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 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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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Valerie said,

    God bless you, Carol. Your words bring me so much learning and comfort. You are a Wayshower…
    Always remembering Kenny…xxx

    • 2

      Carol said,

      Dear Val,
      You and Robert are my heros and MY wayshowers. I’m so glad to know and love you both.
      You have my admiration and support.

  2. 3

    Esther said,

    How tender those last embraces must have been. Do you know where the Well of Souls term comes from? I haven’t heard it before. Beautiful. Blessings on you, Carol.

    • 4

      Carol said,

      Hi, Esther,
      Here’s what I found at National Geographic about the Well of Souls:
      The answer to one of the world’s most stubborn mysteries may lie hidden on the site of the destroyed Jewish Temple—under a historic Islamic shrine, beneath a bedrock outcropping of utmost significance to the three major monotheistic religions, and in a secret chamber below an underground cave.
      The Well of Souls, thought to be located on the Jerusalem site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, may contain the fabled and elusive Ark of the Covenant. This is the sacred vessel that, according to biblical account, contained the original Ten Commandments tablets that God gave to Moses at Mount Sinai as the ancient Israelites wandered the desert.
      In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the intrepid Indiana Jones finds the Ark of the Covenant in a room called the Well of Souls, though in the Hollywood version the site was relocated from Jerusalem to the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis.
      The Well of Souls is purportedly located below a natural cave under the rock upon which Jewish tradition says Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. Islamic tradition indicates Muhammad ascended to heaven from this same stone.
      No one knows with absolute certainty whether the Well of Souls—or the Ark of the Covenant—actually exists. Though knocking on the floor of the cave under the Muslim Dome of the Rock shrine elicits a resounding hollow echo, no one has ever seen this alleged chamber.
      The Temple Mount itself is rife with a network of some 45 cisterns, chambers, tunnels, and caves.
      No Archaeological Evidence
      There has never been any proper archaeological exploration of the site, which is under control of the Waqf Muslim religious trust.
      Famed 19th-century British explorers Charles Wilson and Sir Charles Warren could neither prove nor disprove the existence of a hollow chamber below the cave. They believed the sound reportedly heard by visitors was simply an echo in a small fissure beneath the floor.
      Shimon Gibson, senior fellow at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, published a definitive review together with colleague David Jacobson called Below the Temple Mount in Jerusalem: A Sourcebook on the Cisterns, Subterranean Chambers and Conduits of the Haram Al-Sharif.
      “Since the 19th century, no Westerner has been allowed access to the subterranean chambers on the Temple Mount,” Gibson said. “I would have liked to disguise myself as a local Waqf worker and infiltrate these sites, but I wouldn’t want to run the risk of creating an international incident.”
      Historic references to the Ark of the Covenant were rare following the establishment of the First Temple, and it disappeared entirely from the record by the time of King Herod around 40 B.C.
      The Ark was possibly demolished during the Babylonian destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C. or was spirited away and hidden during the invasion. It might also have been destroyed or stolen when the Roman legions invaded Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
      Unlikely Survivor
      According to biblical accounts, the Ark was constructed of wood and coated with sheets of gold. There is general scholarly agreement that, at least at one point, it was indeed hidden in a chamber under the Temple Mount, perhaps in the Well of Souls. However, it would not likely have survived the damp and unfavorable conditions.
      “The Ark probably would have disintegrated. Unless, of course, it had holy properties. But I, as an archaeologist, cannot talk about the theoretical holy properties of a wooden box,” Gibson said.
      The mystery of the Ark of the Covenant has fascinated laymen, writers, and armchair explorers for centuries.
      “Countless books have been written on this. Indiana Jones is simply another one, though in movie format,” Haifa University archaeologist Ronny Reich said. “But we have no real information on this.”
      The Temple Mount and the natural cave below the Dome of the Rock are periodically open to tourists, depending upon the local security and political situation.

  3. 5

    Sandra said,

    Carol, with tears streaming down my face, I mourn for what you lost. But at the same time, I also celebrate the love you shared with your amazing and wonderful husband!

    As you said in another post, we will all say good-bye to our life partner at some point. By reading about the gentle and grace-filled way you said good-bye to Kenny, I am learning… about how how it is done.

  4. 6

    Millicent Traiman said,

    Beloved Carol:

    I started reading several blogs on your wonderous awe-inspiring experiences. It filled me with such tenderness and gratitude and joy for all the understanding and growth we all share. I understand now when I am in the soul consciousness with all the compassion I am equipped with…I thank you for that and your heartfelt descriptions of living unto death itself…from inside me a mere passing into the Oneness.

    I also identified with Ken’s Oneness with nature and the experience of God amonst the outdoors. I have this with music and the arts and can and do cry in some arias as I “hear” God in them!

    I have not missed either my dad or mom ever as I had no close or otherwise relationships with them. They did exactly what they were supposed to do (so spirit advised) so I do not have any reference points about death itself by a loved one. The closest I came was to a cousin and was not traumatic. These stories assisted me to understand my own evolvement and lack of fear of death! I thank you once again.

    God bless dear beloved One. I am loving and embracing you here and now until we ALL meet in the Oneness again. I am allways here for you.

    LL, Millicent

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