Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | March 19, 2009

Thank you for having me

I have just heard a touching story about a friend who recently died that I thought I’d share with you. After two days in the hospice having lain there completely silent, when the nurse came to check on him he just opened his eyes and said “Thank you for having me. I think I’ll be going now.” He then closed his eyes and off he went…


Responses

  1. May we all have such a peaceful final moment. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. I agree with Pom. What is so touching is that your friend also seems to be expressing gratitude for the life he has lived – so very poignant at that moment of letting go. I hope when my time comes, I am that wise.

  3. Agreeing with both people above. Thank you for sharing this moment.

  4. What a beautiful thing to say. I’m sorry for you and how you might be missing your friend’s physical presence; may you hear his voice on the wind.
    That was truly touching and I hope I am as ready and as peaceful when my time comes to be whisked away.

  5. Well if you’ve got to go then that’s the way to do it. A settled sense of calm and a wonderfully polite farewell. What a thoroughly decent chap he must have been.

  6. Yes he really was! Those parting words summed up his character so well!

  7. Dear Philip,

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderfully touching story about your friend who has recently died, and as well to everyone who has shared their responses to this post – both have come as blessing and inspiration. With his passing Philip, I hope you are finding comfort and care in any sense of loss and grief you may be feeling at this time.

    A particular mystery – strange, beautiful, sorrowful – almost too tender for words, seems to illuminate the passing-over of loved ones at this time of year – just as Lady Day begins to bring forth Her first bashful buds and we sense, in every synapse and sinew, the very churning of the season within Her unseen body of earth and air – opulent with the promised butter of blossoming. In a dream of Spring, I see the verdant soul of your lovely friend feasting there – resurrecting; greening anew in this Season of Alban Eilir in a place and space of joy, pleasure and plenty. All the blessed beings of his new world have set for him a banquet and are delighted and grateful to greet him – to “have him” there!

    His words sing in the inner-ear of my heart and I smile. In their elegant simplicity, courtesy and calmness – and therefore, utter profundity and wisdom – like Maria – I hear him expressing an ultimately gracious “gratitude to life and the living… gratitude for the life he has lived”.

    For me, the first part of his message, “thank you for having me” is not only a wonder-ful way to say farewell, but for us still on this side, in all the little and larger things we are and do – to live by!

    And so with the gift your dear friend has given at his departure – I set a new dimension to my daily practice in motion: saying to the trees, to the air, even to my crazy kitchen, to my good old bones, to all my students, to my mad and miraculous marriage, to all the quirky things in my riddle-some self I may never be able to solve…, in short – for the time that’s still here for staying – however I feel and whatever is going on… to life itself –
    “thank you for having me”!

    With Queen of the Springtide-Sun
    and my Warm Blessings to All,

    Gabriella

  8. Thank you so much for posting this, Philip. Conscious dying is so beauitful. And to leave with Gratitude is so peaceful.
    I was with my mother this time last year when she left her body consciously. It was her eyes that said ‘ I love you, good bye from this form’. It will be with me all my days. But in another way, she has never left. Love lives beyond form.

  9. I think you are so right Alice – love really does live beyond form. I agree with you also that conscious dying is beautiful and mysterious too; there is a deep compassion at the heart of death. Like you, my mother also died at this time of year (the 29th anniversary fell on Mother’s Day this year) – there is a touching poignancy when people let go as all life is renewing; I will never forget walking out into my mum’s garden the morning she died, seeing all her daffodils blooming. It felt painful and incongruous at the time but now it strikes me how much that moment spoke of my mum’s renewal – something that cannot happen until we let go.

    I deeply regret that my mum and sister were both so very afraid and struggled at the end, and yet I truly believe that ultimately we are never alone when we die, that we are lovingly guided and held through that transition. It is in the presence of death that I have felt most strongly those ‘presences’, the ones we sometimes only catch a glimpse of out the corner of our eyes. My mum and sister’s experience taught me that it is very important to engage with your own dying in a conscious way, to open to that process – I so agree Alice, to leave with gratitude is a wonderful thing – I’m not in any hurry to go yet, but I really hope I can let go with such grace when my time does come. I really love butterflies – they remind me not only of the power of transformation but also of the joy and freedom at its heart.

    I couldn’t feel any connection to my mum for years, the shock of death, the fear and grief all keeping me at a distance. But as I have grown closer to the age that she left, I have felt her near me more and more. Yes, love really does live beyond form – bonds of love are powerful things.


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