Archive for April, 2010

Tall, Smart, Sexy, Handsome, and Brave

FROM LOVING EACH DAY–A DAILY EMAIL FROM MSIA
The blessing is that you are always learning what is important for your growth and fulfillment. That is an eternal blessing by God for you and everyone. Any situation that teaches you what is important and what is not important is a blessing.
John Morton
(From John’s recent book: You Are the Blessings, p. 235)

In June ’09 we went to the appointment with Kenny’s primary care doctor and the grave news was metastatic malignant melanoma with only 3-6 months at most. To make sure it was melanoma, a liver biopsy would need to be taken. But from this point on our individual purposes became one purpose—to do everything we could to halt the onslaught of this dreaded disease.

We had many differences in our relationship, our marriage. We placed different values on money and possessions. He loved to challenge the outdoors by camping out in bitter cold weather without a tent and without a down sleeping bag. I like 72 degrees best with cool breezes, not too hot please and certainly not too cold! He loved his many possessions, things we might need if we move out on our own, things we would certainly need if the economy collapses, fun things we would use in the wilderness, weapons for when and if riots erupted. Rocks, he loved rocks. Rope and cording, grasses to make rope from, slabs of stone. An entire room-full of boxes stored under the house, under the dresser, under the bed, behind the desk, in the closets. I’m still finding surprises. I barely tolerated what seemed like pretty radical thinking, especially when it resulted in buying more things, but as I think about it now, these times he was preparing for may still befall us.
He loved western movies and T-V shows, and during his treatment, watched episode after episode of Steve McQueen’s T-V series, “Wanted Dead or Alive.” I didn’t have a love of any movie genre, but please not another western! Though near the end I learned to appreciate why he loved Appaloosa so much and gladly watched it with him several times—he saw it thirteen times!
He virtually hated T-V commercials and muted the sound for every single one of them when he held the remote. If I held the remote, I’d go unconscious and not think twice about how loud or inane it was. Little stuff like that!

Money–well that’s a guarded personal matter that always presented us with challenging conversations, promises and ultimatums that never lasted.

But we did believe in our marriage vows, and every time it looked like our differences were insurmountable, one of us would ask (dreading the answer) “Do you want a divorce?” And the other would always answer “No (Whew! What a relief!), but I don’t want things to stay the same.” We did make some progress during those years, very slow, painstaking, sometimes grueling. But we always did abide by our deep love underneath it all. And yes we had our share of little annoyances and judgments and big differences.

But the diagnosis startled us into unconditional loving in the blink of an eye. From that day forward, all petty and big differences were put aside, shelved, disregarded, and mostly forgotten. The most important thing was discovering a therapy that he felt would work for him and embarking on it as soon as possible. As for my part, I would do whatever was necessary to support his decisions and the therapy. I knew my role and I relaxed knowing that I did not need to make decisions for him. It was his body and his treatment and his relationship with God and the Traveler.

What’s important? Loving each other is important and saying so–daily. Do what you know how to do and leave all the rest to God, that’s important. Ask for spiritual assistance. Know that you will receive it. Look into each other’s eyes. Tell each other you’ll be there to hear whatever the other has to say. Trust Spirit to show you the next step on your path. Touch each other consciously putting love into your hands. Tell your loved one what you admire about them and have tolerance for their “other” qualities. During those months of one focus, I often told Kenny he was my hero, my Miracle Man–and indeed every day he demonstrated fearlessness, strength on all levels, humor, open-heartedness, and gratitude. As his illness progressed, he would express more love, more appreciation, more generosity, more good things of the Soul.

Forgiveness, saying I’m sorry for any time I hurt you or was mean to you. Reading to each other from meaningful passages in favorite books. Did I say looking in the same direction? Did I say trust in Spirit? And know that if you do your part, Spirit will match your actions with tangible support that you will recognize and well up with gratitude for.

What’s not important (in other words, what NOT to put energy into)? The petty differences, the old judgments, the mind chatter and worry. The history. Old broken promises. Old anything!

Make a point to learn from your differences. Each of you has gems of knowledge and wisdom. How exciting to look at those differences as a learning opportunity!

I could tell many more stories of how our love prevailed, but the bottom line message is clearly to love, forgive, accept, understand, be grateful on a daily basis. Be with each other as if this were the last day you had together–practice what that would look like because some day it will come. Look in the same direction, one mind, one heart, one focus on spiritual fulfillment and service.

