A few years ago I wrote a simplified version of this in my journal. Recently, I have upgraded it and used it to meditate a few mornings a week. Inspiration came from someone close to me who volunteers in hospice care.
Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. Most patients are given less than 6 months to live.
You find yourself laying in a small bed with a slight incline.
You look around the room and realize you are in hospice care.
You look down at your hands and remember that you are about 90 years old. At this point, you aren’t positive about your exact age.
An overwhelming feeling of sadness and frustration comes over you.
You start to remember all the memories you created in your life.
All of the things you did, the people you met, the love you shared and the impact you made.
You think about the silly mistakes you made, the time you wasted and the family and friends that slipped away.
You think of the ideas you had but never pursued. You kick yourself for not doing more.
You regret not living in the moment and smiling more. You regret not traveling more. You regret not laughing and playing more. You regret not taking care of your mind and body like you knew you should of.
All of these thoughts begin to drift away as you make peace with the fact that your time here on earth is coming to an end.
You are consumed by both joy and sadness simultaneously. You think to yourself, “I would do anything to go back to ___ [insert your current age].
As you rest your head back and close your eyes, you realize it’s time for you to go.
It is time to move on to whatever is next.
You’re comfortable with this truth and feel safe. So much so that your breathing begins to soften. Your body gets heavy and sinks deep into the bed.
The light shining through your eyelids begin to fade.
You see beautiful visuals in your head that you couldn’t explain if you tried. These visuals bring you happiness and comfort through a feeling that can only be described as unfathomable love.
Your heart stops beating as you gently slip out of your human body and into a blissful darkness. At first, you are scared. But then feel an overwhelming feeling of calm.
You are in this space for what feels like an eternity.
But there’s no time or space. There’s nothing and everything all at the same time. There’s no structure to anything. There’s no air. There’s no negative or positive, no light no dark, no happy no sad, no fear no courage. You are simply there.
You’ve passed from the human experience. You are dead.
Some ‘time’ goes by before you start to feel something.
It’s a familiar feeling.
Warmth in the center of your being begins to form.
Light begins to form around you.
The feeling of the structure and time come back to you.
Sensations in your body comes back to you as you feel the seat beneath you.
Your eyes begin to flicker open and light floods your pupils for what feels like the first time ever.
You look around the room.
It feels like a dream.
You look to your right, to your left, up at the ceiling, and then finally down at your hands.
They are the hands of a ___ year old [insert your current age].
You can’t believe it.
You are ___ [insert age] again.
How is this possible?
You were dead!
You look outside and see the sun and the trees. You’ve never been happier.
An unexplainable love comes over you like a warm blanket.
You take 3 deep breathes, stand up and begin your day.
This time, you are only going to do what makes your heart sing.
No matter how cliche it sounds, life is the most precious gift you will ever receive. Use this article as a morning gratitude meditation and learn to cherish every moment of every day both good and bad.