Dying A Good Death


This is a blog about dying a good death. Many people look upon death with dread and sadness. Those who have had near-death experiences feel differently. They know death as a wonderful experience —  filled with peace, freedom and unconditional love.


What does “dying a good death” mean? A good death is filled with ease and grace. It is a holistic experience: physically pain-free, mentally at peace, immersed in love and connected with Spirit.

Dying a Good Death with Dr. Harrison Graves

Physically Pain Free

Patients often tell me that their greatest fear is that death will be painful. It is usually not. For the vast majority, death is usually a painless letting go. There is no physical discomfort at all.

Nature created our bodies to end life as pain-free as possible. At the time of death, the body naturally produces endorphins, which lead to feelings of happiness, even euphoria.

Two of the most valuable tools for pain management during life are meditation and mantra therapy. Those who meditate are better able to manage chronic pain and have little or no need for opiates (narcotics).

Mentally Pain-Free

Being mentally pain-free is just as important as being physically pain free. A lifetime of relationship problems and stress can lead to mental anguish, especially as the end of life approaches. Unresolved conflicts leave mental scars.

What can loved ones do? There are three things that need to be said as death approaches — by patients and loved ones alike:

“I love you.”
“I forgive you.”
“Please forgive me.”

When I worked with Mercy Hospice, each hospice volunteer was give a wallet card with these three simple sentences — to remind family members what to say.
Many dying patients who had been holding on too tight, clinging to life, were able to let go and transition after hearing these words.

Love and forgiveness are essential ingredients needed for a good death and should be give out freely. These healing words can clean the slate of unresolved mental conflict. Send out vibrations of love, strength and courage to your loved one.

The departing soul will definitely receive your vibrations. Such thoughts give your loved ones a sense of well-being, a sense of being loved.

A Good Death is Spiritually Connected

A holistic death includes a spirit (Soul Self) that is connected with the highest consciousness. It is the consciousness with many names: Christ consciousness, Shiva consciousness, Krishna consciousness, Buddha consciousness and so on.

Regardless of one’s spiritual tradition, a sacred space should be set. Light a candle. Add aromatic oils or incense. Play soothing mantras or hymns as background music, based on one’s tradition.

The Great Victory Over Death Mantra

In the Indian and Tibetan traditions, mantric chanting is of paramount importance around the time of death.
The vibrations from chanting the Great Victory Over Death mantra, the Mahamrityunjaya, make death effortless — “as easy as the ripe fruit falls from the vine.”

OM Triambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardanam

Uurvarukhamiva Bandhanaan Mrityor Mokshiya Maamritat.

OM to the Three-Eyed One that permeates everything like a fragrance. May we pass from life to death with ease and grace (as easily as the ripe fruit falls from the vine).

Each of us is going to die someday.  Dying a good death means means transitioning while immersed in love. It is dying with a sense of dignity, life completion, life legacy and spiritual meaning.


Review Question: What are the three things that need to be said to a loved one who is dying?


Have you had a Near Death Experience (NDE)? Do you have a special way of comforting the dying?

Please share your death and dying (and afterlife) experiences with us, using the comment box below.


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC