• Crystal Rios

Death: Re-emerge into the wholeness of who you are.

I was in the room for my Uncle’s death, yesterday. I had my hand on his chest as he took his last breaths. The paradox of dying astonishes me. It is slow and yet so fast. It is trippy and yet so concrete. The person seems like they are in pain but the body doesn’t move. The person can hear but cannot say anything.

This was my experience of his “final work of art.“

I felt so drawn to being there, to not missing anything. I compare the feeling to how I feel when welcoming a new baby into the world. I just wanted to have my hands on him to comfort him and hold him.

My Uncle was 73 and was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer on Thanksgiving 2021. He died on January 25th, 2022, 5 days after his 74th birthday. He was a veteran and grew up on the island of Guam. He is bereaved by his loving wife, his 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren.

The touching beauty of spending the last two weeks of his life supporting him through massage, feeding him water, sponging his mouth, dosing him with morphine and lorazepam is a true gift. Witnessing him and his wife kissing, saying goodbye everyday not knowing how much longer they had together broke my heart open. Thinking about them brings tears of adoration and sadness to my eyes.


Thank you Uncle David for amplifying my personal death awareness. Thank you for having an open door policy so I could know and feel welcomed to be with you so fully and tenderly as you prepare a wider trail for us.

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