How could a Buddhist support a non Buddhist person who is dying and anxious?

 

How could a Buddhist support a non Buddhist person who is dying and anxious?

by Julie


(UK)

How could a Buddhist support a non Buddhist person who is dying and anxious?

Thank you


My answer



Death is a terribly scary step of existence. We all have to go through it. Some people are “lucky” that they die in their sleep, without any pain but they don’t get to say good bye.

Others suffer through a long illness but usually get to say good bye and put their things in order.

Dying slowly is stressful though as whatever faith we hold, our fears put our faith to test.
What if there is nothing after life?

What if I have the wrong faith? What if I was not good enough?

For Buddhists, death is just part of the illusion that is life. A great image of what is life, for the Buddhist faith, is the movie The Matrix.

Neo, at the beginning of the movie lives in a virtual reality world but is not aware of it. All he senses, feels and do is an illusion fed to his brain by a computer.

Our existence is the same thing. We are so much more than what this life shows us through the experience we have through our 5 senses. Life is constant suffering, even in its happy moments.

Death is only a step in that cycle of existence. We will be reborn, unless we attain enlightenment and are reborn in nirvana.

We will continue this cycle of death and rebirth until we realize that it is an illusion and that we can break free of it.

As such, death is just a step, a scary step but a natural one.

What your friend needs is what anyone in that situation needs.

Suffering people do not need lectures on faith or death. All they need, whatever is their faith is love and understanding.

For them it is important to know that you care, they will not be forgotten and that you love them. They need to know that they mattered.

If they know that, the suffering they have will be easier to support.

Death is often harder on the people that stay. That is where faith and religion gets important.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a reading suggestion that will answer in far more details than I could ever give you the perspective of death and Buddhism: Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality


Regards and compassion,

Hugo

Comments for How could a Buddhist support a non Buddhist person who is dying and anxious?

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Mar 06, 2012

broadened outlook


by: shally aduca


thank you Hugo for this topic on death.

reading the comments on the book: MAKING FRIENDS WITH DEATH by author LEIF has broadenend my mind about death, because it mentioned death of things…death of relationships…my view on death was limited to death of a human being only.now that i have idea, though little yet, because i haven’t read the book yet, somehow, i have a glimpse on the realities and beauty in befriending death…


graceous thanks to you.


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