Death is a universal part of life, so the level of misinformation and fear that still surrounds it in the twenty-first century is horrifying! So much of what we are told by those we venerate as authorities is scary, silly, and entirely wrong. The scientific community still insists that the death of our bodies will be the death of our minds, while Christian clergymen assure us that after death we might end up in a fiery hell, in a tortuous purgatory, sitting around in a boring throne room, or sleeping until we hear an end-times trumpet. When the information about what actually happens at and after death is so abundant now, and when so much of it has been readily available to us for more than a century, there is no excuse for all this depressing misinformation and plain nonsense!
We plan for our eventual deaths as part of the life-planning process. All the important events of our lives are planned, and we also plan two or three exit points that our higher consciousness can choose to take if it determines that for what ever reason it is time for us to leave this lifetime. Death at any time other than a planned exit point is possible, but it is rare. Almost never do we know at a conscious level that our greater minds have chosen to take an upcoming exit point, but often after people have died their loved ones will look back and notice that the decedent had spent the months before death wrapping up details, reconciling with people, finishing projects, settling debts, and in general trying to make things a little neater for those left behind.
The day of your death is meant to be the happiest, most beautiful day of your life. It’s the day when you are reunited with loved ones you may have thought you never would see again, the day you get to see and hug the guides who have helped you make the most of this lifetime, and the blessed day when you leave this illusion and return to the joy of your true home. For most people, death is just that wonderful! But I have lately come to accept the fact that our willful cultural ignorance about death still means that far too many people are botching their well-planned deaths and taking temporary detours to nowhere. We’ll be talking about some of their travails next week. First, though, let’s talk about what actually happens in the sort of well-planned death that most of us can look forward to enjoying.
I have written extensively about the death process, but now as we talk about the need to help our children better deal with death we ought to say a bit more about it. Not only do we all need to be prepared to help the children in our lives better deal with the possible deaths of loved ones, but also every one of us will before long be making the trip ourselves. And unless we know what to expect, and also how to guard against the many things that might go wrong, it can be hard for even the more knowledgeable among us to transition happily when our time comes. Five years ago I gave you a standard overview of the death process here, and now I will be building on that so I hope you will read that post again before you tackle the rest of this one.
You will need to keep an open mind! If you can approach your death knowing just in general terms that the process is going to be easy and happy, and that you will at every moment be cared for and supported by loved ones – if that is all that fills your mind at your death – then you will manage it just fine. You may be one of the fortunate ones who simply fall asleep here and wake up there, but most of us are awake during at least some part of the death process. And some of what happens during your death is likely to feel odd or confusing to you and to your survivors, so it can help if you know what to expect:
- You will begin the process of separating from your body sometime in the hours before your death. We don’t know exactly when this begins, and it may be variable and personal to you, but for many, the first sign of this separation will be what seems to be a partial recovery. People who had been in comas might wake up, and perhaps even sit up and speak normally. Those with dementia who might not have been coherent for years might converse with those around them. From your perspective as the person who is dying, it seems that in general both pain and fear are almost or altogether gone, and you feel better and pretty much matter-of-fact about your dying now. The cause of all these changes is apparently the partial separation of your energy body – your mind, or perhaps your “soul” if you prefer – from the physical body that is about to die.
- In the hours before death there will be deathbed visitors. The timing of this is variable. One or two of these people that we used to think were dead will sometimes appear to the dying person as much as a couple of weeks before the death; but more commonly, these visitors will first begin to appear in the last day or two. From your perspective as the dying person, this is an astonishing experience! You are in the midst of actively dying, not uncomfortable and not really worried but still unsure about what comes next; and then suddenly, Dad appears in an upper corner of the room, looking solid and in the prime of life. He starts speaking with you in your mind, and you respond to him mentally. He might come down into the room, or he might stay partially visible in an upper corner; he might be joined by other dead loved ones, all looking great, or even by dead pets. For nearly everyone, this sudden appearance of happy loved ones long after their own deaths is so thrilling that we will mostly stop interacting with our living visitors. On occasion, too, some of those in the room will also see these deathbed visitors, and they even might accompany the dying person at the start of the post-death journey. Dr. Raymond Moody’s Glimpses of Eternity details this interesting phenomenon of shared-death experiences.
