thinking all of your life?

Can you imagine thinking that even death is right or wrong? 

I can’t begin to tell you what it does to me to hear someone at the end of their life wondering what they did “wrong!” These are the people who have my heart.

Wrong Is Flat Wrong!

Right and wrong is, to me, religious rhetoric designed to keep people dependent on someone’s ideology.

People are not comfortable with people being free; especially religious folk. Religious people shout freedom but many live in bondage; always looking over their shoulder to see if God is going to “zap” them. 

For the record, I do acknowledge that there are plenty of people who have had very successful, peaceful, relationships with their faith. They have made their peace at time of death and simply pass on into eternal bliss.

But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking mainly about the people who struggle; always wondering if they’ve done right. 

Always wondering if you’ve done it right is a disease.

Right/Wrong thinking is an epidemic and you can put an end to it today!

Consider This: What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Screw It Up? 

How much money would you make? Who would you marry? Would you get married? How many (if any) kids would you have? What kind of car would you drive?

What would you spend your every-waking moment doing if you knew you couldn’t get it wrong?

If you didn’t care about being right or wrong in the first place, what would you care about?

Don’t think you live with the right/wrong virus? Think about this: 

Every time you go to write a blog, buy a new book, make a new friend, or stand on stage and share your story, how do you feel way down deep inside? Every time you pitch your new idea, or ask your boss for a raise, how much justification is going on deep within you?

Always Making A Story As To Why Is Bondage!

Oprah said that all of the great superstars she’s interviewed during her lifetime asked the same question at the end of the interview, “Did I do okay?” Can you imagine Beyonce asking, “Did I do okay?” 

Right and Wrong is an Epidemic! We are obsessed with what people think of us. We are obsessed with making people happy. We are obsessed with getting it right, so much so, that we have become prisoners in our own self-made chains.

We live in prisons with no doors, begging permission to be free. When all the while the we are the only ones who have the authority to set ourselves free.

From a little child we’ve heard, “Yes that’s right,” and “No that’s wrong.” Growing up we’ve learned, doing this means you’re good, doing that means you’re bad.

(Oh – btw – Simon Cowell fidgets?)

Did you know that? I was watching Simon this past season on AGT, and a couple of the acts called him to the stage. (Simon is VERY uncomfortable out from behind his table and big cup.) 

As soon as Simon stood up from behind his judge’s chair, he pulled down his sweater. All the while standing on stage, Simon was fidgeting with his clothes. Why? Nervous of course. Uncomfortable in the spotlight.

It’s one thing to judge, it’s entirely another to be judged.

Can you imagine? A multi-million dollar music mogul being nervous?  Of course! What’s wrong with that? We all get nervous. We all freak out. It is the one who doesn’t care about freaking out in front of others who goes places.

What if you were neither good or bad? 

What if there was never such a thing as right or wrong? What if it just was?

Letting go is key to being free.

Letting go is what I help most people do in my work in Hospice. Pain is holding on to something you can not change. The only way to be free from that kind of pain is to let go.

You Have To Reconcile.

My definition of reconcile is: Nothing owed. Nothing due. Balance is zero!

Even a beginner accountant knows that a balanced account equals zero. Assets on one side. Liabilities on the other. Do the math. Balance is zero.

But, I submit even a greater, more freeing way to live: Don’t keep track at all! 

No liabilities, no assets, just you.

Just love, joy, peace, happiness, pain, suffering, overcoming, setback, get-back, give up, keep going, live, die, let go, hold on – Nothing’s right. Nothing is wrong. It simply is what it is.

We learned right and wrong when we were kids. We reinforced it throughout our lives as adults. And I can attest that many are afraid of it when they die.

More people would live, and die, a lot happier if they could simply free themselves from this nasty, life-threatening, disease of right or wrong.

Death doesn’t check your I.D. at the door, because it’s not looking for one. You shouldn’t either. And I suggest that life doesn’t check your I.D. either. We are the ones who keep checking it. 

What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Get It Wrong? 

btw – Who made you right?

btwWho says you’re wrong?

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