Is there something the dying person can do to help the family through?
If a dying person can express their own needs it might be helpful, maybe this is also true that if there is something that the family members need to express or need to resolve with the person who is dying, maybe it is good to do if it can easily be done, I think it is not so important to bring up lots of the past at the time also because too much talking and too much going into the past at the time of dying is not good. So the past has to be allowed to be past, and that actually is the essence of forgiveness, so therefore, the dying person can help the family by making them confident that he or she is ok, I think that’s the whole point, for this you have to in a way prepare all your life. That’s why we practice dharma, that’s why we try to understand our mind, that’s why we try to meditate, that’s why we try to understand the nature of ourselves, so when I am confident of my future, about my death then I think I can more easily help my family to go through the loss of my death or of the person who is dying.
So I think I have already said before to make things very clear, not to have unresolved issues regarding your will and regarding all kinds of different things, I think this would be helpful for the family. And sometimes when the person who is dying is going through difficulties, like fear, uncertainty, pain: they get agitated, frustrated, angry and things like that, they naturally complain, they naturally sometimes say bad things with an unsatisfied state of mind. So I think the person who is dying should try to understand and try to change this and say, “well I have to die and when I die I have to go through difficulties and it’s not because of family members or friends, or whoever around me, I have to deal with this myself so, therefore, I need to be grateful, I need to be thankful to the people around me and not dissatisfied and angry and upset. If I can express that somehow, I think it would be also helpful for the family that I understand their difficulties, I understand and appreciate what they do for me. How much more or less they are doing than I would like, I must accept that, and be grateful for that.”
I think that’s also one thing I need to remember when I die.
Ringu Tulku Rinpoche