click here to return to contents
or click hearts to navigate back & forth


Birthing And Deathing

The phenomenon of life presents many similarities in the process of birthing and deathing. 'We come into this world alone and we leave it alone, ' is perhaps the biggest reality we must face as caregivers. This is nature's life cycle. While there is so much preparation for a birth, why is it that we find it so difficult to prepare for death? Both processes involve physical, emotional and spiritual changes. One is the building up of a life and the other is the slow breakdown of a life that is closing down or coming to an end on the physical plane. Each process is a soul process as well. Those who are present in either experience are affected by the miraculous experience of birthing and deathing.

Until we experience a birthing whether or not we are the mother or the observer, there are many concerns of the unknown. The fetus which is nurtured in the comfort of the mother's womb via the placenta evidently undergoes a great deal of what we experience as we are preparing to leave our bodies through the deathing process.

A mother may suffer physically through out the pregnancy. This suffering increases at the time of birthing. In the moment of birth, the newborn undergoes incredible challenges and perhaps a great deal of pain to emerge into the physical world. What a trauma to give up all their comforts which they were automatically and miraculously provided for during an approximate nine month period, only to be forced to emerge from the womb in a tight channel or be removed surgically, if necessary. Immediately following their emergence, they are usually slapped to bring them further into their reality of life. (Fortunately, much is being done to make this entrance more loving and nurturing for the newborn infant)

So it is when an individual's time has come to slowly depart from their physical body. It is almost quite the opposite of the birthing process for bodily functions are no longer building to emerge but preparing to close down at the appropriate time when they depart their physical body. There are so many needs of the individual whose body is confronted with this process. New experiences, sensations and feelings occur that they cannot even express or describe. Why is it they we are not able to find the beauty in the dying process? Why is it they we can't even look at these issues and prepare for them as caregivers? Why is it they we cannot openly talk and share about these processes in general? 

You must remember that when your loved one is slowly transitioning, they too, are suffering from loss, perhaps fear and beliefs that they are not in touch with. They are giving up their life, their family, friends, home, and all they have had in their life. For many, the belief in God or a higher power is not as strong. The unknown is hovering in right before their very life. Especially if it is an elderly individual who has never really been able to express their feelings throughout their lifetime, how is it that they are going to feel comfortable enough at this time to begin sharing now? 

If we as caregivers to our loved ones are not aware of the needs they are going through, how is it that we can really be there to support them. If we are in our own victim mode, how can we move into being more loving and compassionate? Our own grieving and fear will keep us from moving into a place of love and healing, as well as understanding. Is this how you choose to experience the role you have been faced with? If you are harboring anger or resentment towards the loved one you are caring for, how will you be able to take full advantage of the beauty and the gift that has been placed before you?

There are many reasons. Denial, cultural differences, lack of intimacy in our normal daily lives, fear, grief, an unwillingness to let go and the reasons are unlimited. The universe is in a state of impermanence. Absolutely everything in this Universe is in a constant state of flux or change. The only guarantee in life is that there are no guaranties. Once again, I remind you that we come into this world alone and we leave on our own.

I believe if we become more aware and open to the ideas that are presented here, our beliefs will begin to shift, our hearts will be filled with more love and compassion, and we will be able to accept dying as a beautiful, natural process of life. It will bring forth more incredible growth experiences that enhance the quality of all our lives as well as the life of our loved one.

Take the time to meditate on these thoughts. Get comfortable. Perhaps you can light candles, take a bath, and listen to inspiring, peaceful music. Do what ever is necessary for you to truly create a safe space to be with these concepts. Take nice deep breaths. With each breath breathe in love and light and good thoughts. On each exhale; breathe out all your worries, your fears, your doubts and concerns. Focus on your breath and your letting go until you have reached a calm, relaxed state of being. It is when you are in this state that you are more open and receptive to ideas and understandings that you would not normally allow yourself to focus on when you are caught up in your daily activities and way of being.

Imagine all of what we have spoken here in terms of the birthing process. See in detail in your mind's eye, the beauty from conception, and the process of the pregnancy right through the birthing. Visualize as much as you possibly can to really get in touch with everything that is involved. See the expressions, feelings and thoughts of family members, the unborn, throughout these stages. 

Next move into the slow deathing process, visualizing as clearly as you can the various stages that your loved one is going through. Try to imagine what they are experiencing as their body is beginning to slow down. What are they feeling? What is the body going through? What emotions are running through their minds? What are their fears? What is the unknown?

Pay attention to what you are feeling. What is going on for you during this process? What about your beliefs on your own mortality? Are you living your life as fully as you can? Let yourself process through as much as you can.

You will find many things are revealed to you in this process. I do suggest that when you come back into the present moment that you detail in writing about all that you experienced. I also suggest that you do this visualization two to three more times. As you become more familiar with it, you will open and heal on deeper levels.

There is a lot to ponder on here. This is work. But in making a commitment to open yourselves to heal, you will find that you will come out with more strength, understanding, forgiveness, and most of all, you will emerge into the healing power of love.

Blessings to you. May your journey be safe and nurturing.

©COPYRIGHTED GAIL R. MITCHELL 9/15/99


click here to return to contents
or click hearts to navigate back & forth
© Copyright 1998 - 2000 by Gail R. Mitchell..
It is illegal to reprint articles, in any format (including emails, websites, etc.), without explicit written permission from the author of this article and / or Empowering Caregivers™


Problems? Praise? Broken links? Missing Pages?
contact our webmaster
Click here
EMPOWERING CAREGIVERS™ is trademarked. All Information on this website is owned by Gail R. Mitchell. This includes but is not limited to the journal exercises, Newsletters and original articles, etc. Permission must be obtained from Gail R. Mitchell for any external use of this material. © by G. R. Mitchell