Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Discerning Life and Death

Well, I am not back to blogging with quite the verve I had hoped for. I have no photos for Ruby Tuesday. I have three half-written poems for last week's One Single Impression and a couple of ideas in my head for this week's, but don't seem able or willing to move forward on them. I'm not sure why that is, but it is what it is. Maybe I'll get the poems posted at some point.

But this morning I wanted to share something awesome that happened last night. For some reason - and much to my delight - I've had a sudden spate of requests for reiki. I love doing reiki and it's nice to know that the process is helping people and animals to feel better. A few weeks back and then on and off, I've been reiki-ing my niece's kitty Gregory. He's an old boy now and he wasn't doing very well. Diana thought his time had come. Once I got over my own flu, I did some reiki for him and he has popped back quite a bit. He has off days still. He's old, but he's doing much better.

Then there's this wonderful blind dog up in Maine. Her name is Tiera. I love working on animals because they don't second guess their experiences. Tiera is a rescue. She was abused when she was a puppy and is quite nervous around people she doesn't know and in certain situations. I wasn't sure reiki would help her, but she has been miraculous in her open and intelligent response. She is much more open with people other than her own person and has willingly done some things she was not keen on in the past. That makes me feel so happy.

Then there was a kitty names Scout who was gravely ill, bleeding internally and near death. She's home now and making a good recovery. And a friend of mine who is struggling with a lot of stress.

And in the last few days there's been a run on left feet. First a woman with a damaged ligament and swelling and pain in her foot. I've done two sessions for her and she said the foot is much better, both the swelling and the pain are less. The other is an old friend who's partner I reiki-ed years ago as he battled cancer. D. got a cut in his toe which led to blood poisoning. He's in a lot of pain and if he stands or walks gets massive swelling. For him too, the reiki is making a difference. It still awes me that I can sit here in Hancock and be of service to someone far away.

This brings me to the last reiki session - and the inspiration for this post. D. wrote to me yesterday afternoon that a friend of his was dying. She had been battling cancer and seemed to be doing well but had had a sudden agonizing blockage in her stomach. This was not reiki to save her life, although I always hope it will be, even though I believe that death is a kind of healing too. Well actually I know it.... which is why I'm writing this.

I've been doing reiki for over 20 years now. How I work has changed. I stay more detached when I work than I did when I was younger. But I still have a pretty good sense of how the energy is being received. It's an amazing process. Some people slurp it up, some people sip it in delicately, some do a mixture of both. And the same person may respond differently on different days. But I digress.

Three times in my life I have been working on someone as they were dying. It's a profound experience and each time I have gotten it wrong.... because it feels like dramatic healing.... and of course it is... Death is as much healing - perhaps more - than anything else. I find it embarrassing that after all this time, though, I still can't discern it when it is happening. Maybe that's in part because I've experienced it so rarely, but I think it's also that even though I believe in reincarnation, in life after death.... I'm still not 100% comfortable with the process or with the idea of not being any more.

My first at-death reiki was on my younger niece's father-in-law. It was a very long time ago. I was not brand new to reiki, but I was still pretty much a newbie. And I was much younger than I am now. That experience was one of the most beautiful and profound I will ever have. There was an ebullience to it and a releasing of painful connections... It was amazing. In my ignorance, I thought it was a "recovery," because that's what I wanted it to be. Good reiki practice disconnects as much as possible from worrying about outcomes. But I was young and I wanted my niece and her husband to be happy. I'm still young in that way. I want people to get better. I can't help it. Anyway, I got it wrong on that occasion and I felt foolish. How could I not know the difference? I suppose in part it's because I want the living not to lose those they love. That's selfish but it's the way it is. Lucky for me, my job isn't to decide people's fates, just to let Unconditional Love work through me. God, All-That-Is, knows what he/she/it is doing. The soul knows it's own path. Neither one needs my opinion or advice.

Last night, I was sending reiki to D's friend BJ as she died. I am earth-bound and I think in earth bound terms, so when D's friend BJ soaked the energy in last night with radiant lightness, I thought... "well, maybe she's NOT dying." Of course the radiant lightness IS dying.

And that's why I wanted to write about my experience today. Many of us have such a fear of death. BJ was suffering on this last day of her life, but reiki-ing her, I could literally feel the falling away of that suffering. Death isn't a healing in just some philosophical, theoretical way. It IS healing. I have felt it twice in my life. I have only just now gotten the message viscerally. I have known it in abstraction for a long time. Last night, it started to seep through to me in a new way. I can't discern because in some ways - in the greater Universe, from the perspective of the Divine - death is simply part of the healing spectrum... perhaps the truest healing. I don't know that I'm there with that yet, but I do know what I have experienced when given the profound gift of being energetically present through reiki as someone lets go of physical life. It's awesome. Maybe one day, I'll be able to recognize it for what it is, while I'm experiencing it, but whether I do or not, it's comforting to know that whatever the physical reality of death, there is a whole other experience going on that is profoundly beautiful.

I feel like I haven't said this in a way that conveys what I want to say, but I don't know how to do so and I'm forced to leave it here and hope that it will mean something to the two or three people who still check in from time to time to see if I'm alive.


Akelamalu said...

I have never experienced what you describe Raven but it sounds wonderful. The nearest I have come to being able to help someone accept the end of this life was for a friend who was suffering from cancer though I didn't know. I hadn't seen her for a few years and I dreamt about her so vividly I telephoned her home only to find out that she was in hospital for respite. I wrote to her explaining that I practised Reiki and said if she wanted to try it when she got out of hospital I would be only too glad to treat her. She accepted and after the treatment she told me she wasn't afraid to die any longer. I think Reiki brought her peace and acceptance.

Thankyou for sharing your experience m'dear. x

Janie B said...

I have no idea what Reiki is but it sounds heaven sent. Keep it up, Raven. You may just heal yourself.

quilly said...

All I know of Reiki I know from the different things you have written. I think we all have our own paths to the creator and the older I get and the more I experience, the more willing I am to consider that there is no ONE correct way. We are limited, but God is not.

Diana said...

Thanks for helping Gregory. He has been exceptionally spunky today.

I enjoyed your post. Very interesting.

gabrielle said...

It is so hard for us on this side to comprehend the release that death brings. We fear it as an end to everything we know. It must be so much larger than we can imagine. A falling into a wider sky. Reiki eases the passage--I have felt it when you selflessly sent it to me. We have all known endings and the freedom they bring. Thank you for this beautiful post and the love you give.

Maude Lynn said...

This is an amazing post. You've given me a lot to think about.

Finding Pam said...

While I only know of Reiki from you and Akelamula, I think this post is amazing.

Many do fear death and whether it is Reiki or prayers, I believe that it releaves the stress and fear of dying.

I have had the experience of being with my mother, grandmother and grandfather when they died. At first it scared me because I was not prepared as a twelve year old girl, not even at twenty-one was I prepared when my beloved Grandmother died at home with me.

But God prepared me in each experience and when my mother died, I was so blessed to be apart of her passing. To see her experience death and to witness her last breath. It was peaceful and joyous because I knew where she was going.

If birth and death are the two greatest moments of life, then I can imagine being with my heavely Father.

I hope you are well.

Carletta said...

I've never looked at death as a healing and you have relayed that wonderfully and I found myself smiling as I read your words.

I've been away and then sick so blogging hasn't been on my agenda too much. Trying to get back into it. :)