The Reverend Mitsuo Aoki, a wise and compassionate teacher, known for his work with people who were dying, has passed away himself at the age of 95.
"Mits," as he was called by everyone who knew him worked with more than 700 who were close to death. By his own estimate three hundred of them experienced the peace of opening up to love. At one of his last public appearances a year ago, he described being with a dying woman who opened herself up to love in a deeper way than she ever had before. "She was dying but the love that she was experiencing now was transfiguring death," he said.
Aoki founded the religion department at the University of Hawaii and helped establish Hospice Hawaii.
His classes were so popular they had to be held in the Varsity Theatre. He was convinced that the experience of facing death can teach a person how to live with love and compassion.
"The great aim of life is to know and be oneself. But we can know and be ourselves only insofar as we are open to others. We can be ourselves only because we are loved by others. We develop into persons only by loving others." Mits Aoki
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Aoki is survived by his daughters Sophie Ann and April and by his son, Galen.