In all his days, Kenny searched for meaningful work, a career he could depend on to last. He contributed to mankind in many helpful ways through the many vocations and interests he chose to explore. The one that lasted the longest and flourished the greatest was his MSIA* ministry. He was always good at sharing his experiences and teaching others all the myriad of things he learned almost daily, and this escalated such that after the diagnosis, he was an open book to anyone who cared to listen. And each day as he neared leaving this planet, he shared more of his joy, more of his love, his gratitude, and his discoveries as a child of God–his ordination blessing was obviously being expressed every day. He knew where he was going and he looked forward to it. I witnessed this steady awakening in awe, in appreciation, and in unconditional loving as much as I knew how.

Being sick and not able to do much for himself, he had many requests of me throughout the days, and I did respond physically almost 24/7. I was tired and worried and spent many hours each day juggling all his needs and at the same time keep my own body strong. If I had it to do over again, the only thing I would do differently is not so much “clicking” as Kenny would put it. Spend less time doing things and more time just being with Kenny, touching him, bathing him, listening to him, and making him comfortable. Oh, I did plenty of all of that, but missing him so much now I want more!

A little aside: Towards his last days, Kenny couldn’t swallow more than a squirt of water at a time, but his mouth was always extremely dry. The nurse brought him some sponges on sticks that were to be soaked in water and used to swab his mouth. He called them lollypops. “Lollypop please.” So I held his head up a bit in the right position so he could swallow the little bit of water that he squeezed out of the sponge with his teeth and swished around in his mouth. He’d say, “I love lollypops. They’re so good. Water, I love water. More, more, more.” And that forever smile would accompany the words. As much as holding his head and reaching for the sponges made my arms and back ache, I loved those moments when such tiny things would give him pleasure.

These last months of our life together are an imbedded experience of what’s important and what’s not. I pray I can carry this experience forward into my life. Right now grief wells up in me daily and I just let it come. My ministry in this moment is to tenderly offer myself the caring and love I so freely gave to Kenny.

What’s important and what’s not…

*Loving Each Day emails like the one I quoted at the beginning of this entry are intended to uplift readers and give them pause to reflect on the Spirit within them. It is a free service of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA). MSIA is a nondenominational, ecumenical church that teaches that each of us is divine and we can know our own divinity.

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Kenny’s Memorial Service

People ask if I feel better since the memorial service took place on Saturday, April 17. My days are filled with many different emotions and many tasks still incomplete, each one reminding me I no longer have my sweet husband at my side, holding me, comforting me, whispering to me, sharing tender moments with me. Nor can I extend myself to him as I did every single day every waking hour since June 22, the infamous diagnosis day.

And yes, I hear this will pass. It will get better. I’ll get through this OK. Friends’ words of comfort slide by me without sinking in. The only comfort is sharing experiences of him, not trying to make him fade away. Right now it feels like it will never pass. I’ll always be reminded of the pain in my heart. I’ve got ashes in my closet, bills to reconcile, death certificates to circulate, a car to sell, things to decide where they go. Things, hundreds of things. Thousands of papers to go through. Taxes. These activities are not bad, just reminders that keep me steeped in the reality that he’s gone from my physical world. What!!! How!!! No!!! I’ll wake up and it will all be a dream. Can’t I have another year or two or fifteen or twenty? We were going to grow old together. Live out in the country. Grow our own tomatoes! Tend to our own animals. Sleep in the fresh air.

Spirit would ask me to find the good in every experience, every day. In that vein the memorial was all I hoped it would be and more. Leigh Taylor-Young’s officiating was flawlessly loving, gracious, genuine, warm and embracing–just like she is in everyday life. When she hugged me, she pressed her head against mine and I instantly melted in her arms. John’s blessing touched my heart with a deep abiding understanding that not one soul will be lost, and that indeed the Traveler caught Kenny and took him up and it will catch me and all of us the same way whether we are aware or not. And if we are brave enough to realize this and stay awake to it when the time comes like Kenny did, that’s a real treasure.

After sharing from many people who were touched by Kenny’s loving, we sang the love song, “Always,” by Irving Berlin. It was an old song dear to my heart that my mother used to sing and that we played and sang at our wedding.

Here’s a recent photo and the words: 

Dreams will all come true,
Growing old with you,
And time will fly. 

Caring each day more,
Than the day before,
Till spring rolls by.

 Then when the spring-time has gone,
Then will my love linger on.

Chorus: I’ll be loving you, Always,
With a love that’s true, Always.

 When the things you’ve planned need a helping hand,
I will understand, Always, Always.

 Days may not be fair, Always.
That’s when I’ll be there, Always.

 Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year,
But Always.

And here’s Ken’s playlist of favorite music that he requested be played in the sequence it was played.

