Tag Archive | dying

Watching a Life Expire

45032131_Your loved on is on a new journey…

Recently I was given the gift of being present with a loved one as she passed away.   Surrounded by loved ones, Anna’s body gently shook twice as she inhaled and exhaled her last breath.  We had been listening for a long time as changes in her breathing pattern ebbed and flowed.  With no heart monitor to watch, we only had her physical form to notice and we kept a sharp eye and ear open for every labored breath.  As her breathing grew steadily more labored and louder, we wondered if we would keep our vigil all night.  After all, there were three of us and we could take turns.  But really nobody wanted to leave her in her last hours even though the doctors weren’t sure if she would last for a few more hours, a few more days or a week.  Steadfastly, we remained and received the honor of being with her when she passed away.  Her last breath shook her body and then all stilled in the ICU.  We waited, looking at each other expectantly waiting for her to draw her next breath.  I looked through the glass door to see her doctor look at me with sad eyes.

“I think she just took her last breath,” one of us said as the three of us huddled together around her now lifeless body.

We said prayers for Anna, tears streaming down our faces, holding hands across the bedsheets as we stood around her bedside.  We told her how much we loved her, what a great life she had lived and how we hoped that Jesus had come to take her home after her well-lived life journey.  We promised to take care of our other Aunt whom she loved.  We murmured gentle reminders of happier memories which are pinned on our hearts.  We promised her that we would take her to be buried with her parents as she wished.  We told her over and over how much we had loved her ~ just like we had done when she was alive.

Quietly one of the nurses slipped in after about 15 minutes and he confirmed that her heart had stopped beating and that indeed that had been her last breath here on Earth.  Silently we watched as he disconnected her from the machines which had given her medicines to comfort her during her last hours.  With much respect for her and for us, he only spoke when we asked him a question.  We needed a few more minutes to allow the reality of what we had just experienced, to sink into our hearts and minds.  We had been with her as she crossed over, just as the 3 of us had been there when my Dad’s heart stopped beating.

It’s a bonding experience for those who are honored to be with a loved one as they pass away.  Sissy, Mom and I have been together twice now and I will say, it’s not for the faint of heart.  Tears pour down our cheeks as we realize the enormity of what we have just experienced together ~ witnessing a loved one’s body stop living.

And I wonder how it must feel to have no pain, no worries and be able to rejoice and to embrace love, light and God’s goodness all at once?  I wonder if she knew we were there and she was not alone?  I wonder that even though her brain had died, could she still hear us and if she knew that we were there with her?

I miss hearing Anna’s voice and seeing her.  I miss her eagle eyes that always caught me as a child if I did something naughty (which wasn’t often mind you!)  I miss the loving being that she was here on Earth for me.  I hope she knows that she is resting permanently next to her parents as was her request and our mission accomplished.  But I feel her more now I think ~ I feel a presence which when I get quiet feels like a friend who’s watching out for me.  Perhaps an added angel over my shoulder?  I could surely use a bit of heavenly strength right about now.

So this post today is for you Anna ~ 84 years young, you lived your life the way you wanted to and we were proud to say you were our Aunt.  Surely you’ve seen/heard our Dad already, because knowing him, he’s part of the welcoming committee with St. Peter, calling out your name loudly and probably swinging on the Pearly Gates!  Rest in Peace dear Aunt Anna and Dad too.  You live on in our hearts.

Shine On!

xo

 

Grief is a funny thing…

This blog post brought tears to my eyes as it was so raw, so true and so important for us all ~ hold your loved ones close everyday.  Do the right thing and take care of yourself and others.  And please, do not drink and drive.  Thank Lori Lara for sharing your story with us.  Much love to you and C.  I have a best friend since we were 9 and your post hit home for me.  Big hugs to you xo

Shine On!

xo

 Grief is a funny thing….

Gratitude Day 18 ~ The Royall Treatment

“Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow.

Great results cannot be achieved at once;

and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.” -Samuel Smiles

We are living on a seesaw at the moment…one minute my Dad is stable-ish and the next minute, we have problems.  It is very hard to live like this for so many days.  I always talk about taking baby steps and it is what we are doing…or better said, what he’s doing.  So many times, we have been told that this may be it and then he rallies.  I’ve been calling him the energizer bunny because he just keeps going and going.

