Ask A Death Doula Podcast: How Bedside Visitations are Helping to Heal Grief with Suzanne O’Brien
Ask A Death Doula Podcast: How Bedside Visitations are Helping to Heal Grief with Suzanne O’Brien
#bedsidevisitations, #deathdoula, #deathdoulas, #endoflifedoula, #endoflifevisions, #grief, #healgrief, #lifeafterdeath, and bettywhite
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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Hi everyone. And welcome to ASCA death doula. My name is Suzanne O’Brien. Thank you for being here today. Today, we are going to discuss one of my favorite topics within end of life end life. Because as you know, many times, we’ll talk about when I talk about end of life, when we educate about end of life, when we raise that awareness, we’re talking about life so many times, people say, well, you know, how can you do this work? It must be so depressing and it’s not depressing. It has taught me everything about life, but it is the hardest work that I’ve ever done. It’s also the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. And it has given me an incredible new perspective about life. And I’m gonna share these moments with you now today in our podcast, we are gonna talk about bedside visitations at the end of life.
Speaker 1 (00:59):
What is a bedside visitation? So many times there is a space in the end of life where people who have died before will come back and I’m told that they come back to help cross over the person to the other side. How beautiful is that? Right? But this is what I want you to know. That’s very important. So in the do givers training, there is this space. We have the three phases of end of life. And then we have a section called indications that someone is headed into the transition phase. So there’s again, anticipating needs. Knowing how the body shuts down is extremely critical. Again, with the support and care for those at the end of life. And when we can know the in indications that will let us know that somebody is headed into that last phase, that’s everything. Why? Because we can’t get this time back.
Speaker 1 (01:54):
And I don’t think no matter how much we know somebody has an end of life diagnosis. I never think that we are fully ready to say goodbye to somebody end of life. So when we can ground the families and help them pair and get ready, just like those babies coming into the world, that person’s gonna leave on their own timeframe as well, whether you’re ready or not. So indications that someone’s going into the transition phase. And one of them is that they see loved ones who have died already, or even angelic figures for the most part in my experience, as a former hospice and oncology nurse, working with over a thousand patients at the end of life and working with all different people and different cultures and religions, the most common has been that loved ones, family members, people they know who have died already come back.
Speaker 1 (02:44):
They see them. Now everyone is gonna have this experience or not. Everyone is gonna share with you that they have this experience. There’s a big difference there as well. Maybe they’re not even able to, maybe again, this came, this end of life came about so very quickly that, you know, they’re mostly sleeping all the time and they can’t even have those kind of conversations, but this happens so often. And it is so important for us to share for many reasons, many of you know, that our beloved Betty White, how had her end of life recently. And, uh, you know, when we think of Betty White, I think every, I saw so many posts and from all different people, from all different walks of life, all different genres, all different places in the, um, entertainment field, you know, rappers and AR like everyone was touched a by this beautiful soul. Right. And they said that her last word before she actually died was a, she said a and Alan is her deceased husband.
Speaker 1 (03:54):
Okay. So let’s talk about bedside visitations at the end of life. How does it happen? Why does it happen? And what does it mean? So for me, this changes the game of everything. First of all, if you’ve ever had somebody that you are caring for, or that you love at the end of life, and they’ve had this experience, you will never again look at the world the same way, because whether or not you believe that this is happening, okay, we’re gonna talk about what’s really going on there from a scientific point of view, whether or not you believe what’s happening. I’ve never seen anyone there. My patients have asked me, do you see my mom? Do you see my dad that, you know, they, as clear as day, they see them, I have not seen them. Um, definitely have, you know, felt energy in the room and also had like white kind of gazy, um, in the room, but never seen a form of, of somebody like they’re describing doesn’t mean that they’re not, it doesn’t mean, you know, what right do I have because I’m not seeing with my eyes to deny them that they’re actually seeing it.
