Nocturnal Works death doula resources

In the Moment

The Now

Since I began meditating in 2003, I have heard a lot about “the now”. Some comment that the now is all we have, emphasising that the past and future do not exist. All of this can seem a bit esoteric. I was thinking about this topic on the train during the commute into Wellington this morning.

The Future

Some of us can easily imagine that the past is gone (while others might be in the habit of fixating on it in depressive states), but isn’t the future real? We tend to push our minds into the future – thinking of what we will accomplish, imagining that the future will be better than now – imagining an ever-continuing future. We don’t really imagine we will die, do we? Letting go of the future can be a terrifying consideration.

Here and Now

On the train, I was in a meditative state. Since my meditation practice became much more intense last year, I am able to go into a “here and now” state quite quickly. After a few moments, I returned to my busy thoughts and began to consider the now. I tried to imagine how this might be considered and discussed.

Starting each day without memory of the past

While being in the moment in meditation is an example, what about an example for those who do not meditate? I imagined a scenario where a person began each day “fresh” – not remembering their past and consequently unsure what the future might bring. So, you wake up each day and have no memory of the past. Without a past, it could be argued that you would be less likely to devise quick plans for the future. What questions would you have?

Who am I?

Without a past to define you, how would you define yourself? You might look at your body and then the bodies of others and decide that you are of average build and appearance. You might search your emotions to figure out what sort of person you are inside – Am I intelligent? Am I kind? Do I seem to have any anger issues? You scan yourself inside to understand who you might be.

Will I last?

You don’t know if your absence of memory is something that has just happened today, or if you wake up every morning like this. Is there any purpose in planning for tomorrow, if you don’t remember who you are and you don’t know if you will have a tomorrow where you remember your plans of today?


Does this mental game bring you peace? Does it make you anxious? I considered this after a brief meditative state and I found it soothing. Living in the continual present seemed desirable. Imagine not being defined by the past! Not everyone would react like this.

What’s next

Each of us start each day fresh. If we have baggage from the past, we pick it up each morning and carry it forward. The pain you think you feel from years ago is not pain from years ago – it is pain you recreate each day. Understanding that you recreate the past now can empower you to let it go – truly realising that you are empowering the suffering. Every day is truly new. You can create the person you want to be. If this mental exercise allow you to consider possibilities and how you create yourself, then it has been of value. Imagine yourself new in the world. Who would you want to be? You can be that person by learning to live in the now.

Aroha nui,

Lee Jordan signature

Gerald Lee Jordan, MBA, MEd, MCouns ❤️

About Death Doulas

Death Doulas - also referred to as End of Life Doulas - provide emotional and other support to the dying and their families. Support can be psychological (e.g. counselling), physical (aiding with exercise), clerical (helping with completing documents, including advanced directives), documentary (recording messages, including final messages for the dying), ceremonial (e.g. helping plan and/or deliver funerals) and other assistance which is not medical in nature. Death doulas are not doctors, they are not nurses and they are not solicitors/lawyers. They are brought in at the request of the dying and/or family and they are there to help the person transition from life.

About Nocturnal Works

The content on this site is provided to give resources and support to those dying, their loved ones and those providing death doula (end of life) support. When we find out that death is near and the initial shock wears off, emotions and questions flood into our minds. Noctural Works exists as place where you can find out about mental health issues and therapy related to death, dying, grief and bereavement - as well as more practical support, such as planning for death and supporting others on their journey.

The resources on this site are provided by Death Doula Ltd, a company in Aotearoa New Zealand which provides end of life doula support online, in Wellington, Blenheim and Picton (New Zealand). These resources are not legal or medical in nature, so do no rely upon them, but seek legal and medical advice, as required. If you are interested in counselling resources not focusing on death and dying, you can visit our other site, Therapy Aroha.