Art of Dying Volume II | Page 82

OLIVIA BAREHAM
Older people say , " So let me get this straight . When I die my body is going to stay right here , and my husband will be able to see me , right ?" And I say , " Yes ." " Well , that feels comforting . Yes . I like that idea . Okay . And how long am I going to be here ?" And I say , " You ' ll be here for two or three days ," and they go , " I can probably see myself , can ' t I , after I ' m dead ?" And I say , " Probably . I don ' t know for sure . But , I believe so .” And this smile comes on their face . They ' ve got a little bit more control now . They know what ' s going to happen because they know that they ' re still going to be hovering around their beloved home , instead of looking at their body in a refrigerator somewhere . They ' ll see their body looking beautiful and they ' ll be able to come up close and say , " Wow . My body is dead ." ( laughs ). And , " There ' s my husband ." And , " I can put my arm around him ."
My biggest teacher last year was a man who did chemotherapy . He drank a spoonful of chemotherapy the day that he died . He was in his late 40s , and the most incredibly conscious man . He was at home with his wife and two kids . He said , " Olivia , if the doctor presents me with this possibility of chemotherapy , even though I can feel every day my body is declining , and I ' m probably going to die , who am I to say no thank you to that ? If that ' s crossing my field , I ' m just going to say thank you . I don ' t bank on it working . I don ' t even hope that it works .”
To say no to it didn ' t feel right to him . But he never leaned upon hope . This man held recovery as a possibility , as just as strong a possibility as he was going to die , neither one had more weight . He didn ' t say , " Oh , I hope this is going to work . Oh , my God . I hope this is going to work ." He wasn ' t attached to it working or not because he was just as willing to hold the possibility that he was dying . It really didn ' t matter to him one way or the other .
He had promised his 11 year-old son , " I ' m going to do everything possible to stay here with you ." And that was important to him . And I think that actually helped him to say yes to the possibility factor of the chemotherapy because it validated to his son , " I ' ll do anything . I promise you that . I can ' t promise you it ' ll work . I can ' t promise you that I ' ll live ." And I think that was a gift to his son . His son then knew there was no blame .
It could never be , " Oh , my dad gave up . He didn ' t try . He was going through this new age stuff ." His father did everything he could , as he promised , with a smile on his face and acute consciousness .
He was such a powerful teacher to me . They all are .

Every person is completely different in the way they approach death . We are like snowflakes .

82 | ART OF DYING
OLIVIA BAREHAM Older people say, "So let me get this straight. When I die my body is going to stay right here, and my husband will be able to see me, right?" And I say, "Yes." "Well, that feels comforting. Yes. I like that idea. Okay. And how long am I going to be here?" And I say, "You'll be her H�܈��܈�YH^\���[�^H���H�[��ؘX�H�YH^\�[��[��K�Y�\�I�HXYȈ[�H�^K��ؘX�K�Hۉ�ۛ�™�܈�\�K��] H�[Y]�H�˸�'H[�\��Z[H��Y\›ۈZ\��X�K�^IݙH��H]H�][ܙH�۝�����ˈ^Hۛ���] ����[���\[��X�]\�B�^Hۛ��]^IܙH�[��[����Hݙ\�[�˜\��[�Z\��[ݙY�YK[��XYو���[��]�Z\���H[�H�Y��Y�\�]܈��Y]�\�K�^I��YB�Z\���H���[���X]]Y�[[�^I��HX�H˜��YH\���H[��^K���ˈ^H��H\�XY ���]Y��K�[� �\�I��^H\ؘ[� ��[� �H�[��]^H\�H\��[�[K���^H�Y��\�XX�\�\�YX\��\�HX[��™Y�[[�\�\K�H�[��H��ۙ�[ق��[[�\�\HH^H]HYY �H�\�[�\›]H �[�H[��[�ܙYX�H�ۜ��[�\�X[���H�\�]�YH�]\��Y�H[����YˈB��ZY ��]�XKY�H��܈�\�[��YH�]\œ���X�[]Hو�[[�\�\K]�[��Y�H�[��Y[�]�\�H^H^H��H\�X�[�[��[�I�H�ؘX�B���[���YK��[HH��^H��[��[�H�]�Y��] ��ܛ���[��^H�Y[ I�H�\���[����^H[�ž[�K�Hۉ��[��ۈ]�ܚ�[�ˈHۉ�]�[��B�]]�ܚ�˸�'B���^H���]Y���Y[�Y��[K��]B��]�\�X[�Y\ۈ�K�\�X[�[�X�ݙ\�B�\�H���X�[]K\��\�\���ۙ�H���X�[]B�\�H�\���[���YK�Z]\�ۙHY[ܙB��ZY� �HY���^K�� H�H\�\���[���ܚˈ� ^H�� �H�H\�\���[����ܚˈ��H�\ۉ�]X�Y�]�ܚ�[��܈���X�]\�B�H�\��\�\��[[����H���X�[]H]�H�\�Z[�ˈ]�X[HY��X]\��[HۙB��^H܈H�\���HY��Z\�Y\� LHYX\�[��ۋ�I�H��[��™�]�\�][�����X�H��^H\�H�][�K��[��]�\�[\ܝ[��[K�[�H[��]X�X[B�[Y[H��^HY\��H���X�[]H�X�܈وB��[[�\�\H�X�]\�H]�[Y]Y�\��ۋ�I���[�][�ˈH��Z\�H[�H] �H�[����Z\�H[�B�] ��ܚˈH�[����Z\�H[�H]I�]�K��[�B�[��]�\�H�Y��\��ۋ�\��ۈ[�ۙ]\�H�\����[YK��]��[�]�\��K�� ^HY�]�H\ �HY����K�H�\���[����Y�\��]�Y�H�Y����\™�]\�Y]�\�][��H��[ \�H��Z\�Y ��]H�Z[Hۈ\��X�H[�X�]H�ۜ��[�\ۙ\�˂�H�\��X�H��\��[XX�\��YK�^H[\�K��]�\�H\��ۈ\���\][B�Y��\�[�[�H�^H^B�\��X�X] ��H\�B�Z�Hۛ�ٛZ�\˂� �T�шRS