For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book written by a hospice nurse, who wrote about her experiences being with people in their final moments. She described people going through the famous 5 stages of grief. In case you did not know, they are Denial, Anger, Fear, Bargaining, and finally, Acceptance. In my office, it is a humbling experience to assist someone in going through these stages, but what I blew my mind away was the hope this nurse described in the people going through their most difficult moments.
As I write this, my thoughts immediately go to a dear mentor and friend of mine who is dealing with terminal cancer. Let's face it, death and loss suck. It is something that if we live long enough, we will experience it, and we too must personally go through it. Regardless of the circumstances, in order for us to be truly free, we must be at peace. My friend is at peace.
The word peace means so much to different people, and that is OK. What is not good is how we struggle to find it. I am a trained trauma therapist. I have always said that in terms of trauma, there is not much that I can not fix. The only thing that I have not been able to help is death without peace and hope. Particularly dealing with death, if there is no peace and hope, there is no resolution in the circumstance. As much as I want to help, I can not help a true Atheist comes to terms with a painful death because death is the final end. It does not matter to me what a person believes as long as they can find peace and hope that their loved one or themselves will one day find freedom and comfort. That element of belief is critical to finding the help we so desperately crave.
If you are in the position of trying to find hope and peace, read as much as you can about other's experiences. Read book about people who have had near death experiences. I even encourage to read about those experiences with people who do not share your beliefs. Connect with hospice groups. As always, we are here to help, and are just a phone call away.
Peace and Blessings.
Bright Hope Counseling Center
Thoughts of rambling therapists.