In his book A Year To Live Stephen Levine says ‘ an interesting way to practice dying is opening to illness.’
During his final days, Pops contracted oral thrush. This is a fungal infection which leaves the mouth and throat unbearably sore. The nurses at the East Lancs Hospice compared Dads condition to eating razorblades. He couldn’t speak, eat or drink, and was left with no alternative, but to lie in complete silence, to turn inward and face death.
So, today, I am practicing dying from a common cold - the dreaded sore throat. This is a minor blip compared to Dads suffering, but nevertheless a perfect opportunity to lay down my arms, soften around the discomfort, and practice self acceptance and love.
‘ And in the spaciousness of surrender watch the fear of death bound through with all its attendant scenarios. Take each breath as though it might be the last. Watch your life pass before your eyes. Did you notice something left undone? Do it on the next clear day. Practice living.’ -Stephen Levine