Background music before starting from Mark Knophler’s album “Get Lucky”
Nat Sharratt: Free Walking in Paradise
Olomana: Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u
Jason Mraz: I’m Yours
James Taylor: Carolina in my Mind
Ray Charles: I Got a Woman
Mark Knophler: If This is Goodbye
Beatles: Here Comes the Sun
Bob Dylan: If Not for You
Bob Dylan: If dogs Run Free

And a quote from John Morton, Spiritual Director of the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (www.msia.org) in which Kenny was a minister of Light:

You are chosen of great love from God,
because the nature of coming to this
physical level is one where graduation
is at hand, where you are allowed to walk
out of that which has confined you, which is
really to walk into Spirit and to be liberated.
And as this great interest in love comes forward
 into your life, it is because you are choosing
back to God.
– John Morton

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate. My heart is full of gratitude to you and to my Kenny for loving me and letting me love him so fully.

Our true leaders are those who look at life in a radically different way. They know that love is the radical solution. It’s radical because most of us don’t approach life that way. For the most part, we approach life reactively, trying to control rather than letting go. 

“The answer is that out of God come all things, that God loves all of its creation, and that not one Soul will be lost. This is the context for living a life without fear or worry. As you integrate these truths into yourself, you will let go and relax into the arms of the Beloved.”

– John-Roger with Paul Kaye
(From: The Rest of Your Life, p. 227)

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Six Breaths and I can Stay Alive

In the last couple of days before he died, my darling Kenny discovered if he breathed six conscious breaths in a row, he could keep himself alive longer. He asked me what I thought of doing the six breaths. I found myself telling him he could do it however he wanted to–to me that meant he could do the breaths and stay alive longer, or he could just breathe normally. At every turn I possibly could, I tried not to influence his decisions about his health, his treatment or his quality of life or his death. But inside me I was screaming, please, please don’t go, don’t leave me. This theme has played out many times in my life–please don’t leave me.

The hospice material outlined the signs that death was near in terms of weeks and days and hours. These didn’t fit Kenny’s signs, which had been obvious for several months as I looked back to compare. So each day as he got weaker and weaker, it was never apparent to me that any day would be the last day, not until the last few hours. I’m pretty sure I can attribute how long he sustained those signs to his personal strength, his undeniable awareness that Spirit was breathing him, and the previous months of physical cleansing and strengthening.

If there’s anything worth remembering in this message, it’s to get close, spend lots of time looking into your loved one’s eyes, and listening to their words, their prayers, their unspoken and spoken questions, and consciously pour as much love as you can into each gesture, each task, each response, each touch, each communication. And if you feel the calling to stay close, follow that. In the last week, I only left the room to get some food once a day or so for only a few minutes at a time.

I remember telling someone a few days ago that I would have given Kenny some of my years if I could. Their reply, “Maybe you did.”

In all of this I am comforted to know I did the best I could with what I knew how to do to take as good care of my husband as I possibly could. Do I have any regrets now? Oh yes, sometimes I wish I could have been more conscious, more responsive, more present, more a lot of things. But there’s a karmic flow to everything and we were in one that had its own limitations and parameters. Within this flow, I am grateful for all the assistance from people on this side of the veil and all the Masters of Light and Souls on the other side who lighted the way for my Beloved.

Fly home, Kenny. See you in the Soul Realm.
Carol

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14 Days Later

A myriad of feelings, thoughts, and actions! Today at 11:24 pm marks two weeks since my Kenny left this world. I still cannot believe it when I actually think about it. Sometimes I think he will walk in the door any minute. When I’m out on an errand, I feel I can’t wait to get back home to be with him.

Compiling picture albums for the memorial this Saturday. Cynthia, his sister, started one loaded with pictures from Kenny’s childhood all the way up to our courtship. I’m finishing it with wedding pictures and many others from that day forward. A friend is also creating a beautiful montage of photos of Kenny and images he loved with captions that give a flavor of his passions and who he was (according to me anyway).

Interesting that many years ago, when our relationship was a little rocky, I looked at old pictures of him thinking he wasn’t so cute in those days. But now I see every one of them in a new Light. His Spirit shined through them all–in his smile, in his eyes, in his sweetness, in his protectiveness of his sisters, in his sense of adventure and his love of nature. My, how the consciousness can sway with the times when we are looking at the lower levels. He looked at his own pictures recently and told me what a sweet boy he was. We both teared up and took the opportunity to love up the boy still peeking out through those eyes!

The last few days when he could hardly swallow and wasn’t eating or drinking very much because everything made him hiccup and burp hard, I’d swab his mouth with little sponges on sticks soaked in water. He loved them. Called them lollypops and could he have a lollypop please, savoring each one with delight.

