This is an updated version of a previous post. It had been my first week volunteering Therapeutic Touch (TT) sessions with patients, their family members, nurses and anyone else interested in a session. My first patient, I’ll call him A, consented to a session. During TT I like to combine the session with a guided meditation. A chose the beach. He shared that he was nervous, in a lot of pain, and had an overall bad day so he was open to anything that might relax him. The session went well and at the end A was lying peacefully in the hospital bed. I asked if he would like another session on Sunday, A said he would. When I returned on Sunday, I was surprised to find out that A had died that morning. My mentor informed me that he was sleeping on Friday when another volunteer went to visit and he never woke. We don’t know our patients and don’t ask why they are in the hospital. Sometimes the nurse will ask that we see an actively dying patient. While volunteering last Thursday, the nurse asked that I stop to see a patient who was not on my list but was in the actively dying stage of life. If you had told me that I would be working with dying patients when I was in my twenties or even thirties I would not have believed it. After witnessing my mother’s death I discovered that I could sit and just BE with a person while they die.
Sometime before walking into the patient’s room, we need to put on latex gloves and paper smock. We suit up, enter, and introduce ourselves. Sometimes the patients are in visible pain other times they are sitting in a chair talking on their cell phones or visiting with relatives. If there are relatives in the room we can offer them a session as well. One time I had a session with a patient and then had a session with his son and daughter. The energy in the room was so peaceful and loving. Almost took my breath away.
Now I am able to stay a little longer with the dying patient to hold them in love and peace. A was my first patient and will always have a special place in my heart. I was thinking of him today and decided to repost in his honor. Learning of his death made me think of the importance of living mindfully, which is something I do daily. A was only 61, a relatively short life for 2015. The same age my own father was when he died. I didn’t know about TT or meditation when my dad lie dying in the VA Hospital. Feeling grateful that I know more about energy and how to calm a dying person – living people as well, my goal is to do all I can to help people live fuller lives right to the end.
Below are some photos from my own life of mindful living. Whether you watch a sunset, sunrise, sit on a beach or listen to waves lapping on the shore, be in the moment and don’t rush off. It can be breathtaking.
When walking in nature, slow down and smell the earth, maybe walk barefoot to feel grounded. Look for patterns, textures, color. Touch a tree, better yet hug a tree, touch pinecones and stones. See the beauty around you as you slow your pace. Your body, mind and soul will thank you.
Slow down long enough to prepare meals, maybe even let children assist you and enjoy the texture, color and flavor. Bake and decorate cookies – children love this. Pay attention as you eat your meal, slowly chew your food. Maybe even pick your own fruits and vegetables, or grow your own garden. Stop for a coffee and slowly sip and enjoy the flavor or the little mustache left on your lip from a cappuccino or latte. Buy healthy colorful food to nourish and build a healthy body. Your body and mind will reward you.
Enjoy the gifts of each season – snow in winter, budding trees and flowers in spring, greenery of summer and colorful leaves and pumpkins of autumn.
Stop to notice shadows, reflections, shapes, sizes, the extraordinary in the ordinary. Art is all around you if you stop and take the time to notice. Slow down and allow your creativity to flourish.
Enjoy precious moments with family, children, babies whether on swings, in the snow, blowing bubbles, reading, drawing. You don’t have to spend money to enjoy the day. Children would rather have you sit and listen to them, laugh with them, or just play and be silly. Remain in the moment noticing all the blessings in life. They are all around us, even when you find yourself in situations that seem bleak. I have been there and can tell you there is always something in nature that can bring joy – a child’s laughter, the sound of trees rustling in the breeze, the warmth of the sun on your face, clouds in various shapes and sizes, rain drops tapping on the roof or puddle, grass under bare foot, cool water under foot. Being grateful for something and living in the moment makes life worth living.
If you are alive, and if you are reading this you are, pay attention. We only travel through this life once, in this body I believe anyway, so why not find love, happiness, and contentment in every moment you are blessed with.
May A rest in peace or soar with the birds. I’m not sure where he is in death but wherever it may be I am sending him love and peace. For everyone else reading this, I am wishing you all mindful living and a long healthy, prosperous, loving life.
Love and Light!