“A death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come.” — Rabindranath Tagore
I am a Hospice volunteer. It offers me a uniquely special means of learning … learning the diversity of the human death experience and the journey we each take in making the transition from physical to non-physical. It also offers opportunities for connection and self-reflection, both cherished pieces of my life’s day-to-day tapestry.
I have a patient that is now transitioning to whatever awaits us all. His journey touched me deeply, deeper than those in the past. I visited one last time this past evening … a final connection as he moves closer to the Great Spirt and what it may represent for him.
What follows is my final message to him as he lets go of what “is” and steps into “what will be”. Such a special journey … such lessons learned … such feelings felt. Most of this message was captured in a final card I left and shared with him by his daughter later that evening. His friendship and the friendship with his family are truly treasures … and has changed me.
Farewell my friend …
Yes … farewell my friend. Your journey towards joining all things is nearing completion. You have walked the path of a “kind warrior”, surrendering with grace to a body ready to change, and a life ready to transition.
I want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories of a life richly lived as we sat on your patio and I wrapped you in blankets as we talked. Thank you for sharing your warm and wonderfully rich smile and laughter. Thank you for allowing me to feed you and learn what a deep connection such a simple act can create. Thank you for translating into English those news casts we watched together in the language of your birth. And thank you for allowing me to learn from your walk towards the unknown … learn in ways that someday may help me in understanding and being peaceful partners with life’s final journey.
You will be missed in this world, but now you will experience whatever awaits us all in the next. And as I hike, an act that opens my heart to nature and touches my soul, I will sense your presence in the space among the leaves, in the breeze that soothes my face, and the warmth that greets my day. You will be there in all there is … your reward for traveling this journey called “being human” … and you will blend with all souls past and present joining you in your new existence.
You are loved by many. You have lived a life worth living. And now a new existence … a new journey will soon begin. May you now be at peace with the Great Spirit in whatever form it may take.
You have added a rich chapter to my story. Thank you, my friend. Yes … your dawn has arrived … now may peace walk beside you forever more.
Sincerely and with great respect,