But things aren’t great and all of the stress on his body, the difficulties in breathing, the strain on his organs, is taking their toll on him.  He’s on a ventilator and his body is sedated.  It is sad to watch the machines breathing for him, knowing that he has no idea that we are there for him.  Somewhere in my mind and spirit though I feel like he may know that we are there for him ~ for love surpasses all.

As my Mom has repeated ~ all you need is the faith of a mustard seed ~ and she has that faith…the faith that’s bigger than the mustard seed.

So today I am grateful for the staff and especially my Dad’s specialist who are giving his the Royall treatment while he is in the ICU.  The caring, going above and beyond job description and infinite patience, love and continuing to hold that glimmer of hope all the while finding other ways to heal him have made our step by step healing easier for Dad and for us.

Thank you for the Royall Treatment!

xo

Gratitude Day 17 ~ A Beacon of Hope

Appreciation is the highest form of prayer,

for it acknowledges the presence of good

wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.
-Alan Cohen

My Mom shared yesterday that she was begging God to let my Dad live.  She said she was didn’t mean to beg Him, but she simply couldn’t just pray as she cannot begin to imagine her life without my Dad.  She has been through so much in the last 2 weeks ~ standing like a Beacon of Hope next to his bed all night Thursday night, comforting him when he awakened calling for her.  In her stoic way, she never lets on to him that there is anything but hope there and that he will get better.  Even when he thinks he is dying and verbalizes it, she keeps her Beacon of Hope shining brightly.  It’s all we have at this point.

Our thankful thoughts are our Beacon of Hope and we have many good reasons to be thankful.  It’s hard to think about the possibility of my Dad passing without feeling bereft even though I’ve been blessed to have him in my life for so many years.   I know from experience that there are many others who have not been blessed with parents as long as AAngel and I have and I continue to be thankful in prayer for all that has been given to us.

Truthfully, I don’t want my Dad to pass, but I don’t want him to live uncomfortably either.  But then, it’s not my choice is it?  All I can do is continue to be thankful and appreciative for every little and big thing and for every person who is in our lives.  I am consciously trusting in God/Universe that what is supposed to happen, happens and that my family and I endure with love.

Family crises’ can bring people closer or tear them apart ~ and as I gratefully write that we three women have bonded together in order to be strong Beacons of Hope and Love to a man who has been Husband, Father and PITA to us all (he’s not a Saint you know ~ and I am a bit irreverent) I know that the above quote fits perfectly today.

Because we were called to the hospital early yesterday morning, I wasn’t able to write my post for the day.  In fact, when I awoke early this morning, I wasn’t sure of what I was going to write ~ and then, there it was ~ a quote in my email from a fellow blogger ~ LadyRomp ~ and the above quote and posting took shape.  So a heartfelt thanks to Kim @ a-message-from-the-creator-3-2 for her inspiring messages and quotes.

Use your thoughts wisely, be grateful, show your appreciation to your family, friends, loved ones.

Use the Gift of Today ~ The Presents of Presence that is yours.

Be the Beacon of Hope and Gratefulness

Shine your Love Brightly Today.

xo

Best Friend

Dear One,
I am Always here for you!  
You can count on ME!
With Love, xo xo
Your BFF
God

I made this card for today’s post because last night while I was falling asleep, I was watching a show called “I survived…” which was about 3 people who died and came back.  One of the survivors was a man who upon dying, said he saw a man who looked much like him ~ so much so that he thought it was his twin…until the man got closer and he realized it was God.  He explained that seeing God felt like being with his best friend and not what he had thought meeting GOD would be like…and as he watched all of the people that had come into his life and watched his life pass before him, he realized that his best friend had been with him all the time…and that struck a chord with me.

Having been blessed with the same best friend for more than 30 years, I can completely appreciate the beauty of having a best friend with you always…it gives me a peace within which radiates throughout my day.

By definition, a best friend is someone you trust, who loves you, who wants the best for you and for whom you’d do the same.  Honesty, affection and trust are key elements of this relationship as well as loyalty, support and a heartfelt connection.

As I’ve emphasized before, life is about connections ~ Spiritual connections, connections to Nature, Emotional connections, Physical connections and above all ~ Universal.

Making connections is key…I love the connections I’ve made thus far and I look forward to continuing to expand my connections on this amazing Journey of Endurance called LIFE!

Cheers to our connections!

Thanks KAngel!

xo