Saturday, March 21, 2015

What I Have Learned About Death...

Almost 4 months ago, on Thanksgiving Night, I had a full-fledged stroke., which you may have read about in a previous post.  Since then, I have been on the hardest journey I have ever been on, to fully recover and feel like my old self again.  I am realizing, that becoming my old self again is still far away, although I am feeling good.

I am struggling with some cognitive issues with memory and math, and have been fighting some depression and fatigue that are very normal post-stroke symptoms.  It is all part of the recovery and if anything, they are extremely annoying to deal with!!  I am so blessed that I have recovered so well and overall am in great health.  Because I was in great health when I had my stroke, as well as the type of stroke I had, and where I had my stroke, my recovery has been better and miraculous in many ways. 

Becoming a new person of understanding, and growth, and depth, is the journey I have embarked on. Each day I reflect and wonder what God is trying to teach me through my trials, and some days they feel intense. 

One of the biggest changes in my thinking and understanding has been my view of death. When I was in the middle of my stroke, I went to another place of extreme peace on the right side of my brain. I was in a place of extreme comfort, happiness, joy, peace where I felt no pain whatsoever: emotional or physical.   I never left my body or had a near-death experience in any way, but I felt such a great peace. Along with that peace, I was also in a state of mind of "no-worries" whatsoever.

Like a lot of women (and people in general) our life is centered around worrying about things.  We have this brain chatter going on all the time inside  our heads,  worrying about situations or people or possible scenarios as we go through our day. We dream up possibilities of how we can fix things to make life better for ourselves or others.  This happens without us always consciously being aware we are doing it. It is automatic.

While having my stroke, it mimicked an out of body experience. Possibly the closest I could come to with out really having one.  I was not always "there" meaning I was unconscious, but then had moments of coming out of my unconscious.  When I did, although I was still unable to communicate with the outside world at all,   everything was foggy and out of focus, visually and far away.  I was aware of the pain others were in around me. I could see my husbands eyes were red from crying, and he was in a state of panic. The doctors and nurses were panicked and moving very quickly. I remember thinking, "wow! they are really worried about something"  I was instantly like a child who was unaware of what the adults were worried about. Everyone around me were in a sense of despair over what was happening and I had no control over it .  I could feel their great love for me, which made me feel good,  but I could do nothing to fix or comfort their fears.  I felt love for them, but no worries over what they were experiencing.  It was like I was an observer and nothing else.

Since this experience, I have a glimpse of what death feels like in the sense that you are immediately taken to a place of great peace, joy, gratitude, no-worries, and no pain-physical, or emotional.

When I hear about someone who has passed on, I immediately connect with them in the peace and no-worries they are experiencing. They move on quickly to a different state of mind than what they felt here on earth, and we can be very at peace knowing that they are. 

I know this does not comfort those left behind, and many tears and heart aches are for the loved ones who are left on earth, but there is great peace in knowing that death is a very loving part of our Father in Heaven's Plan for His children. 

Some more information:

Doors of Death-Elder Russell M. Nelson
How Can I Find Comfort When Someone I Care About Dies?
The Healing Power of Grief -President Thomas S. Monson

My Stoke of Insight-Jill Bolte Taylor