Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Restlessness of Dying
Some hospice patients tend to be restless. They say that they want to go somewhere. They want to be in a different place. They want to move. It is as though the spirit knows that she is on her way to another place and wants the body to take her there. It seems to be a way to prepare for going.
We think of death as leaving. The spirit leaves the body. The dead person leaves others behind her. But the restlessness seems to describe death as going. The dying process is a "going" journey. With the nearness of death, the spirit seems to remember that there is another place. It is that place from which she came and is now anxious to return.
It is as though the spirit is trying to loosen herself from the body so that she can go, so that she can move into another place. She has been resting in the body and now that the body is failing, she becomes restless for that other home. She wants to go back, back to the One who gave her the temporary home in this physical world.
She wants to continue living. And so, it is this restlessness that signals movement. It is the going from a corrupted home to living with the One who will give her a new home in the resurrection. The restlessness of dying is the going, going toward another resting place, a restful and resurrected home.
Posted by Lisa Gonzales-Barnes