A month or so ago, we were helping a friend “consciously” die. It was a wonderful experience that released him from his pain and immobility (which he said was “no way to live,” regularly asking for a shotgun when we inquired what he might need), and brought together a community of friends to support his decision to quit eating and drinking.
We had nurses and chaplains and shamans in our group, as well as plain-old caring people – to talk and read and sometimes watch TV with him – and singers – us! After he had passed, we all realized what a blessing we had not only provided but had received.
(Some of us plan to write a guidebook soon.)
A few days before his passing, we were working at home when we found a strange-looking insect emerging from a hard shell. I thought it looked rather monstrous.
Within minutes, the monster had turned into a fairy-like thing with ruffled wings!
And within the hour, the wings were dry and extended, ready to fly.
And it did fly into the elderberry tree above the pond where it had – we understand now – climbed out.
I knew the dragonfly as a totem guardian of the portals to other realms, so I’d thought this was a good harbinger of our friend’s passing soon. It would be two more days before he passed – but it’s common for dying people to commune for days with loved ones on the other side before they complete their passing, and we thought the dragonfly represented the opening of those portals for those important communications.
When we sent the photos to the man’s wife, she was doubly moved, because the dragonfly had aways been their totem.
Now, over a month later, the wife, my friend, yesterday shared a video with me that tells us a little more about the dragonfly’s birth. http://www.genekeys.com/free-webinars/vaporising-the-victim/
Around minute 17 or 18, the teacher describes (in just two minutes) the dragonfly nymph living for years in a pond (we have one beneath the location where we took these photographs) until one day, it does what it has never done in its life: it climbs up a stalk of grass and begins to dry out. The shell dries first, and then the pressure of the watery self inside bursts the shell open! (And doesn’t the dragonfly look vulnerable in the first photo, hanging up-side-down? With little sign of the wings about to be.)
We were very moved by the idea of a life form suddenly following an impulse to do what it had never done before, climb into the light and allow itself to dry and even burst! Wouldn’t most of us want to fall back into the familiar water?
The teacher uses the term “vaporize” for what we need to allow to be done to certain aspects of ourselves. In this case, the dragonfly’s excess moisture did need to literally vaporize in order for it to fulfill its destiny. I love it.
Wishing us all faith in a process we may not yet understand. It might look ugly. But let’s not despair. I do believe there’s new life ahead.