Easy Death — First Experience

Updated: Feb 27, 2018

- by guest blogger, Susan Grimes, aka "yogi Suzi".

No, I did not have a near death experience and I know very little about death, however, on May 26th, 2012 I had the privilege of attending an Easy Death talk presented by Angelo Druda.      I chose to attend this seminar because of a line in Angelo’s book, The Tao of Rejuvenation that resonated with me deeply last summer.   “Dying is not the end — it is simply a matter of moving on — of leaving this form of existence and taking up another”.  He continues on about accepting death  and concludes by saying “we should learn death while we are still alive”.

I am 48 years young and have very little interaction with any Western medical practitioners.  If fate dictates, I may remain in my body for many years to come — no obvious signs of death in my near future.   But I went to hear Angelo speak about Easy Death because I wanted to hear more about Death and Dying since death, I realize, is inevitable.

“Death”, said Angelo, “we all feel is the fundamental problem with life — it frightens us to our very core”.   Turns out in a group of fifty, fear was present for most who spoke up — fear — a deeply rooted emotion that most people feel in relation to facing their own death.   Many of us have a  fear of pain, fear of paying off karmic debt, fear of not being ready — affairs not in order, final goodbyes said — and fear of facing the unknown as well as not knowing how, or when, we will die.

In this audience of almost fifty, very few people came up with a concise definition of the word ‘fear’.  Webster’s dictionary defines fear as:  “A feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger  evil, pain, etc.” In defining fear, my mind brought up images of worrying — all the times I’ve worried — yet all worked out perfectly in the end. A feeling of relief has washed over me since the Easy Death talk — a deep knowing that there is nothing to fear or worry about in relation to my own death — a death that, if I practice peacefulness and happiness now, while living, stands a good chance of  being a peaceful and happy death.

Death of course is no stranger to any of us — and for me, in addition to the passing of my grandparents, I witnessed the passing of my only child, my sixteen-year-old baby.   Part of my first healing when my son died was coming to this very understanding — we can knock on every door in our small town or large city and we’ll be hard pressed to find a home that has not known death and dying — a parent, a grandparent, aunts, uncles, siblings, and even children, most of us have lost a family member or close friend.

In fact, what Angelo reminded his audience of, is that death is a natural and benign process — very much like birth.   And, furthermore, just as when a woman is pregnant she prepares for the birth of her child, yeah, it’s also wise to prepare for the death of our loved ones and also prepare our very own passing. “You wouldn’t take a trip to South America without a map or a travel guide”, said Angelo.   “And just the same when preparing for the journey that comes at the end of your life, this beautiful passage, of course you want to be prepared, study the terrain a bit, learn the territory.”

Turns out the very best way to prepare for death, again, our own passing and the transition of others, is to serve people who are in the process of dying.  This service might be listening to and talking with them, playing music or singing for them, anointing them with damp washcloths or lavender oil, asking them what they need and then taking action and assisting to fulfill that need.

In contemplating my feelings about the death process, I realized that, just like I prepared for the birth of my son, the opening of my first business, and have studied nutrition and yoga, I must study the death process. Having recently read the section on death in The Tao of Rejuvenation, I can highly recommend this book as not only a book that teaches us how to live well, but also, interestingly, how to die well. Dying well, in my opinion, means being at peace with the reality called death, knowing it is simply a transition, and releasing fears and doubts. Studying the death process may relieve the bulk of our fears as well as help us to better serve our loved ones and community members when their time comes to die.

What struck me as magical was the feeling ease and comfort around the topic of dying that Angelo showered upon us — it was like he took a dark gray subject matter and flipped it into a beautiful white mist — the audience was then engulfed in this mist.  Maybe some walked in with fear or anxiety around death, but my guess is everyone left feeling at ease.

In our culture, dying is something that is often tucked away, spoken of as little as possible, something many people are just not comfortable talking at length about.   Many people die with very few people around them, and, most often, in medical institutions.  To die at home is not common unless it’s a sudden death, and then, after such, the body is often rushed away by an ambulance. What may not always be possible but would likely be optimal is to die with friends and family around us, in a quiet and sacred space, and then, upon dying, for our bodies to remain in sacredness, near loved ones, for three full days.  During those three days, especially in the first few hours, if someone talked to us aloud and told us, that yes, we had died,