Archive for January, 2011

The Day my Husband Chose Hospice Care

It was March 11, 2010, just two days after arriving back home from our trip to the Burzynski Cancer Clinic in Houston, Texas. Houston is another story. But the significance of March 11 is our appointment with the oncologist, who had told us he’d do whatever he could to carry on the medications prescribed at the clinic. By this time, Kenny wasn’t walking much. He had a Foley catheter and was on a zillion medications for just as many symptoms. I wheeled him into the patient room where we waited for the doctor. He came in with his assistant. Kenny had lost a lot of weight and was very weak. When the oncologist saw the actual line-by-line treatment plan, contradictory to the Burzynski Clinic protocol, he announced to us that in all good conscience, he could not administer these drugs for Kenny’s condition. We asked what the alternative was, and gingerly he took this opportunity to mention Hospice–again. (In July ’09 we didn’t give it a second thought. In December we interviewed the Hospice worker just to see what it was all about and refused to start because it meant no more blood transfusions and we knew we were headed for many more.)

But this time, Kenny jumped at the chance to say “That’s what I want.” I looked at him incredulously, my heart sank like a lead weight into my stomach, choking on a giant knot in my throat, hot tears making their way down my cheeks, I was speechless, heart-broken, and in shock. Fighting back the sobs I really wanted to let out, all I could say was “Really, Kenny, really?” After all these months of focusing every waking moment on Kenny’s care, now we were to focus on his dying. This was so not in my plan, though it began to be evident way back in November, that there might be no turning back, that Kenny’s body was headed for the “Well of Souls” as he coined it. But I had a way of stuffing these day-by-day awarenesses somewhere where I could hide them from myself. If we were deeply involved in treatment plans like the Gerson protocol or the Burzynski Clinic, how could I also embrace that he was dying. I couldn’t.

So while I was reeling with this new era of preparing for him to die, I busied myself with all the Hospice arrangements there were to be made–the hospital bed, the wheelchair, the oxygen machine, the nurse appointments, the calls from the chaplain and the social worker. Kenny on the other hand, was continuing, not his valiant battle against cancer, but his journey into the Soul Realm where every day, as he drew nearer to his final day, his peace and love and joy and gratitude brought him to levels of realizing himself as one with God that knew no boundaries. Every day he expounded another seminar about our precious spiritual teachings. Every day he would tell me what he was grateful for. He said, “I’m a happy man. I have everything I need, plus my loving family and friends and you.” Every day I would say something like, “Kenny, you’re my hero. My one and only love of my life.” He would say back, “Carol you’re the love of my life.”

And for a while, while he still had some strength, the way he would get into bed was to put his arms around my neck while I swung him from sitting on the side of the bed to lying down. And that’s how we’d get him up in the morning. Precious moments these embraces. They would be the last times he would hug me, though I could kiss him, hold his hand, and wash him, brush his hair, dress him, and feed him until the very end. These were all precious moments that remain as symbols of the depth of our love. They remind me of the oneness we both experienced in each other. Both of us headed in the same direction, both of us  responding to his every need every moment of every day. One day we were lying close in bed and he managed to put his hand on my chest. Kenny had big, comforting hands with a healing touch. Even in his last days he was able to transmit that healing energy to me. I cried like a baby, no I cried like a wife who was losing her husband. Any day now he could be gone. Any day now the Well of Souls would claim him for the last time.

Where did I put all those images and signals that I was losing him? Stacked up somewhere in my consciousness, overshadowed by requiring myself to take Kenny’s direction, after all this was his life, his dying, and his Soul’s ascension. A celebration awaited him on the other side. I’ll find the right words another time to describe how my consciousness worked with compartmentalizing the power of that experience when it becomes clearer to me.

I’ve documented other precious moments in these last days of Kenny’s life in previous posts and I’m compelled to share as many as I can remember with you because of how tender and memorable they were. Somehow remembering them is comforting. In some ways like when we first fell in love—coming home after a date floating in the euphoria of going over each moment in my mind’s eye many times. There is new meaning now to the sentiment, “I only have my memories now.” It’s sometimes sad, but it also fills me with the experience of deep and abiding love. How divine that is.

