Story telling by the dying moves us. When those who lay dying tell their stories and speak their truths, those of us at the bedside are called to pay attention and to listen with our hearts. It would seem that words spoken with the last sacred breaths of life are imbued with a quality that transcends ordinary speech. From the earliest literary treasures of humanity, these sacred moments are extolled by our common human ancestors as an extraordinary gift for those of us left behind. Our deepest places tell us that these spoken treasures may be the last time we hear the voice of our loved one, may be the last time we hear this story, told in this way…with that funny cocked eyebrow, or that glimmer in the eye of the story teller. These gifts are perhaps greater than any we could imagine.
In many ways, our modern culture has lost its awareness of both the importance of accompanying fellow humans through the dying process. If we learn nothing else from our common human ancestors, we must learn the importance of taking the time out of our busy schedules, the time out of our overbooked lives, to be with those who are dying. To witness for them and to learn from them.