Speaker 1 (05:00):
So this is very what it does for us as practitioners and people learning about end of life is it allows you to know that if this comes up, that that person is getting very close to actually having their end of life. And from a scientific standpoint, I wanna share with you about energy. And we talk a lot about energy within the, this training and podcast, because everything is energy period. Everything is energy. We are four bodies of energy, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And in my opinion, because I’ve been with so many people, the end of life sitting bedside, that there is a part in their journey, me where their physical body is diminishing and dissolving, and their spiritual body is growing. There’s a part in the journey that they meet. So they have one foot in this world and one foot in the next, at the same time.
Speaker 1 (05:58):
And this allows them to be able to connect with people on the other side and still with you here. Incredible right. In incredibly powerful. So I have sat bedside with people that have woken up from a nap or overnight that had all the us new information, all this new information, I get it. Now, this is why all this happened. Like all of the pieces of the puzzle of life fit together and why, because they have access and that growth of that spiritual part of them, which is the bigger perspective, which is the all-knowing wisdom that connected the no judgment, unconditional love. Now they’re looking through the eyes of that lens. So they’re looking through an eyes, the lens of a higher perspective of responding, not reacting. So they’re not in the human experience with all of the stuck emotions and anger and all, and you know, just that whole swirling.
Speaker 1 (07:00):
That is part of the journey that we’re supposed to learn. They’ve now gotten to a higher part of their energetic frequency, where they have access to that, knowing that access to that perspective. And it changes everything about how they look at their life and are able to put it together when they, when they have seen somebody they love when you have somebody who’s at the end of life, who says that they see their mother or saw their mother for the first time in 35 years, it is indescribable the peace, the serenity, the joy that is part of that experience. And I will tell you that no matter if you believe this or not, I believe it, thousand million percent. I’m just gonna share with you my opinion, that for those of you who have somebody that is at the end of life, and you can see them in that state of serenity and peace, you will hold that into your heart for an ever, you will look back at this, not with the heaviness of, you know, uncomfortable thoughts and pain and all of that.
Speaker 1 (08:07):
You will look and, and remember that energetic, loving space that that person was in, which is so critically important. But let’s go beyond that. Let’s just go beyond that. Now this happened so often with other countries, with other cultures, with other religions that I was always taking note at what I call the universal language of death all the way through as a young nurse, when it, these themes, these, these themes would start to come up with everyone towards the end. And so connecting us again, making sense that we’re all connected to this one, universal consciousness, unconditionally loving, no judgment. They say the same things. It’s so beautiful. And of course, then as they get closer in their frequency, which is measured, by the way, in physics and science with megahertz, they can measure the body of illness. And as somebody is close to death and them death, and of course it’s going to be the energy frequency is gonna be very different.
Speaker 1 (09:03):
It makes a lot of sense that they can again, be in at a certain 0.1, one place and the other place and kind of go back and forth. I believe people go back and forth before they fully leave that I philosophy from what my patients have shared with me, what I have witnessed. Um, it’s really incredible. So this is so healing for so many to in even open up to this idea, or even to hear that this happens. Why? Because it changes everything. So if this is the school of life, if this is the part where we’re here to evolve in our consciousness and our soul growth through these lessons that we’re told about through these hardships, through these joyful moments, to understanding that we can do our work, to raise our energetic frequency right here, right now, not waiting to the end when it organically happens, right.
Speaker 1 (10:06):
Which is beautiful. But what if we can strengthen it now? What if I am in control of how I choose to do things, think, speak actions that would change my energetic frequency and perspective right here right now. Wow. Game changer, game changer. So of course, yes. When I share with you that I’ve learned everything about how to live and live and flow and live in love and live in connection it from those people at the end of life, they’ve taught me everything. And this is a big part of it. So sharing with you, those bedside visitations. Now I wanna also share with you, they can be angelic figures. Most of my patients have been past loved ones, but I remember I was working. I was teaching a doula giver certification course. One of our doulas was working with some, um, a client and family. And she said, this man was very close to end of life.
Speaker 1 (11:05):
And at the end, and I just, again, you light up with this, um, information at the end, he sat up in his bed and he looked around, his family was all around his bed and he looked around the room and he goes, I never, you, how many angels I had around me? And just that statement lifted everyone up and changed everything. So yes, there are Angeli figures that come as well, but mostly it has been past loved ones. And how beautiful, right? To be told that a past loved one, um, that they come to cross you over. So for me, I think it’s really healing for us to share that I personally believe. And if you follow what I’m sharing here is that we never die alone. We never die alone, never. And when we talk more about the different parts of end of life, there is a very common theme.
