by Diane Goble
I know I came into this room for a reason. Let’s see. I got an email from my daughter telling me about… what the heck did she tell me? OK, back to the computer, read the email again. Hmmm…. no, no clue why I felt I had to go into my bedroom to get a… what? Nope, no idea. Also no idea why I’m standing here with the refrigerator door open staring at cold food. I’m not hungry. It’s not time to fix a meal. Did I suddenly need to check expiration dates?
Maybe I should call my daughter. Where’s my phone? After looking everywhere at least three times I have to go over to my neighbor and ask her to call my cell phone. Oh right, there it is, in my bathrobe pocket where I put it last night. Now why was I looking for my phone? Who was I going to call? Maybe a warm bath would help.
I better check my calendar. Oh no, I’m supposed to be at a meeting right now. Where are my notes? My wallet? My car keys? I always forget at least one thing. I start the car to let it warm up while I run back inside to get… ? What did I come back to get? And where did I see it last? Drawing a blank here.
Hello there… I recognize your face but have no idea what your name is. It usually comes to me an hour later but you’re gone so excuse me for not introducing you to my good friend what’s her name.
I came across a healthy brain checklist, which starts out asking if I require assistance remembering appointments, family occasions or taking medications.
Well, if I didn’t keep a calendar I’m sure I would, but even then occasionally I’m so engrossed in writing that I forget to check the clock and suddenly get a call that I forgot to pick up my granddaughter from the elementary school. I found online timer that I can set (when I remember to do so) to give me a heads-up to get ready to go.
Next this brain checklist asks me to check each symptom that is causing me increasing difficulty compared to the past. I’m happy to report most of my problems are symptoms of normal aging, not impending dementia.
However, if I start to notice I’m forgetting important details of things I’ve done recently, forgetting to do things I said I’d do, forgetting recent events or conversations, retelling stories or jokes to the same person, and having trouble completing complex tasks at work or home, such as balancing my checkbook, planning projects, or forgetting a recipe I’ve cooked many times, I might want to mention it to my doctor at my next annual checkup.
Depression can sneak up on us too as we age. If you can’t stop feeling down or blue, that all the pleasure and joy has gone from life; feeling hopeless about the future, that everything is such an effort; feeling low energy or slowing down a lot comparatively speaking, tell your doctor because it could just be your diet, your medications might need to be adjusted, or your body is just telling you to get out of the house and take a short walk every day… and listen to the birds singing just for you.
I wrote this column several weeks ago… before my friend Kelsey Collins ran out of gas, as she put it. Not that my advice above would have refilled her tank and she never asked for my advice anyway. Her way of covering up her pain was to become the opposite… to transmute that energy into compassion for others and she became consumed by that passion until there was nothing left to give and it was time to move on. I saw a determination in her the last week of her life but I didn’t understand why.
The weekend before, she among four of us met and talked about how we could facilitate family conversations about end of life wishes and filling out Advance Healthcare Directives. Kelsey assured us that she had all her paperwork in order and those involved knew her last wishes.
All of us in this group have done that as well, and none of us have any fear of or illusions about death and have already formulated our own exit strategies depending on circumstances. Exit Strategy is the name of Kelsey’s book about her relationship with an elderly woman she cared for through the end of her life.
The Wednesday before, six of us met at our monthly Girls Nite Out dinner at Los Agaves… by far Kelsey’s favorite restaurant. She picked me up because I had had a tooth pulled the day before and was still loopy from pain killers to drive. She came in because she wanted to meet my two new cats, Cheech and Chong, who were finally coming out from under the bed to meet people. We talked about the animals that have gone through our lives and how hard is when we lose them.
At dinner she was Kelsey as usual, loud, vivacious, in your face, sometimes annoyingly so. She didn’t like the wine. She ordered her favorite meal… she ate nothing that had eyelashes! We talked about… nothing important, really.
When she dropped me off, we hugged, said I love you and see you soon. There was no indication that she had already made up her mind to carry out her exit strategy 3 days later— but now I know, she had. Bon voyage, my friend.
(This is a monthly column I write for my local newspaper, The Nugget, in Sisters, Oregon, USA)
It’s time to have The Conversation
The best gift you can give your family is to have all your paperwork in order so they can carry out your end of life wishes if it becomes necessary. It will save them a lot of worry and grief if they know what you would want them to do under certain circumstances if you are unable to speak for yourself.
How will they know unless YOU tell them?
How will they know where to find important papers if YOU don’t tell them?
This workbook will help you and your loved ones have the conversations needed to make the decisions beforehand that they might be called upon to make for you in an emergency situation. Doing everything is not always the best response… and hope is not a plan.
Nobody wants to talk about death, especially their own… but we are all going to die some day… consider how it would affect your loved ones if you died before your next breath… then don’t put it off out of fear of bringing it on. It doesn’t work that way.
It will give everybody peace of mind and if there is an accident or emergency health crisis, your family will be able to spend time with you instead of rummaging around for paperwork and phone numbers, and all that other stuff we tend to put off.
For those who experience fear of death, this near-death experiencer describes leaving her drowning body behind, in full consciousness, fully alive and aware of everything going on around her then traveling through a void on an amazing journey accompanied by a loving being of light who opened her consciousness to remembering all we forget when we become human beings, including that this is what happens every time the body dies.
We don’t die!
We are not our bodies
Bodies are temporary vehicles that allow us to experience life on this planet
Like astronauts wear space suits, we wear human suits
We are spiritual beings having human experiences as part of our eternal spiritual journey
When our body gives out, we return home
How you want to interpret that, what that means about your religious beliefs or lack of, what that says about God, has nothing to do with this cycle of life. Any of those belief systems can be incorporated into this practice to help you to have a peaceful transition experience with full awareness about what is going on and what comes next.
“Who we really are is all but beyond human understanding,” says author Diane Goble, who has spent the past 44 years since her NDE searching to find the words that describe her experience, “but I’m working on it.”
In Beyond the Veil, which is the 5th generation of her writings, including a training course for caregivers as transition guides, she has integrated the knowledge she absorbed during her NDE with her exploration of ancient mystery schools, world religions, and science, and years of meditation practice and spiritual explorations to convey the meaning of the message she was given to share so it makes sense to most people.
This is your opportunity to raise your consciousness and go beyond what you think you know. Each time you read it, you will experience lightbulb moments as you realize you too know this but had forgotten. As you practice the exercises, you will come to a deeper understanding of who you really are and the meaning of this life to your soul’s journey.
It has been Diane Goble’s life work since her near-death experience in 1971 to share this message and to teach the art of conscious dying, and now she has put her teachings into a workbook to help families talk to each other, their doctors, and their higher consciousness as they prepare to leave this phase of life and transition to the next, fully conscious and engaged in their journey home.
Available everywhere – ISBN 9780963860651