- Actively dying is a gradual process. From the moment when you see your first deathbed visitor, you know that you are going to be fine, so what happens next can be a lot of fun for those who are awake throughout. You might think of your earth-body as something like nested dolls. The outer layer or two will be dying now – the one composed of matter, and also perhaps the energy aura that defended you against negative entities while you were alive (we aren’t sure about that). But the internal energy bodies that hold your earth-mind will survive your death, so your nested bodies must separate. People who have been awake while this was happening have said it begins in the fingers and toes and progresses toward the torso, and it feels as if lots of tiny threads are breaking inside your body. I think of it as un-velcroing! The energy part of you that is leaving is un-velcroing from your physical body, and it gathers in your chest. It then leaves through the chest wall or through the top of the head, and it rises in the air above your body. People at the bedside can sometimes see it as a vague gray mist. Now that it is free of matter, its vibratory rate rises rapidly, so very soon the living can no longer see it. That mist is you! It contains your awareness and your perspective, and by some accounts, just that process of leaving the body feels intensely pleasurable. In the air above your body, beyond the view of nearly everyone living, you re-form into a solid-seeming person still attached to your body by a glowing umbilicus called a silver cord. You happily hug your deathbed visitors. All of you are solid, young, and beautiful.
- Your actual death moment is the breaking of the silver cord. It is that attachment to your energy-self that has kept the material body living, so as soon as it breaks, your body’s heart stops. And you feel terrific, young and vigorous and thrilled to be free of that old boat-anchor of a body; but living people you love may be around your bed and very aware that your body has just died. This is the single most dangerous moment of your entire existence! What you do now is going to be critical, as you will better understand next week.
- It is essential that you follow your deathbed visitors. We are as clueless when we emerge from our dying bodies as we were when we emerged from the birth-canal, and this seems to be the reason why our planned deaths include deathbed visitors. Our visitors try to keep our attention, and they coax us to accompany them right away, since for us to remain with our mourners for long puts us at risk of becoming earthbound.
The next stage exists right where we are now, but just at a higher vibration. If you will think of your mind as a television set, and your death as simply changing channels, this will make a lot more sense to you. After your silver cord has broken, it will feel as if you are physically moving, but in reality you and those who accompany you are raising your personal vibrations from what we might call the physical channel to the slightly higher afterlife channel. This process does not involve a tunnel and a light! That commonplace from near-death experiences seems instead to be just a rescue device for people unexpectedly out of their bodies.
The way most people experience the transition is as something like entering a brief fog. The formerly solid room where you died becomes vague and vapory and then disappears, while in front of you the fog is lifting to reveal a gorgeous and intensely colored but solid and amazingly earthlike new world. There are a few afterlife channels below it, and many more above it, all existing pretty much where we are now; and the Summerland where our families congregate to welcome us back home is gorgeous and enormous beyond our ability to adequately imagine or describe it. From your perspective, having just dropped your body and been reunited with loved ones you thought you had lost, you now find yourself suddenly young and beautiful and standing on solid ground in earth-like surroundings more gorgeous by far than anything that exists on earth. What may be most surprising is the fact that there is nothing but love and joy in the very air you breathe! And the pure white light that illumines this place so completely that there are no shadows feels like love beyond your ability even to adequately encompass it. You truly are in heaven now! And for most new arrivals, the shock of joy that comes with this realization can make us need to simply sit down for awhile and look around as we take it all in.
Your death was planned before you were born to be an easy and joyous return to your genuine eternal life. Knowing this makes more tragic the fact that because our culture is so ignorant and fearful, dying today carries many risks of which you will need to be aware so you can better guard against them. Stay tuned….