Speaker 1 (12:00):
Sometimes that people would like you to step away from the bed for them to have their end of life. Cause they know how hard it is for you. And they don’t want that to be the last thing you remember. So I believe we never die alone. And I know that people will, will come over to help cross you over. So Betty White, we love you so very much. And we’re so very happy that you are with Alan. Her last word was a, she saw a there. Um, so I wanna share with you a few of my experiences in my work with those at the end of the life. I remember I was working with this beautiful family and I came for a visit and the woman was in her transition phase, very, very close to end of life. And I came there and there were two adult daughters.
Speaker 1 (12:45):
And the daughter said my dad was here last night. And I was like, okay, tell me more. You know, what was that? And she said, my dad knees cracked all of the time. And I would hear him coming down the hallway from his bedroom into the living room, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, right? She goes, I was sleeping on the couch. Her mother’s hospital bed was in the living room and she could hear her dad’s knees cracking coming. Now her dad was deceased. He had been deceased for years and she had no doubt in her mind that my dad was here last night. And so again, I shared with them that this is very common that, but it brought such peace that he was an end. Let’s now look at the bigger picture here. So the comfort of knowing this, how comforting is that we don’t die alone, but how beautiful that people who’ve died before us come back to cross us over.
Speaker 1 (13:40):
But what is that saying from that bigger perspective? What is happening here? What is life about? Is it so much more than we’ve been taught or that we mostly know and how we’re operating? Absolutely. And if this is all again with these universal laws and language that people at the end of life share that we’re all connected to one unconditional loving consciousness, all of us, all the animals, all of the elements, all of nature, all of it connected. So we need to look out and care for one another. We need to meet each other in compassionate presence, without judgment, supporting one another and end of life will teach you about life. So when you hear these things that there is this huge, beautiful continuation, what was this about? What is this journey of life about? And for me, my understanding again, and my belief is that it is the school of life.
Speaker 1 (14:48):
We are here to learn lessons, to get back to finding our true soul self. Before we get there, before we get to the end of life, where it organically happens, it’s giving you every experience you have as an opportunity to get closer to that soul source, to get closer to that alignment with your energy, so that you can again, practice it. Now it’s not easy, but it’s not hard either. And the minute that you raise that awareness of understanding how this works and knowing it, that changes everything because it is the choices you make. It is the way that you want to, you live your life every single day, with your thoughts, with your actions, with your purpose, with your compassionate presence, that will change that energetic alignment that you can access it now. So that is one of my beautiful patients that they said that their father was here.
Speaker 1 (15:49):
Um, I have so many, so I don’t know which stories to share with you then. Um, there, I, I, I want, I want to, all right, there is a beautiful story that I have of a woman who was young in her presentation and in her forties. And she was, she had cancer and she was, um, going through chemotherapy that bridled her bones and it broke her hip. And what happened is within a, a few days span, she ended up blowing a blood clot to her lung, which then turned into an end of life. And it was really very intense, very quick, very UN good for that. But this is what happened towards the end.
Speaker 1 (16:38):
She woke up from a nap again, remember that there’s a certain part in the journey for bodies of energy. All of us as our physical body is declining. And that spiritual body is growing. That you’re gonna have access to the afterlife and to this life, you can go back and forth. And so she, this was in the oncology unit in the hospital and she woke up from a nap and she said to the nurse, get my sister. I’m transitioning with like all of the excitement that you would’ve told an eight year old child that you’re going to Disney world. And her sister was out in the lounge and they got her sister and she came in the room and she goes, I’m transitioning with all this excitement. So I wanna share with you, and I wanna ask you this question. What did Mary see? What did she see and experience in her sleep state that brought about this?
