Denial and the Death Process

denial and the death process

On our last webinar, February 11, we answered the following question:
I have a friend who is clearly in the dying process. She has cancer and has been getting progressively weaker despite all sorts of treatments. But she refuses to consider that she will not recover. How can I break through her denial?

Answer: The need for denial exists in almost everyone some of the time, and nearly everyone is in denial for a while after receiving a terminal diagnosis, as they get over the shock of the news. As time goes on, they are also likely to return to a state of denial when reality is too hard to face. We shouldn’t try breaking through someone’s denial. Best to be sensitive, allow them their defenses, avoid being judgmental, and not expect them to die in the way we want them to die. We need to recognize that each person is unique and will die in their own way. Your love and acceptance is most important.

That said, it does help if someone can get past their denial. So pay attention to any openings in their defense and take advantage of those times to consider with them what is really happening and their feelings about it. Help them at those times to complete unfinished business, both practical and emotional, and express their love to family and friends. Adi Da tells us death is not an ending. It is simply a shedding of the body. He says that Light cannot be destroyed and human beings are essentially forms of Light. Consciousness and Light continue to survive. A message like this may help your friend let go of her defenses.

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