Marlin Brigid - The Annunciation, 2005By Brigid Marlin and Hilda van Stockum.

In 2004 my mother wrote about death. Her words were so inspiring, and seem as if they prepared us all to the coming events. Then, in 2006 mother had a long struggle as she was dying, and she needed more and more morphine at the end. But two weeks before she died she recognised us all and gave us each a blessing…

This is what she wrote; a message and a blessing to all people…

Brigid Marlin, 2010.

I think that death will be a surprise in two ways:

Firstly, it will be easier than we think, especially if we have practised a little by realising that it is not only NOW we are living but that living involves more than we think. We are meant to clock in to Eternity. Therefore we must not be preoccupied with our life now and here. We must make room for changes.

When death comes it may be a kind of ‘letting go’ into a condition which we have already lived towards and which brings its own skill. A lot of it will be a ‘letting go’ – and we must realise that there is something definite we have to let go of; but we have to work on that – so that we can let go when the moment arrives… Sometimes it may be a strong sense of our own individuality which we need to let go of, because it surpasses our sense of being part of a whole.

We must patiently allow ourselves to clock into our world at the moment, and harmonise with our momentary difficulties – we have to keep on belonging to our present world as well as preparing to let ourselves go into a further existence in this or the next world… We must try to be happy and include others so that we keep on growing and developing.

Marlin Brigid - The Annunciation, 2005

Brigid Marlin: ‘The Annunciation’, 2005, Oil and Tempera Painting, The Mische Technique.

The second surprise about death is that we will be transferred into Eternity – this is not a climate we grew up in, yet this is what we are trying to grow into.

A sudden death is very difficult. We can try to make it less sudden by practising certain exercises. For instance, you need to build up a trust which will catch you when you fall, in this way you can gradually arrange your safe arrival…

All things in life; the seasons and the plants, show us that dying is inevitable and should be helped and encouraged, just as you encourage a toddler to walk.

» The Grieving Diary: Last weeks with my mom.

Hilda van Stockum, aged 96 (in 2004).

24 Feb 2010.