They say the memorial will help define a milestone. That maybe it will get easier to think about him without welling up. I dunno. Maybe. Then there will be more of them on the east coast and the ashes. I don’t want to do any of this. I don’t want to go through papers or figure out assets, or mount pictures or clean out clothes or sell stuff or decide what to give away. It’s all so final.

Ekkkk! Letting my emotions and my mind get the better of me. Time to turn to the teachings of the Spiritual Heart to comfort myself. Time to know that Spirit orchestrates everything and no one leaves without perfect timing. But it was too short. Another 10 or 15 years would have been just grand. Another month or even a day. It took a life for me to experience unconditional loving and unconditional service. What a sacrifice. Thankfully he told me many times in the last weeks of his life how happy he was. He had everything he needed, he said.

In that I find a little peace.
See you next time.
Carol

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What’s It Like to Leave This World?

A friend who has the ability to “look in on” things and people wrote: “Ken Jones passed tonight…around 11:30 pm March 30. I knew from the sound of Carol’s crying. So I went and stood by their door for a while holding the Light and chanting my tone along with sweet Bryce. When I looked in on him, he was ecstatic, enjoying the rapturous bliss of release with many Souls and much Light around him. And he was way beyond happy…his was a magnificent graduation from this earthly level. Well done, Ken…and God speed.”

He called what he saw “The Reception” of Kenny into the higher realms. Gacky’s essence was there as well as he lifted up. And then the ascension took place within a golden Light. Wow, I have only heard this kind of description of death associated with Jesus. But according to what I understand of John-Roger’s teachings, many of us can have the same kind of experience, especially those who know who they are in the eyes of God.

Here’s a little more about Gacky, Kenny’s grandfather:

Do you believe there is an afterlife or that some people can touch into the spirits of those who have gone before us, The day before Kenny passed, he had a phone consultation with a practitioner who can see other levels of existance. Without any prior information he asked if I knew anything about Kenny’s father’s father. Because Kenny could only whisper the few days before he passed, I told the doc that it was Gacky (grandfather) and that he died of prostate cancer and that Kenny was by his side when he died.

The doc said Kenny was concerned about breaking our hearts–those of us he left behind, and that Gacky’s spirit was there with Kenny to help him go in peace and beauty. Not to worry about anyone’s heart or mind or Soul. There’s no more to heal, no negative imprints to clear and no harm being done. Gacky is fusing his spirit to Kenny’s to give him peace and the ability to let go with a sense of completion on all levels of existance.

Doc said he is very fortunate to have a Soul like Gacky to help him at this time. He said Gacky told him Kenny was blessed to have divine eyes (he has never met Kenny or seen a picture of him), to have been called to God when he was very young, and to be protected from family dynamics. He said Kenny would understand everything very soon.

So I’m sharing this to help make it easier to let a dying loved one go. It’s tough. From my own experience, I wanted every moment I could possibly have with Ken. I didn’t want him to go. In fact the first time he thought he would pass soon, he woke me in the middle of the night to tell me goodbye. Well this wrenched my heart so much I started telling him how much I loved him in a number of different ways. His response was, “Stop trying to pull me back.” I stopped talking and just held his hand. Well it took about a week for him to actually come to his last hours, but what an eye opener that was. It was from that moment forward that I became as respectful of his space and timing as I possibly could. I wasn’t always conscious however. Once I was whispering to one of the Heartreach team and he told me “Too much talking.” Another time I was typing and he told me, “Too much clicking, too long!” But mostly I was right there with him trying to anticipate his needs and be mindful of not pulling on his energy. I could only do what I knew how to do and trust that God (and Gacky) will take care of the rest.

I wrote a few days ago that Ken’s last hours were difficult (in my eyes). I had expected that a peaceful death meant the person just slipped into sleep and didn’t wake up. But a few hours before Kenny passed, his breathing was very labored and halting and he moaned and thrashed about. Then after we administered enough drugs to quiet him, he breathed easy for a few minutes and then just stopped breathing. All this was frightening to me and I thought it might have been my fault that I didn’t give him enough pain medicine. So I confessed to another minister who can also see through spiritual eyes, and his response was that it was all “part of the process.” That Kenny was clearing up the last bit of karma before he took off into the heavens. This minister also told me a few days before Kenny left that I shouldn’t worry about “missing the moment” when Ken would leave because I would be called to be there. That was also true. I had fallen asleep once we quieted Kenny’s breathing but spontaneously woke up in time to tell him he was loved and that the Traveler was right there to take him home. With this he breathed a few more breaths and then no more breaths.

