Die peacefully knowing your mission is complete
JOYCE AND BARRY VISSELL
BARRY AND I AND our three grown children, for the past year and a half, have been intensively caring for my elderly 90-year-old mother. The Santa Cruz hospice has been actively involved for the last three months of her life. Daily caring for a loved one until she took her last breath was the first experience for all five of us. In the last two weeks of her life she was more in the spirit world than this world and was often able to communicate to us all what she was experiencing. These last two weeks of her life, and all that she communicated to us, were her final gift to us.
The hospice people were so kind, caring, and enormously helpful to us. They grew to love my mother very much. Often, as a nurse or home health aid would leave, they would comment on how peaceful my mom was. They then went on to say that not many people die with such a deep acceptance and peacefulness as she was experiencing. On more than one occasion we would hear, “You are so lucky in the open, gentle way your mother is dying.” Right before my mother took her last breath, she smiled a huge smile.
I have contemplated on my mother’s peaceful acceptance of death. For the last year and a half she lost all independence and could not even walk without our help. In the last months she could not do anything for herself and we needed to help her in ways that must have been embarrassing to her. She was also in pain. And throughout all of this, she remained for the most part peaceful and thankful for her life. I have concluded that my mother died in such grace because she knew that she had fulfilled her mission in life. She had accomplished what she set out to do. She had lived her purpose.
The day after she died I found a journal in which she had written the following 30 years ago:
“My heart has reminded me that there is one eternal truth—which is love. Know that each person is a child of God and deserves love. My special mission on earth is to love all people and to serve wherever needed. I dedicate myself to this mission.”
My mother was a simple woman with only a high school education. She made very little money and acquired few possessions. And yet she was so at peace because she lived her mission completely. She gave love to all people, and each opportunity in life was a chance to make a new friend, whether they had prestige or were homeless. She loved all even in the last weeks of her life.
In our strivings as human beings, are we forgetting what is most important? Is acquiring money, possessions, power, or prestige more important than fulfilling our spiritual mission on earth? When it is our turn to leave this world, will we be able to close our eyes and have the complete peace and acceptance that comes from truly having lived our purpose here on earth?
Barry and I are dedicating more and more time to helping people become clear as to their purpose and destiny upon this earth. We are finding that when people understand their purpose here, and live that destiny, there is more peace and fulfillment in life, their relationships improve as well as their health and joy.
My mother knew that she had successfully completed her mission. There was not one person she met that didn’t receive her love. One of the last things she said to us was, “I am so happy with my life. I am now so happy with my dying process. It is just the way I wanted it.”
Two hours after my mother took her last breath, a hospice nurse came to her bedside. As it was a Sunday, this nurse was on call and had never met my mother. She walked in and stood for a long moment looking into my mother’s face, still warm and soft. She said, “This is what we love to see. Your mother obviously lived her life to the fullest. She completed what she came here to do.” I asked her how she knew that and she said, “I have been doing this for so many years, I can tell by the lines on the face. Your mother was able to give her gifts and completed her life in complete peace.”
When it is our turn to close our eyes for the last time and breathe our last breath, it is not going to matter how much money we leave behind, how many hours we worked in the office, the make of our car, if we ever got the perfect job, or all the other qualities that the world says are important. Our true peace will come from knowing that we loved, served, remembered our source, and gave the gift we came here to give.
Joyce and Barry Vissell, a nurse and medical doctor couple since 1964, are the authors of The Shared Heart, Models of Love, Risk To Be Healed, The Heart’s Wisdom and Meant To Be. FFI: 1.800.766.0629. Visit www.sharedheart.org.