Dying Consciously and Gracefully

by A-Badgero

The Most Excellent Dying of Theodore Jack Heckelman is a film by Nancy Jewel Poer and can be ordered from her website www.nancyjewelpoer.com.

What would you do if you knew you were not long for this world? How would you prepare yourself for the transition from life to death?

Eighty-two year old Theodore Jack Heckelman spent his last year on earth preparing for his death. He refers to it as “My last great adventure” and showed nothing but an immense gratitude for the gifts of life. In August 2004 Jack was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer which eventually spread to his brain. Jack was not about to live less just because he was dying, he loved life and and wanted to live every moment to its fullest.

In preparation Jack created a video diary where he gives a summary of his fantastic life and expresses the comfort he feels knowing that he is able to make his journey in full consciousness with an increasing awareness of how precious life is. He describes the lessons he has learned on his long spiritual journey and leaves a legacy of advice and encouragement for those he leaves here on earth. Jack leaves us with messages such as “Grieve for our earth, many forget that we did not inherit the earth we our borrowing it from our children”

The Most Excellent Dying of Theodore Jack Heckelman is a heart felt documentary about a man’s journey from life to death. “Never before had I witnessed someone “show up” for their death with such open arms and a ready heart” said his sister, Nancy on the day of his passing.

You can view Jack’s Ethical Will in a series of 6 videos at the following link.

Jack’s Ethical Will Beholding the Threshold

Having a home vigil can allow more time for close family and friends to say goodbye in a safe, known environment where everyone already feels comfortable. Since his family, friends and community had such a large part in caring for Jack during his final time on earth it only seemed right that they would hold a very personal service within his home.

With the help of a licenced funeral director or an organization such as The Cremation Society you can be a part of the after care process if you wish. A funeral director will take care of all the details such as transporting the remains, filling out and acquiring the necessary paperwork as well as organizing the cremation or burial.

After his passing Jack’s wife Linda Bergh called close friends to assist her with washing his body and placing it in the casket. His casket was hand carved with love by Jack’s niece and Native American friends. These next three days were filled with a community of friends and family giving thanks, prayer, inspirational reading, beautiful singing and long evenings of telling “Jack” stories. All who attended described it as a truly unique and uplifting life celebration.

Jack Heckelman left his mark on the world and taught us all a lesson on how to have a respectful and graceful end.

Read more:

Conscious Living, Conscious Dying and Community Building | A Revolution of Hope

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