Saturday, April 6, 2013

Being on both sides of the wall

A young man was dieing from cancer. Near the end of his life the author writes:
“And he told me that the day before, he had been lying in bed, thinking about getting up, and suddenly out of the corner of his eye he had become aware of some sort of a barrier or a wall just behind him. As he noticed it, he realized that he had always known it was there but he had never seen it before. I encouraged him to say more, ‘Well, I know I’m here on this side of it. But at the same time, I know I’m on the other side of it too. I don’t know that that means. Do you?’ ‘…It makes me feel good….Sort of peaceful and joyful.’
Two days later he died.”  -- Copied without permission from Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal, by Rachael Naomi Remen, Riverhead Books, 1996, 2006, paperback, page299.

This is a new thought to me. Part of us, part of me, could be on “the other side” and have always been there. What does that tell me about dying?

One description of dying is that it is something like our birth where we had lived for many months, our whole existence, in a dark, warm, liquid world and at birth we are released from that world into a world that is light, cold, and dry, but it is good to be in the new world. And the corollary is that likewise it will be good to be in the “next world.”

If we have all along had part of us on the other side of the wall then our dying here won’t put us into a new place but we will remember it when we get there from the part of us that has been there all along. It won’t be a strange new world because we will recognize it as part of where we have been.

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