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Reiki on the Dying

Article by Angela Danyluck

When I first began volunteering at my local hospice, giving Reiki sessions to the dying and grieving felt exactly right. I loved it (still do). It is my way of giving back and easing the fear and hurt associated with end of life. So while I went along feeling great about what I was doing, not once did it ever occur to me that I would find myself giving Reiki to someone as they died.

If you do a Google search to find out information on doing Reiki on someone as they die, you won’t find much of anything. I really felt that I couldn’t be the only one out there who has come face to face with this, and I wanted to ease any fears or uncertainties for anyone who may find themselves in this situation.

Giving Reiki to someone as they end their journey, is really one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. There is nothing to fear, as Reiki is a very loving, gentle and self-guided energy. Always remember the first rule of Reiki: Reiki can do no harm. That includes both the giver and the receiver. Of course you want to protect yourself first as you would usually do before a session, but nothing more than that is required. You are completely safe.

Reiki Dying

Image by Larisa-K

The only differences between a normal session and a palliative one is that you may have to do it without hands-on, depending on pain levels, and the setting of your intention. Obviously setting an intention for healing may not be for the clients highest good. My intentions are usually that they are free from pain and fear, and that they feel warm, loved and secure as they come to the end. I ask the Holy Spirit and the ArchAngels to surround them with comfort, love, peace and to carry them to the light. Please use whatever belief system you or the client are most comfortable with.

One other striking difference for me from a normal session, is that, I get a very real “thud” feeling in my solar plexus/lower heart region the second they are gone. Remember that we all experience Reiki differently so your experience may not be the same as mine. I spent a lot of time after that first time, trying to figure out what had happened. What was that mysterious thud? The answer given to me was that the thud was the feeling of the Reiki stopping suddenly and the etheric cord to each other being snapped. It is not a reason to panic, so please don’t worry if you experience this.

I do hope this helps anyone who needs it to feel safe and secure if they choose to give this beautiful service to someone. There is nothing to fear and only beautiful experiences to gain. I encourage those who may be contemplating it to give it a go. You cannot do it wrong, you can only give comfort. I guarantee you will be a much better practitioner and giver of light for having done so.

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Angela Danyluck

Angela Danyluck

Angela Danyluck is an Usui Reiki Master, Crystal Healer, Angel Card Reader, Teacher, Intuitive, and Spiritual Counselor on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. She offers gentle guidance, powerful healing and a loving compassionate heart to all of her clients. You can contact Angela at contact@angeladanyluck.com.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Anj January 21, 2016, 8:54 pm


  • Angel January 21, 2016, 9:03 pm

    My grandad was in loads of pain. He hd asked me to give him reiki. So i gave him distant reiki n used master symbol. After i gave him reikie n slept after hour an hour I got a call from my sis dat he passed away like an angel. I got so scared I did

  • Angie January 21, 2016, 9:09 pm

    I got upset n did not do reikie for months den my tr sd if someone is going to pass away n if u use Master symbol dey pass with great ease without pain n sd u should be glad u made his journey easy. N den after two months of his passing away I went to some church by accident n dey called spirits n my grandad came n sd he wS not in pain. I cud not stop crying.

  • Lisa January 21, 2016, 10:44 pm

    I have sent Reiki to many people as they transition back to Spirit. It is a peaceful and loving and beautiful experience. I have found many different responses taking place, sometimes other loved ones from Spirit are already present and other times amazing Spirit beings are there to support and assist the transition of the departing. It is an honour to know that others are out there like you Angela, doing our bit in the cycle of life ????

  • Angela January 23, 2016, 4:38 am

    Thank you Lisa …and thank you for all that you do ♥ I really love it and feel so blessed to be able to help on the second most important day in a persons life!