I hope this is comforting and helpful. Nothing comforts like overcoming an illness, and I wish that for anyone. But in the face of no return to normal, productive life, with a lot of prayer, and seeing the good in all experiences, we can walk through the most challenging times trusting that God is good and everything is meant for our learning, growth and upliftment. And everything is perfectly orchestrated by our souls anyway–that’s till a hard one for me to grasp. I suppose when it’s my time, I will get it. I’m sure I will. I have my Kenny’s amazing strength and foresight to lean on. And it’ll be grand to know he’ll be there for me like Gacky was for him. Now I’m excited about it, and so was he! He said so.

Bless you all.

 

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Consciousness as seen through the Spiritual Eye

Today is Monday April 5, just 7 days after Kenny passed into Spirit. I talked to two people yesterday who seem to know a lot about how people pass on and there’s lots to tell about what is seen of the consciousness as it leaves the physical body. I’ll report more on this soon. It’s very interesting and somewhat comforting.

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Dear Sisters, an Accounting of One Day in a Life

Kenny 17 days before passing into Spirit.

Carol here, continuing Kenny’s blog as a way to train my own consciousness to find the good in each day and share it along with my process with you. Ken’s ministry near the end of his life was to share his experiences of the presence of Spirit in hopes that even just one person would benefit. I hope to continue for him in my own way.

Today I wrote to Kenny’s sisters. Here’s what I said:

 
 
 

I’m planning to go back to work in May. I have so much to do with assessing our bills, changing ownership of Kenny’s car, and the various little investments we did make on paper. Clearing out our bedroom of all the clinic-type stuff, disposing of clothes and the many big and little “things” Kenny accumulated over the years. We will organize a yard sale, I have donated some to a non-profit, a friend will put some on EBay for me, and of course I will keep the most important things close to me. My friend Muriel is helping me put all that together. Not to mention taxes. I have filed for an extension through the tax guy that did ours a few years back. Muriel will add up my categories, and the tax guy will file for me. Thank goodness!

So when I’m emersed in paperwork and phone calls, I’m OK. It’s when I stop to take a rest and realize he’s not here with me, I cry. You have to understand though I’ve been crying for months, ever since the diagnosis. And so did Kenny. He was so vulnerable, so tender, any loving gesture from me or anyone else would make him cry and then I would cry. We mostly cried out of gratitude for every way Spirit paved the way. We understood that our experiences were precious, even though as time wore on, it was inevitable that Spirit would take him soon. We also cried knowing that we didn’t have much time left. One day he got a little testy with me and I back with him. Then I hugged him and told him how sorry I was that I lashed back and that I wouldn’t knowingly do anything that would hurt him. He cried and I cried not wanting to waste any more time on being grumpy.

Alas he did get grumpy after that from time to time, and I had to say to him and myself that I had no idea what it must be like in his body as the cancer began to take over in very evident ways. Grumpy Kenny was then allowed in my mind and I found myself apologizing daily for little things I could not make better for him, Things like food began to taste bad to him. He had very little saliva so it all got mealy in his mouth. He’d have to sip water with every mouthful. He couldn’t swallow without turning his head to the side (there was a growth in his neck constricting his throat). I couldn’t turn him sometimes without hurting him. He sweated through all the bedclothers and I wouldn’t remember to freshen the pillow enough. The smell of the gasoline leaf blower. The noise of construction in the neighborhood, the sun in his eyes when I forgot to close the blinds in time. The enormous effort it took for him to walk and near the end, he stayed in bed for the last two weeks. No more showers for a man who loved to be in water. He did love his bed baths though. The sometimes insensitive bath nurses. A few visitors who stole energy instead of sharing it.

In all of this was his forgiveness and his gratitude, which were evident to anyone who came to call. And his amazing Divine eyes that looked at me with such loving. And his forever smile. He’d fall asleep while I was wiping his face or feeding him some food and when he’d wake up, he would giggle a little and smile like he’d just done a little faux pas.

Before the diagnosis, we had many differences that looked insurmountable. After the diagnosis, we became single-minded, heading toward the goal of making him well. All differences melted away. No more resentments, no grudges, no regrets, just one mind and one heart doing everything possible to squelch the oppressor. This is one of the most powerful things that sustained his life, along with the knowledge that in the last couple of months he was living on spiritual energy, way past when the statistics would have taken him out.

If I could have stayed awake 24/7 I would have, knowing that every second counted.

Lastly, and I know I wrote a lot more than you asked for, it helps me to do this. And I feel a calling to post these kinds of writings on Kenny’s blog, to continue his ministry of sharing his experience with folks with the intention of assisting at least someone out there to get through their own trials with grace and dignity and just a glimpse of what’s possible when we are aware of the presence of Spirit in our lives.

Done for tonight. God bless you all.
Love,
Carol

 

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