Oct 20, 2017
Reverend David Maginley spoke about his own cancer experiences and the realities of a near-death event; so powerful that together they have formed the foundation of his work as a spiritual counsellor in Halifax area hospitals. He brought some of the crucial elements that have made him a ‘seeker’:
- A powerful personal experience
- A personal and professional commitment to honouring the experiences of others
- An intellectual curiosity about the study of near death experiences
- A grounding in the framework of his formal faith teachings
- A respect for the mystical wonder that underlies all faith
His talk responded to the often unspoken longing that people have to hear their experiences validated and believed, especially when the staggering holiness of those experiences is unmistakable. He touched on the similarities of near death experiences, the research that has been collected and how it might inform the practices of those who serve others at end of life.
Rather than an experience of sadness, he offered the possibility of seeing grief as beautiful, as a natural extension of loving deeply. His example of a willingness to set aside his own human judgement to serve people and their overwhelming regrets in dying with peace was a lesson for all of us, in death and in life.
Reverend Maginley also spoke with respect of faith in general, not just his own. That element made it easy to use the lens of one’s own faith beliefs in understanding his talk. His curiosity about ‘what is’ was a wonderful invitation to audience members to take one step further into the exploration of the mystical.
Above all, he set an example for those serving at the end of life to deepen their compassion, for those they serve and for themselves. He gave us permission to witness and wonder about theses magical experiences, even if we don’t understand them ... yet.