More Than Meets the Eye, True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process and sheds light on euthanasia, suicide, near-death experience, and spirit visits after the passing of a loved one. ___________________________________________

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nursing Homes and Hospice Care

Many people in nursing homes and hospice care are without the loving presence and spiritual support of friends or family. There is a great need for compassionate volunteers, but not everyone is up to the task of assisting people in their transition. It takes a special person to walk in, meet someone for the first time, talk intimately with them, and hold their hand, all the while knowing they may not be around the next time they come to visit. Yet, this blessed gift of friendship is crucial in helping a soul leave peacefully. Linda Woods ( visited her friend, Irving Faust, while he was in hospice. As a result of her experience that day, she now volunteers regularly at a local hospice. Linda shares her story about assisting Irving Faust in his transition:

I was not prepared for the vision in front of me. Irving lay in his hospital bed unconscious, his breathing labored, struggling to let go. He was on oxygen and every breath was intense, difficult and uncertain. When I received Naomi’s email about Irving’s condition, I thought I would at least be able to talk to him, look into his eyes, and squeeze his hand. Not so. His angels had other plans for my visit. Plans that would definitely ease his transition, and plans that would shock me and change my life forever.

It was 11:20 a.m. when I walked into the room. His daughter Martha had flown in from Denver earlier that week and was scheduled to fly out at 2 p.m. that afternoon. We introduced ourselves and shared our memories, tears and emotions. I talked a lot about my relationship with her father, who had treated me like one of his own. He was always listening, always encouraging, always accepting. Now, here he was in the final hours of his life. After struggling with cancer for over three years and trying several holistic treatments, he had finally passed through the stages of death: fear, denial, anger, and finally and most difficult of all -- acceptance. I knew that Irving could still hear us. But how could anyone comfort him at this time? How could we possibly know what he was feeling? Was he frightened? Was he seeing into other realms? On some level, was he conscious and waiting for the moment when Naomi and Kathy would arrive?
I sat by his bed and the tears welled up again. The nurses were telling us that he would probably make his transition later that evening. I hadn’t seen many people die. As a young girl, my grandmother had passed in front of me. I stood there helpless, with my mom, not knowing what to do. This time though, I knew I wanted to help, some how, some way. Intuitively I knew that I was a healer, but had never acknowledged myself as one. Being a healer did not mean that I could cure illness. That kind of healing only came from God. Being a healer to me meant that I could direct Source energy where it needed to go, and extend love, healing and comfort to someone in their most difficult moment. I had never actually offered my healing services. Instead, I was always promoting others as being more enlightened or gifted than myself. Oh, I had practiced my healing abilities on students in my Healing Touch class and on participants in my Reiki class, but never on a person who really needed my help, and certainly never with anyone who was facing his final moments. I knew about the power of intention. Anyone could use that gift to help others. And I knew about the power of “laying on of hands”—especially to comfort a young child in distress, or an elderly person facing loneliness, or anyone who needed the warmth and closeness of human touch. These were gifts that we all are able to give, with no special training, and I wanted to give those gifts now.

As I stood there, looking at Irving, a message raced through my head, “Do the ’chakra spread’.” I had learned this gentle technique in Healing Touch Class four years before and had not used it since. It was designed specifically for people who were in transition and trying to make a decision, and it was certainly appropriate now. It involved working with the body’s energy fields above seven specific areas, (called Chakras), including the solar plexus, throat, and heart. The message that I received was fast and fleeting, but it came on strong and I paid attention. I told Martha what I had heard and she listened intently. “I’ll ask Mom,” she said and picked up her cell phone. Martha was no stranger to Healing Touch. She had practiced as a Reiki master and massage therapist for years and knew the power and gentleness of the technique that I was suggesting.

“Make sure you want me to do this,” I said, “because it’s been known to speed up the process.” Martha understood completely.

My mind began racing, “Who do you think you are? You walk in here during his final hours, and suggest something like that, when these people have been through so much. This is a family matter…and YOU are not family. How dare you come in here and suggest something like that. Another thought guided me higher and I knew that I had a genuine desire to help if I could. Naomi and Martha were more than receptive, and I could sense on some level, that Irving was receptive also.

When Naomi arrived, I could tell she was exhausted. She sat down and allowed me to help her relax with energy work while we waited for her other daughter to arrive. Kathy was on her way during her lunch hour, but running late. The moments ticked by. Finally, Martha said, “I think you need to work on Dad now.”

I walked over to Irving’s bed and spoke to him. “I know you are seeing angels, Irving. My angels are telling me to work with what’s in front of me, and YOU are in front of me now.”

I held his feet, very gently, and let the warmth of my hands soak into the fabric around his skin. At first, he seemed agitated but slowly his breathing became calmer. I remained at his feet for a while longer and then placed one of my hands on each of his knees. His breathing slowed to a steady, peaceful pace. After awhile, I raised my right hand above his body and smoothed out his energy field from his head to his feet. Opening his heart chakra was the next step, and I trusted that I could help him; trusted that I could do this, and let go of the worry, the anxiety, the thoughts of inadequacy, and the feelings of unworthiness. I just let go. I bent my fingers and placed the lower knuckles of each hand so that they faced each other. All eight fingers were pointed downward, with thumbs held straight up. I simply pulled my hands apart as I opened the energy field above his body. (My hands resembled a soft retractor pulling open the air above him). I did this motion several times slowly, deliberately, while sending an intention of love and healing. This helped Irving open his heart. He was barely breathing now. Naomi stood up and came over to us, placing one hand on his shoulder, and one hand on top of my hand, which was now stationary over his heart.
Then, in that brief, quiet moment, Irving took his last breath. All was still, but I was shaken to my core. Never did I think that Irving would pass so quickly. I thought he would make his transition later that evening—not now—not while I was working on him. Oh God! I felt so responsible for accelerating his death. Naomi, who was much calmer than I was, reassured me that it was all in Divine Order. I was meant to come to hospice on that day of all days. I was meant to be by his side to help him make a peaceful transition. The time was 12:10 pm, and Irving was on his way home.

I know now that Irving gave me the ultimate gesture of respect. He trusted me in his final moments and acknowledged me as the healer that I am. Irving’s death was an experience I will never forget and the catalyst that sent me on to begin my own healing practice. Now I am helping others in transition – no matter where they are in their lives, and I’m teaching them to be healers also, showing them how to use their hands to send love, intention and healing to others. Thank you Irving, for trusting me, in your greatest moment: going home - going back to Source.

Assisting Irving in his transition was a very valuable gift to the entire family. It alleviated his suffering and allowed his soul to pass peacefully. The family had an understanding of what Irving wanted and were able to help him transcend.

For more information, you might enjoy reading the complete book More Than Meets the Eye True Stories about Death, Dying, and Afterlife available on

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