  • Denise Coin February 12, 2016, 5:10 pm

    Good article Angela! I am a Usui Reiki Master and have assisted several loved ones with their transition. It is a high honor and blessing of Peace and comfort for both myself and the soul transitioning. I am honored that some now include me in their last will and testament to insure that I am giving them Reiki at the end of their life.
    I have never felt a thud but only sweet release at the end, for the client and myself.
    I love the feeling that I help souls go home to their loved ones.

  • Connie February 12, 2016, 5:24 pm

    I am in II level and actually practice Reiki on others very seldom and mostly distant. A little over a year ago I was asked to help my mom’s friend who had terminal cancer… one night, that night, she called because her mom was restless, in pain, very weak… The second I connected with her I knew she was leaving… As the therapy progressed I could sense that she actually felt relaxed and at peace knowing what was happening… It was the most wonderful experience for me! I felt honored and now all my fears about death are gone. Since then I love Reiki more and trust it blindly!
    Now my friend, the daughter, is a Reiki Master!!!

  • Mary Ann Hayes February 12, 2016, 6:22 pm

    Thank you Angela for some really beautiful information. I often wondered about Reiki and death, it is so wonderful to be able to help someone go in peace, love and warmth as the return home. I love your intentions that you use for the process and will use them with your permission. Thank you again for sharing.
    Mary Ann

  • Zena February 12, 2016, 10:51 pm

    Thanks! I was just researching Reiki and dying when I found this article. Love it. It’s really simple. I’m also considering learning Walking the Dead Reiki if I can find someone who does it in California. The article I was reading was Angelic Reiki Death and Dying article by Kevin Core.

  • reikitherapy101 February 13, 2016, 4:11 am

    I currently work for a Hospice and I share Reiki with patients, I’ve been with a person who was actively dying twice, with both passing within hours of my visit. I recently offered Reiki for 1.5 hours to a hospice patient and my heart chakra runnith over <3 Thanks for sharing this information on Reiki and death…
    Reiki Blessings,

  • Robin February 13, 2016, 3:21 pm

    Thankyou for sharing-you affirmed some things for me!
    I was giving my 82 yr.old mother reiki when she transitioned. She’d been in terrible pain from cancer & hadnt been responsive for days!
    I was 10mins into the session when she opened her eyes & looked deep into mine- let out a peaceful sigh & left this world!
    I know Reiki helped her let go-I’m forever grateful!

  • daina February 20, 2016, 4:40 pm


    • Lynn September 1, 2017, 6:52 pm

      Namaste Daina…how beautiful your words and story and to get confirmation how wonderful! I am a Usui Reiki Master and have been doing Reiki for over a year. I have been thinking about volunteering at a Senior facility and or hospital/hospice to help others as well. I have not done a Reiki session on someone crossing over yet..it will be an honor and a blessing for sure. I did a recent session on my own Mother that has Dementia and after I asked her how she felt (She had never had a session) She said she felt totally at peace, relaxed and that she felt She was set free.) Namaste <3

  • Margaret Anne April 23, 2016, 10:22 am

    I’ve done reiki for over 12 years now and helped many before passing over with reiki but my dad passed two years ago and my mum a year ago I did reiki on both before they passed, I’ve not been able to do reiki since every time I try I get upset and stop. I have always been aware of spirit but feel I’ve lost my way, My precious wee dog Angel got put to sleep two weeks ago who also enjoyed Reiki, I’m heartbroken and getting frustrated because I can’t seem to feel her or my mum around me if anyone can give me advice I’m on the verge giving up on it thanks

    • Arya November 25, 2019, 2:34 pm

      Firstly, I’d like to say I am so sorry for all of your losses. I helped my Father pass with Reiki, but when my mother was dying, I intuited that she did not want or require Reiki. Sometimes I have felt both parents around me and at other times not so often. It varies. Just know that your parents love will always surround you and that you will always have their spirits around you. I am also sorry for the loss of your dear little dog. Our animals are so important to us.
      I too am a master practitioner. I have found that sometimes on my Reiki journey that the Reiki has flown full and wonderful and powerful.
      At other times, perhaps when under stress, such as when bereaved, it has been harder to get in the right place to channel it. It will come back, just take the time you need to grieve, to nurture yourself and to gain in emotional strength. When the time is right, it’ll be there.