Speaker 1 (17:34):
Not only a piece, but excitement. Well, I mean, I can share with you, she got a glimpse of where she’s going. And from what I have been told, it is the most loving, beautiful, indescribable, energetic home that we could ever imagine. So what is the meaning? So this is, for me, let’s not only share that awareness so that you have tools to know that if you have a loved one that is seeing somebody not to be fearful to know that they’re getting ready to leave soon, but how common that is. And then let’s look at that bigger picture. What is that teaching us about the big scope of life, and also what we can do right now to live again, a compassionate present and connected life with one another. So there are so many things here about the big meaning. This is matched by science. This is also something that is a universal language of death. That again, I have seen with different cultures and religions, and it is taught me everything about how to live. Thank you so much for being here. Everyone. I love you so much. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review and also leave me a comment I would love to hear from you. And I will see you in the next episode.
About this episode...
1. What are Bedside Visitations [00:59] – Many times there is a space in the end of life where people who have died before “come back” to the bedside of the patient. I am told they return to help the other person cross over to the other side. In the Doulagivers Training, we have a section called, “Indications that Someone is Headed into the Transition Phase.” One of these common indications is that the patient will see loved ones that have died already or even Angelic Figures at the bedside.
2.How does it happen, Why does it happen, What does it mean? [4:00] – If you’ve ever had somebody that you’re caring for or that you loved at the end of life, and they’ve had this experience – you will never look at the world the same way again. Whether or not you believe this is truly happening, as a practitioner, this is a strong indication that this person is getting close to having their end of life. From a scientific standpoint, everything is energy. In the Doulagivers Training, we talk about how we are composed of four main bodies of energy (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). In my opinion, from having worked with so many people at the end of life, there is a part of the end-of-life journey where the patient’s physical body is diminishing and their spiritual body is growing. There is a moment in time where they meet equally, so essentially the patient has one foot still in this physical world and one foot in the next at the same time. It is incredibly powerful.
3. A Change of Perspective [6:09] – I have sat bedside with people who have woken up from a nap or overnight sleep with so much new information. Waking up and excitedly exclaiming, “I get it now! It all makes sense!” They act as though all the pieces to the puzzle of life now fit together. Why? Because that spiritual growth within them is providing access to a higher perspective. It provides a sense of all-knowing wisdom, connection, no judgment, and unconditional love and they’re now looking through that lens. They’ve now accessed a higher part of their energetic frequency. It changes everything about how they look at their life. The peace, serenity, and joy that can accompany this experience is indescribable. As a practitioner, when you get to see your patient in that state of serenity and peace, you will hold that in your heart forever. You will look back on that time not with the heaviness of uncomfortable thoughts and pain, but rather, by remembering the energetic and loving space that that person was in. This experience happens often regardless of where in the world the person is, or what culture or religion they belong to – it is a universal theme at the end of life. Death is a unifying force in our humanity, and it is my belief that we are all part of one universal consciousness.
4. We Don’t Have to Wait Until the End [9:55] – We can do our work to raise our energetic frequency right here, right now. We don’t have to wait until the end of life when it organically happens. We are in control of how we choose to do things – how we think, speak, and act are all within our control. We can change and strengthen our energetic frequency and perspective right here, right now by being intentional with the way we lead our lives. I have learned everything I know about how to live – to live in flow, to live in love, to live in connection – from the people I have had the honor and privilege to work with at the end of life.
5. The Bigger Meaning [13:40] – What is life about? Is it so much more than we’ve been taught or that we mostly know and how we’re operating? I absolutely think so. We are all connected to on unconditional loving consciousness. The world and all of nature – the entire universe is tethered together. We need to look out and care for one another. We need to meet each other in compassionate presence without judgment. What is this journey of life about? My belief is that it is the school of life – we are here to learn lessons, to get back to finding our true self before we get to the end of life where it organically happens. Every experience you have is an opportunity to get closer to alignment with your higher energetic frequency. It is the choices you make, the way that you want to live your life every single day – with your thoughts, with your actions, with your purpose, with your compassionate presence – that will change that energetic alignment. You can access it now; you don’t have to wait.
Memorable Quotes: 1. “I have learned everything I know about how to live – to live in flow, to live in love, to live in connection – from the people I have had the honor and privilege to work with at the end of life.” – Suzanne B. O’Brien RN
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