end of life choices | end of life issues | death and dying | quality of life | hospice | dying at home


Excerpt from YLEO Essential Edge Article
"Walking in Shadow Valley"

Peaceful Passages

Poet Dylan Thomas had it wrong when he wrote, "Do not go gentle into that good night." When a beloved parent is dying, the adult child's most fervent wish is for a gentle and peaceful exit from this life.

One Young Living distributor found that her life's work had blessedly prepared her for serving her parents during their last days.

Young Living Silver Marilee Tolen has more than two decades of experience in holistic nursing, energy medicine, intuitive diagnosis, and vibrational therapies. She is board certified in holistic nursing and has served as a board member of the American Holistic Nursing Association. She has trained with Carolyn Myss, Ph.D., and is the founder and former director of a wellness center and integrative medical facility.

But first and foremost, Marilee is a daughter. She was blessed to be able to use all the comforting modalities she had learned in her career to care for the two most important patients in the world: her father and mother.

In three years' time, Marilee lost both of her parents. Martin J. Tolen died in 2001 and Mary J. Tolen died in 2004. At her father's passing, he told her, "This is just beautiful. This is the way it's supposed to be. Tell the world about this!" Even though Marilee's father died of emphysema, he nonetheless died peacefully with a smile on his face.

What made Martin Tolen's death peaceful, when dying of emphysema can be terribly traumatic as the patient struggles for every breath? Marilee says that thankfully, her father was open to using oils. She diffused frankincense and anointed his body with the spiritual oils from the Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture™ Kit.

“At the end stage, there is nothing better than the Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture," Marilee said. "No matter what our religious background, dying is a spiritual process and anointing is comforting."

Marilee's father used the services of Samaritan Home Hospice, which is based in New Jersey In addition to inhalers and anti-anxiety medications, complementary holistic therapies eased his last months. He received massage, Healing Touch, aromatherapy with Young Living essential oils, and music therapy.

"The oils were a great source of comfort to our family. I couldn't have been doing anything better. The greatest gift to him and myself was using the oils," Marilee explained.

She created a special blend to help maximize oxygen for her father. She blended rosemary, lemon, and peppermint, and her father enjoyed his "rosemint." She also was aware of the serious side effects of pain medications-gastrointestinal discomfort and constipation. Marilee recommends Di-Gize™ on the belly for these problems.

Three years later, as Marilee's mother began losing her battle with kidney cancer, she too entered Samaritan Home Hospice where she received the loving application of essential oils. "The use of oils brings the family together," Marilee said. She told how family members have an instinctive need to touch. "Whether you're holding hands, rubbing a brow, or touching a leg, essential oils can be a part of that," she suggested.

Caring for an elderly parent or relative can bring one up against depression. "I have found that as a nurse and energy worker, just with oils on my hands, running them gently through the patient's energy field works wonders!" Marilee explained.

She said that in Alzheimer's care, a confused or combative patient can be soothed by applying frankincense on your hands and running it through their energy field and around their head, which calms the patient amazingly "What a magic bullet we are using!" Marilee said.

Marilee has taught members of the hospice community ways to help and comfort patients in the process of dying. "I also teach volunteers how to help families through this process," she said. "Family members feel helpless; there's not a whole lot they can do." She explained that essential oils can augment conventional care, especially with pain management. A situation might arise where the patient awakes in the middle of the night in distress. "You can apply the oils on the feet," she said. “And it's great to know how to rub an oil on a loved one's back."

Marilee never forgot her father's words to her: "This is the way it's supposed to be. Tell the world about this!" She has done just that in creating the M. J. Tolen Scholarship Fund that gives educational funding for learning about complementary therapies in end-of-life care. This scholarship fund honors both of her parents and allows recipients to receive training in complementary therapies that are ultimately healing even as the patient is dying.

For more information, visit www.peacefulpassages.org or call the Samaritan Hospice Development Department at 1-800-229-8183::
1-800-229-8183 . Donations to the fund may be sent to the M.J. Tolen Scholarship Fund for Complementary Therapies in End-of-Life Care/ Samaritan Hospice/Five Eves Drive, Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053.

As a parent's life quietly comes to a close, it can end with dignity and beauty in a truly peaceful passage. Empowered families can assist a beloved parent in going gently into that good night.

Reprinted with permission of Young Living, Lehi, UT 84043
Essential Edge magazine


© 2002 Marilee Tolen, Inc. | web production by: Ben Wright