Death?  No such thing. part 1

So I was wondering, what happens after we die?
I was 7 years old, wondering this.  It gave me a bellyache.
Because I was told:  heaven or hell.  Forever.
Even heaven forever gave me a bellyache.
It was the forever part.  I couldn’t contain it.  Bellyache.

What do you think happens after we die?
Do we just go blank and gone?
Dissolve to nothing?
Are we more than this physical body?

In 1977 when I was a student nurse, the first dead person I saw convinced me she wasn’t dead.
On a Tuesday I was assigned to take care of a woman with end-stage liver disease.  This petite elderly lady had bright yellow leathery skin and long grey hair.  The whites of her eyes were bile-yellow too.  She was tired and weak, but sitting up smiling, because her daughter stayed at her bedside all day.  The three of us enjoyed chatting about everything under the sun.

Early Thursday morning, my next clinical day, my instructor sailed into the cigarette-smoky report room, eyeballing the five of us students.
She said, “Who hasn’t seen a dead person yet?  Diane, you haven’t.”

Before I could hide, she grabbed my hand and led me down the hall, straight to the bedside of the elderly lady with liver disease.  Dang, did it have to be her?  My heart shrank.

She wasn’t sitting up.  Her body lay on its right side; her grey hair wafted across the pillow.
Nothing there.  She wasn’t there.  This was obvious.  Tears burned my eyes.  I blinked them back.
She was gone.  Her empty body was here, but she herself was elsewhere.

Her larger self, who had chatted with me, her animated self, had moved on.
This I knew in my bones.  The complete person she was, her life force, could not dissolve. Was not extinguished.
This truth sank into me.

I stood in awe:  for the lady I had befriended, for the lady who went Somewhere.

“So this is what it looks like,” said my instructor, flipping the covers off the lady’s legs.  “See?  Her legs are mottled.  This happens very soon after death.  Touch them.  This is mottling.”  She poked the splotchy dark patches on the lady’s yellow calves.
“Rigor mortis won’t happen for some hours yet.”  My instructor took my hand and pushed it against the mottled skin.
I couldn’t believe her coarseness in this sacred moment.
I put my hand back in my pocket.

Oddly, the lady’s death left me feeling lighter the next few days.
It was proof of Somewhere Else.

I won’t debate how I knew this lady went Somewhere.  It was a visceral knowing.
I felt the same with every patient who died in my 37 years of hospital nursing.

So what do you think?
What do you feel?

Death No Such Thing part 2
Departing or not:  Death part 3
Talking Through the Veil – Death part 4 

headstone question


About Diane Langlois Stallings

Diane Stallings RN, Reiki Master, Energy Healer, Healing Touch, Enneagram Coach, EFT tapping, Meditation Coach, Nutritionist, Integrative Health Coach
This entry was posted in Energy Body, Light and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Death?  No such thing. part 1

  1. Teri says:

    Dearest Diane….your words couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. On July 5, 2009, my sweet Dad left his mortal body. I was there. I heard and saw and felt him take his last breath. I watched the color drain from his face. I felt the warmth leave his body. Everything that made him human – everything that allowed us to experience him like we had since our birth – was gone. I even saw the mottled look on his legs that you saw with your patient. But yet, through the sadness and shock of his death, I KNEW he was experiencing life free from the shackles of this mortal life. Time, space, these human bodies that disease and age and hurt, the physical world, our emotional minds – we are only experiencing a fraction of what our universe contains. Our true selves – souls if you will – continue to live and experience the full array of existence even after our human bodies die. I knew my dad was at that “place” in his existence even though he wasn’t with me here in this world.

    I am sure there are well meaning people out there that would care to debate the meaning of life and death. Where we “go” after we die. Or argue that its Zip. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. I am sure of this. With the limitations of our feeble words we can’t come close to describing what our inner faith and beliefs try to express when we talk about this.

    Faith? A belief in something bigger and grander? I’m thankful for that. And in the end, if my belief that there is something more turns out to be nothing more than that? A story? What have I lost? Not a thing.

    Thank you for your words Diane. It was perfectly timed for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave Lankutis says:

    Something I wrote for hospice training
    I have been doing hospice for 30 years
    diagnosed with Parkinson’s 10 years ago
    Interesting experience G*d has given me
    Just found you, another G*d Kiss

    When we were born, it was as if we began falling from a flying airplane. Without some miraculous intervention, we are guaranteed we will someday hit the ground, and die.
    Life as a Fall
    This metaphor can be expanded in numerous ways. Varying ideas proliferate about how this earthly experience came about.
    • Who is the pilot of the plane? Is there even a pilot?
    • Were we pushed or did we choose to jump?
    • Do we have access to a parachute or to experienced guidance during the trip down?
    • Do we still have communication with the pilot, directly or through others?
    Concern about what happens after the fall ends also propagate many other perplexing questions.
    • Do we go somewhere else after a resurrection and stay there forever?
    • Do we board another plane and experience another fall or is this our only fall?
    Thousands of writers have considered these ideas for centuries. You may or may not have a strong belief about what happens before and after the fall from the plane. One belief may disagree with other beliefs causing arguments and even war.

