Last October, one of my Reiki clients died. I first treated Jeannie (I’ve changed her name) the previous February, as she was recovering from ovarian cancer. By May, she was so happy with her Reiki treatments that she took First Degree. Her hope was that Reiki would open a new door in her life, enabling her to help others more directly.
I didn’t see her for three months but she returned for treatment in August. The cancer had spread. Within a few weeks, the pain became so great that it was impossible for her to lie on the treatment table in my office, so I began going to her house once a week and treating her on the living room couch.
As the weeks passed, it became clear her life energy was waning and cancer was consuming her body. Weekly Reiki treatment became an oasis in the midst of the pain, confusion, and the work of letting go. Jeannie described her experience this way:
“The treatments give me a sense of calm in the midst of everything I’m going through: the cancer, the pain, the chemo. The further I get into the cancer treatment, the more I look forward to Reiki. Everything has gotten so stressful. My body’s changing just about every day. But when I get Reiki, I can totally relax—no phone, no demands, no one to relate to. I don’t have to worry about comfort levels. It’s my time not to hurt and not to worry. It’s like going to heaven for a little while.”
Dying is often not easy. The process can be painful in many ways. We are giving up everything we know—our work, friends, bodies, and identity, to face something we do not know. Death almost always brings fear, and sometimes terror, and requires letting go beyond anything we’ve known.
But imagine in the midst of the fear experiencing a feeling of “going to heaven for a little while.” What was heaven like for Jeannie? Of course, I can’t know that. It was clear she felt calm, peaceful, without worry. She was able to connect with something greater.
Reiki brought that connection. In the midst of dying, Reiki could comfort and soothe. It relieved pain and brought deep rest, even if only for a short while. It created a climate of peace, helping calm the mind and the spirit. Reiki supported the letting go, making it more gentle and grace-filled.
This was a gift—for Jeannie and for me.