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Excerpt from "What Happens When We Die?"

How to Talk and Listen to the Dying

by Echo Bodine

Recently in my advanced psychic development class, one of my students told me that her cousin was dying of inoperable cancer, and she wondered what she could say to him to get him talking about how he was really doing. She had already asked him several times, and he always gave her a quick reply of “fine.” She didn’t want to appear nosey and sincerely wanted to know how he was mentally and emotionally and if there was anything she could do for him. My answer was simple: “Ask him what this feels like for him. How is he doing emotionally and mentally? Show that you want — and can handle — an honest answer to your question, by being calm and present.” Dying people can tell when we’re being thoughtful in our questions versus when we’re uncomfortable but are asking because we think it’s the right thing to do. If we are a little uncomfortable, we may talk a mile a minute or run around fussing over flowers or food. It’s better to be still and listen. This also creates space for our intuition to guide us toward good questions to ask.

If the dying person opens up and it seems like they want to talk but aren’t sure what to talk about, you can ask them questions like these:

• What are your most memorable times?

• If you could do things over, would you change anything?

• What are you most proud of?

• Do you have any regrets?

Ask if they are holding on to resentments, anger, or hatred and speak gently to them about forgiving the persons who hurt them. Do they feel as if they have unfinished business with anyone? Offer to deliver a note to someone if they want to write one. After each story they tell you, ask them what they got out of the experience. What did they learn? Reflecting on and answering this question can be very healing for them. It’s better to end the conversations on this kind of positive note.

Remember to ask these questions and listen without judgments. This is their story, not yours. They have their own opinions and beliefs about their life experiences, so listen and be willing to learn more about them.

By taking the time to listen sincerely to the stories of a dying person, you are giving them a great gift. Hopefully, when it’s your turn to go, others will show you that same loving-kindness.

Please remember that the dying person is in an intense process of wrapping things up from this lifetime. The more they can release their emotional pain, the easier their transition will be. If they can let go of bitterness and regret and arrive home with a clean slate, they will live a more beautiful existence on the other side.

Echo Bodine is the bestselling author of Echoes of the Soul, The Gift, A Still, Small Voice, and most recently What Happens When We Die. She is a renowned spiritual healer, psychic, and teacher who lectures widely on intuition, spiritual healing, and life after death. She also has a monthly radio show and popular blog. Visit her online at www.echobodine.com .

Excerpted from the book What Happens When We Die ©2013 by Echo Bodine. Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com

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