The Grace in Dying

Kathleen Dowling Singh, a former hospice worker and author of The Grace in Dying writes“Dying .. softens us, opens us. In the course of living with terminal illness, our inner experience begins to change in nature. As our grasp loosens, we may begin to experience a more spontaneous forgiveness, a deepening love, and a pervasive sense of gratitude for the experience of life…Dying reveals itself as a profound process of spiritual transformation. As we near death, our mind will begin to empty and our heart begin to open. We will discover that not only is dying a medical event, it is a spiritual event of enormous import. Our attention begins to wander, quite naturally, away from the distractions at the surface, and turn inward, toward the greater depth and greater peace at the center. As so many of the dying people with whom I’ve worked have told me, sooner or later in the course of dying we will each find our own spiritual grounding. And, they have said, there is inexpressible comfort in that experience.”

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jamie says:

    I wonder if each time we experience a new beginning and a new ending if we could learn these things — If we are open to them. ?


    1. I think we all get glimpses of this in times of loss, upheaval and transformation. Or even simply sitting on the meditation cushion. I know accompanying Laura to the end, has opened my heart and made me stronger and less afraid.


  2. and you don’t have to wait until you’re dying to turn your mind away from the distractions at the surface………….thanks for the reminder.


  3. Everything you wrote or quoted in this post is so true. I can confirm this from own experience. Unfortunately, our modern western society has grown distant from perceiving and embracing death as a normal and natural part of life. And I don’t see any signs of change. On the contrary. Even 10 years ago, people accepted dying at old age more easily than in the past decade and present times. Nowadays, people do everything to stay young forever and stretch the span of life as never before – no matter what. The fact that people grow older – live up their 90s or 100reds, does not mean they have more life quality. I find it heartbreaking how many people are put away in long-term care facilities, being connected to machines, ventilators and feeding tubes; being kept in a vegetable state for years, just for the sake of being alive and because technology can do it. Really devastating to me.


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