Imagine living every day with the knowing that as you enter the twilight years of your life you will be cherished and cared for to the bone, by a community that will be there for you and with you until your parting breath.
Imagine knowing that when the time comes when you may be in need of 24/7 support, the nursing home you go to will not just be glitzy on the outside, with ‘cosy’ described on the brochure but rarely felt in the actual home itself. Imagine knowing that what is before you as you are close to parting from this life, is an ending that’s glorious, as you are surrounded by people who are your family through and through regardless of whether they’re a blood relation or not.
Imagine taking your very last breath in the knowing that in this lifetime you have felt what it is to live in brotherhood, and that it’s in the glorious warmth of brotherhood that you will one day again return to.
Pipe dream? Far from it. For the students of The Way of The Livingness the world over, this is how we care for our elders. It goes without saying, it goes without thinking. Care is in the essence of how we live, and in the essence of how we are with those who need our support, be it in illness, a passing problem or in the closing years of our lives.
The Way of The Livingness is re-defining what has been reduced today to a lucrative industry by the private health-care market, which is capitalising on how as a society we treat and regard our elderly and ultimately, ourselves. Care has all but been thrown out the window, jettisoned as the majority in the world today have succumbed to the longing for outer recognition and success. The fact that it’s only from a foundation of true care that we can then enrich all aspects of our lives and be truly successful, has been forgotten. The vacant, abandoned look in the eyes of the elderly who pass by, as they shrink away from life long before they pass over, is an indictment of the lack of quality of life we have allowed to be acceptable.
Respect and dignity are birthrights for all, from the day we are born to the day our eyes are closed for the very last time. So is love.
We are born in the bundle of love we innately are, and it is our natural right to remain in that love until the end of our days and beyond. Most in the world today live in the absence of remembering this fact, and death and dying are synonymous with the cold feeling of dread; for the vulnerability of the human body has nothing to fall back on and deeply rest in when there is no foundation of true care to hold it.
The Way of The Livingness is turning this sorry state around. To live in the knowing that as we reach our parting years we will be held in the warmth and care we innately deserve gives us the freedom to live every day in the joy we are meant to live in. We go about our lives in the knowing that true care underpins everything, and that it’s in this full embrace of ourselves that we then surround ourselves with love and true family until our dying breath.
By Katerina Nikolaidis, 41 years, Melbourne
Death and Dying – The Cycle of Life and Death
Death & Dying – A Taboo Topic or a Joyful, Normal Conversation?
The Quality of Mercy: A New Perspective on Aged Care
The Way of the Livingness is my Religion