Facing Death:A Journey Through Pictures, Prose, Poetry, and Plainsong

Session by Lawrence Wolfe MD

Demon is failure to acknowledge that patient’s are suffering and dying and leads to Burnout, sec trauma, moral distress, hostility, and structured violence. Most of us view death as a horrible thing and we are often not available to those who are dying.

Story about demons and priest to overcome fear.

Wallace Stevens: Death is the mother of beauty

Mitch Alboms Tuesdays with Morrie

Lets Meet death in picture. Showing a picture of tomb of a child then telling story of mother asking for healing of child who died.

Bonds of ritual that help to help with grief. 23 psalm as an example of strength and beauty. Water is a precious commodity and that water is a depth symbol where we may find order from grief. What is shadow? The sun is still there but will the clouds pass? The mourner must walk through the shadow.

It is a complete mystery when we die. We see the symbols of angels and demons but what do we believe? Picture of the death of Mary shown and very moving. Aging is natural even though we do not believe it.

Picture of Socrates taking hemlock while surrounded by his students.

You only live twice, once when you are born and once when you face death. Death does not extinguish the light it is completing the dawn.

Now showing a series of images and art that is very moving. The Vigil no one is touching the person in the bed and all sitting around the room.

Freddy the Leaf story about a leaf growing, learning, purpose and reason for being, watching, transformation, differences. Everything dies after their journey. Everyone is afraid to die and we are all a part of life. What is the reason for being here? It is about the sun and the moon, the warmth and the cold. Freddy was the last leaf left on his tree and as he fell he saw the whole tree for the first time. Closed his eyes and feel asleep. He did not know that he would join the ground and start again.

Poem about leaves falling. Do we see something others do not in this work we do?

When a great whale dies it falls to the ocean floor and feeds life for centuries. Giving birth to new life forms.

Reading aloud the 9 contemplations: a weather report warning us of a storm. We must prepare now and not wait.

1. All will die sooner or later.

2. My life span is ever decreasing. Each breath brings us closer.

3. Death comes weather or not I am prepared.

4. My life span is not fixed. Death can come at any time.

5. Death has many causes.

6. My body is fragile and vulnerable. My life hangs by a single breath.

7. My material resources will be of no use to me at the time of my death.

8. My loved ones can not save me. They can not keep us from death.

9. My own body can not help me when death comes. It will be lost at the moment of my death.

Story: There is no Death light house and ship watching for her to come.

Plainsong: chosen by patients and families. My immortal great choice for reading the lyrics. Where can my baby be with pictures to accompany sound. Sorry, I will remember You, Go on, No More Tears in Heaven.

The music combined with the pictures, art and images was very powerful and moving. Many tears in the room and then a video of Evenescence to get our energy back up. Overall this session was wonderful and attended by many. I hope we continue to provide this type of education and presentation for our souls.

David Wensel

Leave a Comment