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Being with a person who is close to death may be difficult and confusing. Oftentimes it is mystifying to discern what they are talking about because their speech pattern can sound nonsensical. Lisa Smartt has done extensive research regarding the words spoken by many at this threshold and she advises us to be open to the experience our loved ones are having. The “nonsense” that we hear may actually indicate some kind of shift or change as they cross the threshold. Her advice to us is to validate the person’s experience no matter how odd or unusual it may seem. She tells us, “It is okay to engage in a conversation as if we see what they are seeing.” And she further advises “Keep a journal, listen carefully, and have eyes for the sacred even if it seems scary, or baffling, or puzzling. Imagine holding it with sacredness.” Smartt also gives a moving example of an incident that points to the survival of consciousness after death of the body. This is a most poignant and deep dialogue filled with advice and stories regarding being with those at the threshold of death. Not to be missed. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)
Lisa Smartt is a linguist, educator, and poet. She’s founder of The Final Words Project, an ongoing study devoted to collecting and interpreting the mysterious language at the end of lives. She lives in Athens, Georgia.
Lisa Smartt is the author of:
To learn more about the work of Lisa Smartt go to www.finalwordsproject.org.
Host: Justine Willis Toms Interview Date: 4/27/2017 Program Number: 3615
From Album: Prayer for CompassionArtist: David Darling2009 Wind Over Earth #WE2340
Opening Essay: Track 02 Prayer for CompassionMusic Break 1: Track 03 Stones Start SpinningMusic Break 2, Track 05 Music of a DesireMusic Break 3, Track 06 Remembering Our Mothers
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