Self-Forgiveness in the Dying

           In her work with people who are literally in the last stages of life, Kathleen Dowling Singh has observed that self-forgiveness is important in creating an essential level of peace in those who are dying. As people look back over their lives they gradually come to recognize that they will no longer have the time or ability to change things. Things must stand as they are. The illusion of control is abandoned. The dreams of making amends slip away. And the next thing that emerges is forgiveness of themselves. Singh speaks of it with great respect, when she says that, in these people who find self-forgiveness,

 “a new capacity for compassion arises, for others and for our self, as well as a growing clarity, deepened experience of pure existence, and an increased capacity to intuit the truth.”

            Others who work in hospice care have observed the same, remarkable healing process in those who are faced with the end of their lives. It may be that the intensity of the final weeks of dying accelerates the process of forgiveness.

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