  • Laura April 30, 2016, 12:34 pm

    Through my master Reiki’s guide (by phone) I had the honor to help my dad break all those chords from his physical body, every Chakra, every attachment to his life here, such as family, friends, things, events, etc. I could feel him using the help, and for my mother was helpful to see hom go with ease.
    Surprisingly, I found, that during the session, I was not in pain of losing him. I was the facilitator. It’s amazing.
    The next day, we helped my mom release her chakra chords attachments to my dad.
    She is doing a lot better than I thought she would be.

  • moon May 13, 2016, 5:05 pm

    Hi great article. Question..do you feel drained after if so what do you do in gaining your strength.

  • Amanda June 3, 2016, 1:00 pm

    Hi, I agree great article. When my mother was ill with cancer she received reiki treatments from a practitioner at the hospice. My mother absolutely loved reiki, so I became attuned so that she could benefit from more sessions. During the sessions I noticed she was so relaxed and at peace and not in her usual discomfort. I really feel that when it was time for her to pass over that she passed relatively peacefully. A while later a medium told me that my mother said that death wasn’t as difficult as she thought it would be and that her breathing changed and then she passed away. I am very grateful to reiki for that and the fact that there was something I could do to help her and didn’t feel helpless. The reiki path isn’t always an easy one, but I do think that its purpose is to make us into a better person and to help people where we can. I recently was ‘doing’ reiki on a bereaved friend and I became quite breathless and did feel drained. Later by coincidence a reiki practitioner told me that I had been taking on her grief? Rings true with me as after my mother passed I saw an acupuncturist for a while and he said that the Chinese believe that grief is stored in the chest.

  • Hiren June 16, 2016, 6:42 am

    Hi Angela, your article really helped to clear all doubts and make me free from all confusion. I was always thinking that this is risky approach in helping someone dying, Thanks a lot for your help.

  • Marvin Smith June 26, 2016, 8:20 pm

    I am always teaching, I find many of my student always watching me, so one day one of my Reiki 3 Josephine, she a real person on facebook, said to me Bugalu where do the dead people go, I said you really want to know, she said yes, I said behind this physical body that you call you,, is the emotion body,, which is spirit, in essence, then there’s the spiritual body, again spirit and then the cosmic body,, which is the universe So people transform in to energy, then I told her to look to the sky,, and be still, and you can actually see the energy all around you, so Josephine looked and saw the energy there’s no need to be sad, we are all energy Reiki energy in this life

  • Marvin Smith June 26, 2016, 8:25 pm

    Anyway I’m a Reiki master level 3on and I can be reach at

  • Lisa Joppa June 26, 2016, 9:29 pm

    This is exactly where I intend to take my Reiki practice. The time of transition is the time to help the dying feel no fear, be at peace. Some will have no one to be with them. That is where I hope to be the most help.

  • Carole July 20, 2016, 2:34 pm

    Truly Beautiful, thank you for sharing in an area of taboo & fear Thank You xxx

  • ambujamadhavan September 5, 2016, 7:27 am

    I also got the same experience ,one person suffered a lot,no food,no water,just eyes closed and having difficulty in breathing,i gave reiki next day early morning he died. What’s your feelings same I got

  • JAMIE L MUMBER October 7, 2016, 6:13 pm

    I too worked in a hospice and had the wonderful privilege to administer reiki to the dying and their families. It was an extraordinary experience and one I miss. Once we had a young girl in her teens who was in that unconscious state between life and death for many days. While giving her reiki I saw herds of angels of all sizes looming around her and throughout her room. Her mom stood and watched and I sensed it was her mom that needed the reiki most. Her daughter was just waiting for her mom to be ready for her to pass.

