REIKI BEFORE DYING
Updated: Jan 26, 2019
When my mom was dying from her cancer there was a moment I felt drawn to using Reiki on her even though she wasn’t able to give me her consent. A few months earlier she was interested to know what it was all about so she let me give her a session. In a way I felt that kind of opened the door for more now. Was that ok? I wondered. Mom was not conscious now to give her consent, but was that all right? Where did that fit in with the Reiki principles, beliefs, and teachings? I followed my heart and gut on this one and I did the Reiki on her anyway.
I felt that not only was this something good I could do for Mom but it was also something good I could do for myself, for my own healing that needed to find a way to happen inside me. Mom and I had always had a very strained relationship, so if I could muster what it takes to do Reiki on Mom at this moment, from my heart, because it felt right, and to actually do it with all the right intentions and state of being and consciousness that is the essence of Reiki, then I knew it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want to break some rules of Reiki etiquette, if there is such a thing, but I didn’t want to be afraid to utilize this gift and I frankly didn’t know what else to do. So I figured I was just gonna do my thing, which was just following my heart. Reiki would do its thing no matter what. And Mom, well I didn’t know what Mom’s thing would be but I figured that her energy would either accept it or not, and that was ok. This was between me and her. I had good intentions so what could it hurt?
When I had them bring Mom into the hospice center I didn’t know she was close to dying. Yes, we knew that at some point in the near future she would be dying, but I didn’t know it would be this soon. This was supposed to be a five-day respite, but as the days progressed we all realized that Mom wouldn’t be coming back home. Day 1 she loved the idea of being brought in. She was excited and loved the attention. Day 2 she was confused, angry, having completely forgotten why she was there. Day 3 she stopped eating. Day 4 she stopped speaking to anyone, stopped making eye contact and was retching uncontrollably. Day 5 she continued sleeping and never regained waking consciousness. Day 6 was the same and then she passed.
I was there each day, except day 3 when I needed an energy break from her and I knew she needed one from me. My presence just agitated her. My brother was always her favorite but he lived out of state so I was the one who was here to be there for her. It was hard because Mom didn’t really want me there. She told me so on Day 2, told me to just go away and leave because she didn’t want to talk to me anymore. She was so angry that I had them bring her there, angry that I wasn’t letting them bring her back home yet but was going to wait until the five days were over. As long as she was there, she was not going to speak to me. I knew that not all of this was her own personality and attitude; most of it was the cancer in her brain, the medications, and her dementia. But knowing the rocky relationship we’ve always had made things worse. I found solace in knowing that there had been times when Mom appreciated my taking care of her.
On Day 4 I stood there feeling helpless, unloved, unwanted, and confused, feeling the weight of all the unresolved issues between my mom and me. My true nature and being only want to feel and be peaceful and loving. So despite my awkward, resentful, and helpless feelings I asked myself, what was something I could do to help us both? What can I do to get me out of this state of feeling like the helpless unloved child of a mother who would never make me feel whole?
Aren’t we all in search of feeling whole? Our mother should be the first person we look to to make us feel whole and safe and loved. But my mother and I never bonded that way and she often told me she didn’t love me. And that robbed me of so many things in my life. And at this moment it had robbed me of the ability to grieve for a dying mother the way that one should be feeling and grieving in this moment. I wasn’t feeling those things. I only felt helpless and incomplete, knowing that our relationship would never be fixed.
It wasn’t until after Mom’s passing that I was able to begin healing and learned that fixing our relationship was never on the agenda. The purpose and reason for our roles with each other in this life weren't about fixing or changing. For me it was about overcoming, sustaining, and growing.
Now at this moment it came to me, do Reiki on her. But I thought, I’m not experienced yet, haven’t had much practice yet. Mom never liked me doing anything, taking charge in any way. If she were conscious right now she’d tell me to stop. If I were able to ask her if she wanted it she’d probably say no. If she were awake and didn’t want it, I wouldn’t just force it on her. So was it really my place to just do this for her without any real consent?
I thought yes, it is. And she can either accept it or not. It can only be beneficial because Reiki can do no harm. I knew that my intentions were pure and loving, so that’s all that mattered. This was my last chance to really do something for Mom and for our relationship.
It was hard to tell how aware she was since she wasn’t making eye contact, wasn’t speaking, and wasn’t responding. She’d been dry heaving almost constantly that day. I felt so sorry for her. I’d been rubbing her head off and on but she was so agitated and restless. So I began the Reiki with her feet. I could feel her relaxing and she let out a big sigh. Then I moved to her head, not sure if she’d become agitated again or not. Amazingly, Mom’s whole body language changed. She kind of just sank into the bed and let go. She went into a deep, peaceful sleep within a few minutes.
That was Day 4, so I never saw her conscious again. She slept the next two days until she passed away. I like to believe the Reiki helped her to relax enough to let go. I hope on some level she was aware of this gesture from me and that it brought her peace.