“Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.” Matthew Arnold (1822–88), English poet, critic. Sohrab and Rustum.
Crossing the Creek was written by Michael when he was still active in hospice nursing. His original goal was to reduce the amount of time and energy spent teaching the same things to every client verbally, over and over and over. Crossing the Creek was successful in accomplishing that goal. He eventually had to quit active nursing after wet macular degeneration left him legally blind, but he kept on writing.
“Dying process dissolves one’s social mask, thus revealing the real person who has been hiding behind the mask. As a group, dying people are the most real people you will ever meet. Spending time with them can be enlightening and enjoyable. Crossing the Creek helps clinicians and families understand how best to interact with their dying loved one, and in the long run, how to live life better.
“People do not like thinking about death or dying and avoid doing so until they have no other choice. Then they want to learn everything about it immediately. That is the niche Crossing the Creek fills. It gets people through the hard times of caring for a dying loved one. After that they can get back to “normal,” which seldom includes learning about dying in greater detail. This seems strange to me because I learned that dying process teaches us how to live.”
“Crossing the Creek assumes that life transcends death. That, as much as anything else, is its greatest strength… yet I never mention any specific religion. Personally, I do not like organized religions in general, but human beings are spiritual beings none-the-less. If one does not accept that life transcends death, then death is just a bunch of bad stuff that happens shortly before you cease to exist. From that perspective, life and death are completely irrational. On the other hand, if one does assume that life transcends death, then everything in dying process makes sense. It is all quite logical.”
2016: Insert by the author of Crossing the Creek, Michael Holmes who sadly passed away on July 3rd, 2016.
Strangely enough, the most common human experience (dying) is also one of the least understood human experiences. Why? Well, like most questions of significance, the answer, or answers, are complicated and go to the very core of what it means to be human. We know that we have consciousness, but do not know what consciousness is. We can observe some of what consciousness can do, but still do not know what it is.
This website, and the information it contains, offers examples of what consciousness can do. The clues are more easily discernable at the edges of life and death. It is at these edges where we have the best opportunity to get a peek at the other side. To put it another way, it is the dying who are close enough
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