  • Sanjiv kumar November 7, 2016, 7:42 am

    Thanks Angela, for sharing your experiences on Reiki for the Dying. Now I know that Giving Reiki to the Dying /transitioning person is even more important. I feel more encouraged to do help in such a situation. Love & Lights

  • Diptesha January 30, 2017, 8:09 am

    Angela ,
    I am happy to share my experience on Reiki for the Dying. Last year my one of the dear friend passes away. When I started healing for her, She suffering from last stage of cancer.Doctors already said she will have only few days but She lived very happily and energetic for more than six months. I was giving her reiki and she feel painless, peaceful, happy & energetic during her last journey. She lived for morethan six months like she was before her illness.
    My one uncle also suffering from brain stroke and paralyzed , was bed written and even having multiple ulcer in intestine. When I start reiki healing for him, he had bad blood vomiting, with only one day Reiki healing, his all ulcer gone, even his doctors surprise. After that he lived painless, happily and peacefully for morethan one year and during his last journey he was happy and calm.

  • Mitali March 22, 2017, 11:57 pm

    I have given reiki to my father in his end time
    My father left his body in my brother’s arms n he told me father seems to be relieved
    At that time I thought reiki didn’t work I.e why I can’t help my father
    But ur article taken me to the next level

  • Angie September 29, 2017, 5:15 am

    I have been giving Reiki to a dear friend who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I was surprised when his wife texted me indicating that he was requesting me to be at his bedside when he passes. I told him I would; however, truthfully I have never been in the vicinity of anyone in my life close to death. And in truth I myself I am scared of death. I find myself dreading the time when this happens. I am a Reiki master and an active practicioner. Every Sunday at my Spiritual Community and on call when needed at hospitals and private homes. I guess this is an opportunity for me to face my fear. He does not seem afraid, I am not sure why I am.

  • Jools October 7, 2017, 6:17 pm

    I have been worrying about this, so it’s great timing thank you! My uncle passed 3 weeks ago nearly to this hour. I am only level 1 but thought surely something is better than nothing? He was in a coma so sent light to his higher self, as he couldnt give permission, is that right?
    I tried to channel white light, love and peace to him and after a day I started to surround him in gold light til the end. I have wondered if I did any good or the right thing, he passed so peacefully and I can only hope it was of some help to him. I had my eyes shut and saw his body as a silhouette and at his head it looked like when theres an eclipse and the light shines from behind the shadow. I also imagined a heat haze from his head but he was still breathing, I thought spirit left after? Lots of questions but I’m privileged to have been able to be with him at the end and thanks again for your helpful article Angela xx

  • Caren Waters May 10, 2018, 11:44 pm

    I have been an Usui Reiki Master for ten years, and I was there when my Father was passing, one year ago. His breath was labored at the end, and I did a Reiki treatment, only on the front, main chakras, starting with his head. With each chakra, his breath became easier, more quiet. With the final chakra, his mouth closed and he passed. It was one if the most incredible experiences of my life. I will never forget it.

  • Marie September 28, 2018, 5:00 pm

    I was doing a distance Reiki session (one of many) for the husband of a friend. I’ve never met him. This particular treatment was different in that I clearly saw all of my usual archangels around the bed, hands out, beaming smiles, golden light everywhere. I didn’t realize until the next day when I got the message, that he had passed the evening before…right around the time that I was “there”. It’s the most incredible treatment experience I have had to date…and I feel so privileged to have witness such a moment.

  • Sunette December 14, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this amazing article. I am a Usui Reiki Master, Reiki Animal Master, Crystal Reiki Master…really appreciate this!

  • Juan January 9, 2020, 6:06 pm

    How to know when is the time to help someone to go?

  • Kavita Pandya January 22, 2020, 7:12 am

    I just love to read nd sence abt divine energies, I m a very big friend of yours.

    Thank u for such a lovely book

    Divine blessing

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