Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When a Healer Dies

I just learned that a local acupuncturist passed away from cancer. She was a wonderful acupuncturist – I had seen her for treatments when I first moved to Alaska years ago – caring, knowledgeable, and effective.

This brings to light a topic that needs to be discussed. In the medical community – both allopathic and holistic – there is an underlying tone of failure that pokes its head out when a doctor or healer dies of a disease. Many people think or even say out loud “What went wrong? Why weren’t they healed? Does their medicine not work, or weren’t they strong enough to do it – why?”

So my first question is: Must a healer be perfect?? Can a healer not get sick? Can a healer not get angry, have a messy home, or ever make a mistake? Why or why not?

With that question simmering on the back burner for a moment, I need to bring out the Spirit aspect of mind-body-spirit medicine. Things happen for a reason, and since it happened it is perfect within the workings of the incredible and complex synergistic universe we live in. Some people would call it God’s plan, others the Creator’s doing, and some would even call it a tragedy. The nature of the Tao considers nothing to be good or bad, just to Be.

Who is to know now what affect this healer’s life and death has and will have on those she touched? On her family and close friends? Who knows in what way the spiritual path of others required this death to happen exactly as it did? What caring, compassion, inner strength, and beauty will come out of it in the years ahead?

Now my next questions: If being a healer does not mean being “perfect”, what does it mean? If a healer dies of a disease did they fail – or did the medicine fail?
I sincerely believe that the tone of failure due to the act of dying needs to be changed. A new tone needs to be set. Let’s ring the bell and set a new tone – one of gratitude for the many lives that were touched, one of the perfectness of things that happen we will never understand but choose to accept, and one of allowing a spirit to transition to another level when it is time – no matter the circumstances within which that happens. There is something greater at work than we comprehend.

I thank her spirit for all she did for me, and the role she personally played in the path I’m on today.