Friday, September 22nd 2017

A gift to the dying: Providing soulful care

How to maintain your health as you help your loved one reach their final destination

Photo by Cyndi Ingle

GUEST COLUMN: ANDREA CONNELL — As an energy worker, I am often invited to assist others in their final stages of life.

If you are a family member or a friend of someone who is dying,  you’ll realize this is usually the most difficult time to be a caregiver.  During this time we are very aware that we are attending to our loved one through their final transitions, and this alone can become an overwhelming realization.

As caregivers, it is our responsibility to clearly hold an intention to support and facilitate transition. So often I hear family and friends worry that they aren’t doing enough to provide comfort and necessary care. From an energy perspective, there are unique points to consider when working with someone preparing to pass on. In the situation where death is imminent, we can provide valuable assistance to create a soul-nurturing, healing environment.

Feel the vibration

Every manifestation of life force emits a frequency of vibration. Strong healthy systems have fine, high frequencies and weakened, diseased systems have dense, low frequencies. Even in dying it is important to try to achieve as high a state of vibration as possible.

Ideally, a person is able to transition into death peacefully, joyfully and easily, without fear, without regrets and without worry. By introducing a high vibration to any weakened system, we encourage it to vibrate at a more healthful and lighter frequency.

In palliative care, while we may not be able to facilitate healing of the physical body, we are still able to give support to the spiritual aspect, calm the mind of fear and anxiety, stimulate clarity and peacefulness, and encourage deep restfulness and even less pain.

How can you help?

Your role as a palliative caregiver is to provide support. Sometimes that means just being present, or just listening, and at other times it is to give care on a physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual level. It is our way to communicate through the mind via words.

I have found that the most awkward aspect of care for the caregiver is knowing what to say. Gradually in palliative care, words become less and less important, instead we need to try to feel our way. This is not to be confused with emotional feeling. We must learn to feel with all our senses including our intuition. We are all far more sensitively tuned in to the energy of a situation than we want to believe.

Medical research has proven that healing is more possible when people are loved and supported than in situations where they are not. As emotionally attached caregivers, we are potentially highly sensitive to these subtle vibrations and may be acutely aware of the wide range of emotions and issues that are present during any transitional period. There are only two basic things to remember when caring for others in a palliative situation.

1.  Provide a stable and nurturing environment

It is the caregiver’s role and responsibility to provide a non-invasive, non-threatening, safe environment for their patient. Ironically, in as much as dying people want to be supported, they are very sensitive to others being too close. People who are dying cannot be expected to deal with caregivers that become too attached.

This is often very difficult for people to put into words and it is an instinctual, intuitive feeling they have and can’t explain. The responsibility rests on the shoulders of the caregiver to be conscious of keeping appropriate space, giving support but not creating emotional attachment.

2.  Keep yourself safe and productive

Working with others that are walking the line between life and death can be a difficult and overwhelming experience for many caregivers. There are many deeply personal and intimate moments in the dying process, and they are bound to trigger anyone who has already worked with a loved one passing away with a flood of memories.

It is very important for the caregiver to be aware of the energetic demands their client may be projecting during this time, and it is their own responsibility to keep themselves safe and well grounded. It is very necessary to practice compassion but also to understand compassion as an attitude of caring detachment. People who are transitioning may suddenly become afraid to leave even when it is very painful to stay.

To strengthen your field of energy stay well rested, well hydrated, and well nourished. Exhaustion, dehydration and hunger create raw nerves and hypersensitivity.  Stay mentally clear and focused; remain compassionate to the highest good in the situation for your patient.  You will have time to grieve later.

Focusing on “the light” will help the entire transition process be easier and more peaceful. Stay aware of the principle of high vibrations creating light. Keeping a palliative environment in a ‘light’ state will encourage peace and willingness to let go when the time is right. The palliative stage of life is complicated for loved ones.

It’s not really about you

There may be many unresolved issues and questions left unanswered, but the final stages of life are not about creating comfort for the care giver. Be willing to exercise compassion, surrender and forgiveness, and you will find your own self-healing during this great transition.

Palliative support is very soulfully rewarding work as long as you take care of yourself in the process.

Andrea is a full time practicing Reiki Master, metaphysics teacher and energy practitioner. She has been using tarot cards and energy work to assist people in their life transitions for over 15 years.  She offers many programs, seminars and workshop in self-empowerment, metaphysics, meditation and Reiki.  Visit her website and blog for more information.  Read Andrea’s previous article for Soul’s Code: Why you don’t heal: It’s a personal choice.


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One Comment on “A gift to the dying: Providing soulful care”

  1. This is good advice, Andrea. I wonder if an energy worker, other than the Tai Chi instructor, could have eased my mother's path.

    If you'd ever like to talk about how journaling can help a caregiver, please e-mail me at Lgood67334 AT comcast DOT net.


    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

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