What does a dying person think of? What if this is the first time they think about the presence of a Higher Power and their connection to it? Who helps them get there?
Felicity Warner demystifies this in her book The Soul Midwives’ Handbook: The Holistic & Spiritual Care of the Dying. Anyone who is a companion to the dying and helps them transition is actually helping birth their entry into a new realm is a Soul Midwife.
As the Founder of the Soul Midwives’ Movement, Felicity Warner’s book is a gift, her research thorough. Part 1 explains The Traditions of Soul Midwifery; Part 2 is about Caring for the Dying; and Part 3 is a detailed checklist of The Soul Midwife’s Toolkit which also includes the components of self-care, essential oils, music, aura cleansing and compassion fatigue.
I’d like to focus on one section of the book from Part 2 titled “Spiritual Companionship.”
It is common for those nearing death to request spiritual companionship of some kind–especially if their life has not been anchored in a particular faith.
Says Warner: “A starting point with someone requesting spiritual companionship can be as simple as helping them make a connection with their inner divine self and remembering their connection with something greater than themselves.”
- Dream Diaries can be a great way for those who wish to explore inner issues. They can journal their dreams (or work with a scribe), paint, draw or even use a recording device to capture nocturnal messages. This can be a healing activity as someone prepares for death.
- Memory work is a great way to help loved ones achieve two highly satisfying goals: a) to reflect on the story of their life b) to leave a legacy for loved ones. Some memory projects include:
- Memory boxes: To keep safe a collection of cherished memories, as a way to review one’s life and also leave a legacy for the family. Items could include photographs, jewelry, artifacts gathered from travels, Christmas tree ornaments, newspaper clippings and locks of hair.
- Recipe books: If your loved one had a penchant for cooking, a recipe book with some of their favorite creations would be a precious hand-me-down for the generations.
- CD’s of them reading nursery rhymes or stories to their grandchildren.
- Video interviews of them sharing stories of family trips, special occasions, values and life lessons.
- Paintings that reflect their life perspective, a creative expression of value.
- Poems they could write on any theme or personally address to family and friends.
- Songs that chronicle their life journey. The songs could even be categorized according to specific phases in their life.
Not all of us are guaranteed a satisfying timeline as the end nears. But wherever possible, helping your loved one find closure and express one last “Thank You” and “I Love You” to their loved ones would be a priceless gift. The gift of love at the end of life is a rare blessing.
I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purpose.