The Role of Reiki in Death

Updated: Jul 31, 2018



"A fullstop is simply a continuous outline of circles and cycles..." - Shin

My mum’s phone rang at midnight and my dad sprung up from bed immediately, as if in knowing – it is not common for someone to call at this hour. Granny has passed on, the doctor dialed to inform – after two years of drifting between being in coma and in a vegetative state. I was clearly eavesdropping. As my mum hovered between a state of disbelief and sadness, she made the necessary individual calls to her siblings and our family commenced the work that had to be done for the transition.


In less than half a year, we’ve seen four deaths in our family tree, frequent enough for the funeral director to recognise our faces and wave to me casually first day of the wake about a week ago.


The reasons of passing were all very different but not alien to any of us – sudden accidental death, natural death from old age and deaths from prolonged sickness. These events are not typically for rejoicing but in a way, they could be seen as a blessing for the soul; the departed, on liberation from the physical body and the material world and perhaps the family members who were their main caregivers, on the release of the caregiving duties to live their own lives and the emotional stresses, no matter how difficult it was initially to face the mortality.


Facing these situations calmly together with Reiki has made a noticeable difference in how the direct (and indirect) family members and I responded and reacted to the pre-departure, departure and post-departure periods. Reiki not only comforts the soul crossing over, it also facilitates the natural progress of the crossing, the acceptance of his/her death and the process of letting go (often the fear) for both the soul and the family members. Reiki does not interfere and the body and/or soul uses it for its highest good; it is the Universal Life force energy which is neutral and of the highest vibrations. You can send Reiki to the living, the dying and to your loved ones who have passed - including your pets.


Through my experiences with deaths of loved ones, I share two personal umbrella observations with Reiki, amidst many. Please note that these have no relations to any religious or philosophical connotations; there is no necessity for any beliefs of any sort.


Reiki Connects.

Earlier this year when my godmother was sent to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after a sudden accidental fall with a hit on her head, she was diagnosed by the doctors to have minute hopes of survival. Everyone in the family was shocked. No one had expected a healthy person to be dealt the card of death out of the blue. From the point of the fall, she was in a coma all the way to her last breath and had no opportunity to prepare for her departure or speak to her loved ones. This was my first transformative experience with death with Reiki; I sent her Reiki over distance due to the physical constraints in the ICU and was blessed to be able to connect with her in a deeper, meaningful and rewarding way as I shared her last few moments by simply being with her and was able to convey her messages. Most of us have experience with Reiki to be healing in the physical sense, but in this case, it was very apparent to me that Reiki provided the necessary healing to her mentally, emotionally and spiritually (from the trauma); I experienced first-hand in how Reiki was sent to her soul and not her body which was on life-support (she was still breathing then) and a change in her energetic state through the next days. She passed to the other side over that weekend.


Reiki Comforts.

When news of my granny’s death broke, my mum was grieving; she was so nervous and was visibly shaken. As she changed her clothes for travel to the hospital, I gave her a hug, with my hands placed on her back, trying my best to maintain as clear a channel as possible (personal expectations and all, shoo!) for the flow of Reiki to comfort her. I did what I could and offered her Reiki on the midnight cab ride while placing my hands on her chest and shoulders. But even without Reiki, most of us know deep down that our loving presence and the touch of healing as family was all they needed and sufficient to do its job of helping them get through. I was relieved to see her significantly calmed down and had a clearer mind to settle the administrative issues after. That night, I also sent Reiki to my granny over distance and to harmonise the event of her passing. I recalled that days before, I had just visited her in the hospital and given her (contact) Reiki as well; she had fallen into a deeply relaxed sleep afterward then, seemingly like the best sleep she had had in a long while and emotions welled up... As I observed over the next few days during the wake, her energies were discernibly calmer, soothed and less attached to the material world; she was readier than ever to move on. :)


When giving Reiki, it is important to remember to release our attachments to specific outcomes (as tough as it can be); all will happen in divine timing, for the person’s highest good, which may or may not be what we had originally intended for. Every experience is individual and unique to you, depending on your level of sensitivity. Regardless, as Reiki practitioners, we mainly support and facilitate the healing process, which commonly results in growth, acceptance and balance.


Reflecting on my experiences so far, Reiki has been a wonderful connective thread between living and dying, enhancing the quality of the transition process. It also provides ‘reassurance’ to the family members who worry about where their loved ones would go after death, how they would cope etc. (the worries can go on and on) by being the net of support, even without answers. When embraced as part of palliative care, the support of Reiki not only encompasses the above, it also allows for the (practicising) family member to pay more attention to his/her loved one (something we tend to neglect as we get enveloped in our overwhelming emotions) and respond accordingly and lovingly before the impending death, allowing the dying to close that chapter of their lives with relatively more acceptance and ease in letting go.


While offering Reiki accordingly to each individual’s needs and situation, I learned to be with death as it is. 🙏


As I grew from these experiences, I also encourage you to step forward, whether you practise Reiki or not, to be empowered and support the transition of your loved ones. As important as the quality and process of living is, the quality and process of dying and the transition can make a huge difference to the departing soul (and family members) as well.

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