What could it mean to bring the condition of wholeness, connection and integration, i.e., integrality, to the process of death? How might we contribute an integral viewpoint to people experiencing the passing of a loved one?
We can access our various intelligences, i.e., mental, emotional, physical and spiritual, and apply them to bring about a transformative experience. The development and integration of these energies can alter our relationship with death, from an experience that feels destructive and traumatic to one that feels constructive, cathartic, and an opportunity for growth.
Death provokes strong emotional responses. The freedom to express powerful and oftentimes conflicting emotions, e.g. loss and confusion, etc., is paramount to healing and completion. The ability to provide a safe environment in which to simply be with grief, (few words, discerning what might need to be said and felt, and encouraging their sincere expression, however it shows up) could be the most generous gift you could give anyone.
Death can unearth experiences we never have had before. Inquiring with appreciation into our many emotions, thoughts, body sensations, related to loss and confusion, etc., can also open up a powerful Inquiry about our lives as well as death. There are many unknowns around death, the mystery, the desire to understand, practically, philosophically, spiritually, and religiously, all invite a depth of questioning that often sheds light on many myths and misconceptions about the process.
Frank Ostaseski: The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach us About Fully Living
Thich Nhat Hanh: On Birth and Death
Mindfulness – Life Before Death