Please feel free to comment either through the comment field below or by email directly to me at carol.jones43@yahoo.com. And pass this blog address to anyone who could benefit from what Kenny and I have and are still learning—he as a Soul after consciously dying to this world and me as his devoted partner, making my way through the grief of losing him into the peace and loving that awaits my awareness. Little by little I experience myself lifting my Spirit and lightening up. God bless us all.

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We were Counting Breaths ’til the Last One

It was the night Kenny took his last breath. My Circle of Light fellow ministers were standing by, both in our bedroom and in the hallway, silently meditating and ushering in Kenny’s passing. Each in our own way knew the moment was near.

It started early in the evening, his labored breathing. I gave him some morphine and sat him up in bed a little to help him breathe better, but this didn’t help much. He wasn’t able to talk by this time so I thought he had become unresponsive. I called hospice and they told me to administer more morphine to calm his breathing and that they would send a nurse by to check on him. The nurse arrived and told me the time was near and that his labored breathing was part of the process. In my limited understanding, I asked again if he should be so uncomfortable, and the nurse, sensing my alarm, relented and told me to give him more morphine and another kind of sedative to calm him down.

Kenny spit the sedative out and I dutifully put it back in his mouth. He gestured and moaned at this point, and I thought he was incoherent and agitated, which can happen according to what I had read. So without questioning or even thinking much, I gave him the morphine anyway, hoping it would calm him. He bit down on the dropper and again I just thought he was incoherent.

We both hushed a bit and fell asleep for a little while, and our Circle of Light ministers were meditating silently.

At some point, just as was predicted, I was called awake. I had been holding Kenny’s hand and then I put my other arm around his shoulders, came very close, and told him how much I loved him and it was OK to let go and to go with the Traveler. In just a few seconds, he breathed his last breath.

I think I wrote about this most precious moment in a previous post, but now I have much more understanding about who it was in me that couldn’t let my husband die the way he would have liked to go, for it is obvious to me now, after replaying this scene in my mind nearly every day,  that all his gesturing and moaning and refusing medication was meant to say please leave him alone in this  his last moments on earth—to let him breathe his last breath consciously. Yet in those moments of panic, I reacted out of a place within myself that wanted him to be comfortable. Nice thought, but not on the right page. Why not? Reacting out of limited mindset instead of responding to the signals that were present.

This scene has played itself out in my memories over and over with no resolution, only a very painful example of my own shortcomings, my lack of awareness, my shortsighted, made-up mindset about what his death should look like. I know—that’s a harsh description of my own limitations and to this day I regret not asking him what he would have liked as he was dying. I had no clue that it would even be possible to ask and he had no clue to offer what he would have liked either.

Perfectly matched in our fears of losing each other. This was definitely a characteristic of our relationship, now it’s obvious as I look back over the years of his acting out in fear and my reacting in fear. There’s plenty more to say about the patterns that have been revealed to me since Kenny died, but not for this post.

The most important message in this post is what I heard Kenny say today: he told me “You gave me so much even though you don’t think so—that the least I could do was give you a moment of peace before I left. That was the only thing I could give you, my Darling One.”

Having heard this precious communication today, I was finally somewhat relieved of my burden and ready to write this post. So there’s not so much blame and self-judgment left, and much more gratitude for the precious moments I experienced of Kenny’s appreciation and love toward me. I cried my eyes out as I opened myself to receive his love–nine months later. Better now than never!

And just like he said would happen, our relationship grows deeper, more loving and more intimate as I seek to reach up into the high realms to meet his Soul there. The same skills, discipline, love and letting go are required of me as those needed to experience my own Soul. Imagine our radiant forms, vibrating light, radiating love, compassion, oneness, understanding, and acceptance—the most precious attributes of the Soul and of any relationship. Breathe in Kenny’s loving. Breathe out my loving to him. That’s a very peaceful and compassionate exercise. A beautiful way to reach up.

So if you (when you) hold for a loved one who is dying, ask them all the questions you can think of that would help make their experience the best it can be–what they want it to be. I did the best I could with what I had–and you will too. But more on that later.

I invite you to share your experiences in the comments field of this blog, ask me questions, make comments, share this blog with anyone who could benefit from our writings. Contact me by email if you wish at carol.jones43@yahoo.com. The blessings already are!

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