    Fear of Death
    It is not the intent of this article to even begin to scratch the surface of this infinitely complex discussion of why our fall began or what happens after it ends. Hospice will focus on two facts that as far as I know, are universally agreed to by all who think about these things:
    • We are going to die.
    • We have some level of fear, trepidation, dread, anxiety, distress, unease, apprehension, concern and/or worry about death
    For the rest of the article I will use the word fear, knowing that one of the synonyms listed could be substituted in a given situation.
    If we are fearful, it can have two distinct components:
    • We are afraid of being dead.
    • We are afraid of the dying process.
    If we fear being dead, Dr. Michael Kearney of Palliative Care Services suggests, “We have an ego which is happiest when in control of a world that is familiar and predictable. We feel threatened by the approach of utter chaos and the ultimate unknown.” Or, we might be afraid of an eternity of suffering if we don’t quite get it “right”. Or maybe we are just having such a good time here, we don’t want it to end.

    It is not the role of Hospice to attempt to answer questions a terminally ill person or their family may have about where they came from or where they may be going. It could be that some mysteries continue to be mysterious no matter how much effort is put into an attempt to understand. It is the role of Hospice to help keep fear, a natural occurrence, from detracting from the dying experience.
    Fear of the dying process includes pain, loss of control and inability to continue a lifestyle. According to Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon who wrote the landmark book, Being Mortal, “Medical science has given us remarkable power to push against the constraints of our biology. But again and again I have seen the damage we in medicine do when we fail to acknowledge that such power is finite and always will be.”
    Dr. Gawande is very adamant about the fact that there must be honest and open three-way communication between the dying person, their family and their medical professionals. If a Hospice worker notes this is not happening, they may try to get dialog going and help keep it going.
    Choices for the Fall
    As I see it my choices as I fall are:
    • Close my eyes and ignore the fact the fall will end.
    • Scream and yell, flailing around as I fall.
    • Appreciate the experience on the way down.

    (We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)


    • Thanks for sharing your great perspectives, Dave. Yes indeed, we are spiritual beings having a human experience!
      Wonderful –


      • Dave Lankutis says:

        If I decide to focus on the fall only
        not wonder about
        where the fall started
        or what happens after it ends
        am I missing anything?


      • Hi Dave – It seems to me we each get to take our own approach to the fall. Full attention on the Present moment is a great way to fall, I’m sure. No expectations, right? For my own part, I have always been curious about the before and after parts of the fall. These days we have more communication from other realms besides the physical – and I enjoy these. – Diane


      • Dave Lankutis says:

        The piece I sent you
        was written for hospice volunteers
        I think they need to focus on the fall
        recognizing that dying people and their loved ones
        have widely varying beliefs (or nonbeliefs) in what happens before and after
        but hospice focuses on helping them deal
        with fear and grief
        in this life
        let other spiritual consolers
        help them deal with
        what happens after

        As for me personally
        I don’t worry about what happens
        after I leave Here
        but it is fun exploring Over There
        with Lucid Dreaming (Kin of Ata)
        Astral Travel (Robert Monroe, Carol Eby)
        I was in a writers group with Carol Eby in late 90’s

        Some amazing discussions with her
        Love > hate

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Dave –
        Sure, I take your point regarding hospice workers and their neutral stance.
        Thanks for the window into Carol Eby’s book – cool stuff. Must have been great for you to talk with her.
        I have read some of Robert Monroe’s material.
        I think it would be fun to consciously experience the astral plane. Personally I’ve had only a couple glimmerings of this.
        Anyhow – thank you for sharing all this!
        Diane 😉


      • Dave Lankutis says:

        Monroe helped me develop
        “eyelid movies”
        relax and close eyes
        in quiet place
        maybe lying in bed
        imagine movie camera
        in back of head
        projecting on inside of eyelid screen
        empty your mind
        let third eye projector roll
        amazing stuff sometimes

        preserve the transitional state
        between dream state
        and awake state
        that is where astral travel occurs
        similar to lucid dreaming
        Love > hate


      • Dave Lankutis says:

        Have you any experience
        with people that have neurological disorders
        Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, epilepsy?
        I was diagnosed with PD 10 years ago
        my granddaughter has epilepsy
        friend recently died with ALS
        have you seen this:


      • Dave Lankutis says:

        found this on pdrecovery website

        does this seem realistic based on you experience?


      • Hi Dave – Gosh, my software didn’t alert me to your messages of 3 weeks ago! Apologies!! Sorry for the delay.

        Yes I do think is valid. I read and researched a lot of this material, and I did energy work for a Parkinson’s client whose tremors calmed by the end of the session. But he didn’t follow up for future sessions, so I don’t know how he fared.
        Even so, the pdrecovery presentation makes tons of sense to me.
        Energy work and inner attitudes do make a big difference for health.

        Also you should look into the style of integrated exercises offered for Parkinson’s now. In the past 5 years people have made great strides, through these exercises, to lighten up symptoms.

        The spirit infuses the body – this is one way to understand why energy healing works –
        I haven’t worked with MS, ALS, epilepsy.

        Another thought – CBD oil is helping many people with muscular and neurological disorders. That might be worth a look.

        Also – your Snowy River meditation – I still want to use it soon in a blog post, ok?. I will email you

        All the Best –


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