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DogSpirit:
I didn't know where to put a post on death and dying, so I thought I'd tuck it here into Shamanism, where it won't bother anyone.

I've always been an oddball, and now I'm guessing that it's because I'm a proponent of talking about death. I remember going to see someone who could read auras back when I was in college. After her talk, we lined up for her to read our auras. Fortunately, I was at the end of the line, because when she reached me, she looked at me, gasped, and ran away. I've always been curious about what she saw. I'm guessing it was my psychopompness.

A psychopomp guides the soul to the afterlife. Psychopomps have been providing comfort to people for millennia, for a couple of reasons: 1. The idea of a psychopomp implies the existence of a soul, something that survives death and needs to be guided. 2. It implies the idea of an afterlife, someplace to be guided to.

<soapbox>
I'm adamant that no one dies alone. Someone from the other side will help with the transition of death.
</soapbox>

My screen name DogSpirit is a short form of dog spirit guides. In many cultures, dogs serve as psychopomps, guiding the souls home. This makes sense: Dogs are known for being able to see in the dark and for finding their way home. Horses are also common psychopomps for the same reasons.

Memento mori.

Death and dying are not very sexy, but are unavoidable. If you'd rather not think about it now, you'd better move along. For anyone interested in resources on death and dying, here are some I've found helpful:

Please view my PechaKucha (20 slides at 20 seconds per slide) video on psychopomps and the idea that no one dies alone. This is a seven minute video.

Psychopomps are escorts to the afterlife, or soul guides. I'm a psychopomp in training and the following is the ultimate book on a scientist's view of psychopomps and the idea that no one dies alone:

On Life After Death by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
"But at the time of transition, your guides, your guardian angels, people whom you have loved and who have passed on before you, will be there to help you. We have verified this beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I say this as a scientist. There will always be someone to help you with this transition."
--Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Compassion & Choices promotes death with dignity. Known primarily for their campaign to allow aid in dying, this organization also advocates for patient control to avoid unwanted medical treatment, in addition to providing guidance and resources for the end-of-life.

Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life by Maggie Callanan
This is a very helpful book, written by a hospice nurse with a sense of humor and a lot of love.
It explains the physical and psychological paths followed as someone dies, accompanied by surprisingly delightful anecdotes on the dying process. It provides answers to legal aspects and basic questions, such as forced feeding issues, yet maintains a positive attitude.

The Last Adventure of Life: Sacred Resources for Living and Dying from a Hospice Counselor by Maria Dancing Heart
This is a delightful collection of inspirational and thought-provoking quotes and short readings on the spiritual side of life and death from all flavors of belief systems.

Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality by Judith L. Lief
Making friends with death is making friends with life, in the Buddhist philosophy.
This book has a wonderful chapter on the meditative compassion practice of tonglen.

Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die by David Kessler
Kessler is an associate of Kübler-Ross and shares her belief that loved ones who have passed on will come back to you at the end of your life to help you cross over.
This book is full of anecdotes that support the idea that no one dies alone; someone from the other side helps you with your transition of crossing over.

barbie:

--- Quote from: DogSpirit on March 27, 2016, 06:38:07 pm ---I didn't know where to put a post on death and dying, so I thought I'd tuck it here into Shamanism, where it won't bother anyone.

--- End quote ---

Very interesting and informative. Thanks.

barbie~~

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