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"Exploring the Healing Power of Reiki for Coping with Death and Dying"

Updated: May 2

A person crossing the bridge into the Afterlife
A person crossing the bridge into the Afterlife. Reiki, Death and Dying

In death and dying, how can Reiki help all involved?  For both the dying and the loved ones left behind it is a devastating process. It can feel as though you're drowning or falling into a bottomless pit. However, Reiki can be the lifeline that will make your pain, emotionally, mentally, and physically manageable and even transformative.

It is the ability of a good Reiki practitioner or Reiki Master to channel healing energy into their intended subject and facilitate levels of balance and healing in many areas such as the emotional, physical, mental, and even spiritual. This is not magic or some hocus pocus although it can seem like it. With the correct training and attunements, all human beings have this ability. It’s quantum physics. Everything is made up of energy and energy cannot be destroyed but it can be changed. Nor is Reiki a religion, so it doesn’t conflict with anyone's religious beliefs or none at all. This is one of the reasons for its growing popularity in many hospitals, cancer centers as well as hospice facilities in addition to aiding the healthy to maintain their health and balance.

Butterfly symbolizes life transition

For those who are dying, it helps to remove the fear of the unknown, bringing with it calm, peace, and acceptance. Reiki is also known to be beneficial in the reduction of pain and discomfort.  For those who will be left behind, Reiki can bring a very similar feeling of calm, peace, acceptance, and with that, the reduction of grief.  Reiki assists all living beings, animals, and people alike to facilitate the process of dying or as I like to call it, transitioning. Just as a caterpillar transitions to a butterfly, death and dying are part and parcel of your soul's natural progression where you return to the realm of love and light. Reiki in a very nurturing way, cradles the transitioning being and helps them with acceptance and releasing attachments to this lifetime by releasing fear and opening them up to Spirit.  In this way, it helps the dying to relax into the unknown while being surrounded by a sense of nurturing, loving, and peaceful energy that is Reiki and Spirit, regardless of religious beliefs.

For loved ones, Reiki is equally beneficial. We can lose ourselves in the intense feelings of sadness, sorrow, heartbreak, and grief.  Reiki can help with all symptoms of grief and the roller-coaster of emotions that can ensue such as depression and that feeling of loss and heaviness.  While we all experience grief for those we lose or have lost, Reiki shifts the grief out of the body so that relief can be found and eases the depth and length of that grief which will lead you also to peace through acceptance.

 I think one of the most profound experiences I've had working in hospice was with an 80-year-old woman called Darlene.  I hadn't met her physically until the last day of her life, though I had been working with her remotely a couple of days before.  I was originally contacted by her niece, Jeaneen who said that Darlene was in the hospital dying but that she was also in some pain, very anxious, fearful, and depressed and she wondered how I could help her.  I explained that nothing can alter one’s life script or destiny but that I could help with all the attendant pain and emotions. Because she was in the hospital we decided that a remote session would be the best option so we scheduled a distance Reiki session for her and I soon went to work. After the Reiki session, I contacted Jeaneen to let her know how it went. When I called, she was quite happy and said her Aunt was up on her feet, much more alert, engaged, and in higher spirits. So much so that she even wondered if she might recover.  Unfortunately, I knew that this was not to be the case in this circumstance.  As I was performing Reiki on Darlene earlier, it had been made clear to me that people were waiting for her on the Otherside.  I perceived them as family and friends who had passed on but they were clearly there and I intuitively knew why.  I very gently explained to Jeaneen that the reason Darlene was so much better was that Reiki had cleared her emotionally and somewhat physically but that Reiki could not alter her life's journey, nothing could. She later asked me to do another Reiki session on her which also helped her to maintain her pain management and to retain her good spirits which happened but by the end of the week, she was released from the hospital so that she could comfortably die at home.  I was asked to do one final Reiki session but this time, I was asked to come to her home and do it in person. I was happy too. I had not met Darlene, but strangely, I felt I knew her even though I had just been working from a photo of her in my remote Reiki sessions.  Actually, it wasn’t strange at all if you understand Reiki. Reiki connects you with the subject in a very spiritual way that is beyond description, so I won’t attempt it here. All I can say is that it is beautiful and profound. Anyway, I came to Darlene's home and was soon ushered into her bedroom. Now remember, I had never met her and had only worked from a photo of her.  Darlene had never seen me. Jeaneen introduced me to her Aunt and as Darlene looked at me I could see recognition in her eyes. She said,'' I know you, you were with me just the other day ”.  I felt chills run through my body as she said that but at the same time, I was overjoyed that she had felt my connection to the point of seeing me in the previous Reiki sessions. I then gave her the final Reiki session which went very well. She died peacefully later that evening.

A bird flying from hands.
A bird flying from hands. Symbolizing of life transition

That’s just one example among many. Through my experiences, I don’t see death and dying as an end. It is a natural transition and is nothing to fear. Though life is beautiful and is to be treasured, death releases us from the pain and heaviness of the material world and into a realm of pure light and love beyond our physical understanding. It’s fear of the unknown that terrifies us. However, nowadays it is less unknown. Due to advances in modern medicine, many more people have survived actual death and come back to share their experiences from the Otherside.  Those that have come back to share these experiences not only number in the tens of thousands but their reports are remarkably similar.  These are called near-death experiences or NDE.  There are many books, podcasts, and videos on the subject, and learning about these with an open mind can go a long way in reducing your fears of death. Organizations such as the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) exist.  I also recommend the book, Journey of Souls by Michael Newton or Proof of Heaven, A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Dr. Eban Alexander. Knowledge combined with Reiki healing can be a very restorative and transformational experience for all evolved. An experienced Reiki Master will be equipped to help you navigate this difficult time.

With Love and Light,

Katherine McBride, C.P.C.

Reiki Master / Teacher 

Karuna Reiki® Master / Teacher

Certified Life Coach

Cell: 714.321.8259

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1 Comment

Death is something we all have had to deal with. You touched on it beautifully. And your story of Darlene touched my heart. Thank you!

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