Posts tagged hospice

Year Three Gone By

My friends,

Book publishing is a slow process, at this point, mostly waiting, waiting for connections to be made, for responses from those connections, for the next inspiration. Sample chapters have gone to one agent who said he could not pitch this book to a major publishing house because I don’t have a substantial following, you my dear friends, not withstanding.

Now connecting to another agent to see if we can make some inroads to Hay House. Asking for your Light and love for the highest good of all concerned.

In the meantime, I have been encouraged by my beloved Kenny’s soul to continue to write. So here I am again. I’m going to start with a photograph that in earth terms has no explanation.

The little ducks are about 2” long each and the crosses are about 7” long. See how the crosses are perfectly aligned parallel to each other on the wooden surface and the ducks are all facing one direction? I did not place them in these positions. And no one else was in my room when I noticed how specifically they were placed. My only explanation is that Kenny somehow moved these objects to get my attention. *

Crosses & Ducks

Crosses & Ducks

So on January 11, 2013, when I discovered this little tableau, I wrote my question to Kenny. Remember, the way I access these messages is through wri—I don’t seem to be able to focus verbally or visually. So putting my hand to the task seems to keep me focused enough to get the message.

“Dearest Kenny,

Did you move the ducks and the crosses?”

“–Ahem—who else my Cutie Pie!”

“Why?”

He wanted to talk to me, to let me know I was putting out a certain kind of negativity that may be blocking my next steps. He said he would protect me and guide me through clearing. It was a very short message, but important in that it is bringing me deeper awareness of my consciousness.

I haven’t written in a long time, probably since the summer when I was immersed in polishing and categorizing and organizing and finalizing the sample chapters. And I noticed that my awarenesses aren’t as deep as they were when I was writing. The writing itself opened channels into the depths of my patterns, my awakening heart, and my unraveling. Profound is not a profound enough word to describe the unfolding that took place one paragraph after another. I long for more something—what is it that I long for?

The place within my consciousness where there is bliss, where there is fresh discovery, where wisdom resides and peace is present. Where all there is is the outpouring. I think at this moment I am describing the state of God Consciousness, Self Realization, and Oneness. To be present moment to moment while God showers me with mercy and unconditional love, to know what is taking place, to sit quietly still while my vision of God dances before my eyes.

It occurs to me that for the first time in my entire life, with no hesitation in any thoughts or feelings, that I am praying to my own consciousness that we place God first in all we do, all we think, all we feel, and all we imagine and wish for.

With my particular numerological life path of cooperation, solid foundation and perfection, routed in the earthbound even numbers of 2, 4, & 6, it has always been difficult to put God before all else. At once the concept asks me to give up control (as if I had any at all ever!) and I thought set aside my aspirations, my wishes and my dreams. That somehow God would find my countenance only worthy of isolation, spinsterhood, and deprivation. That nowhere in my wildest dreams would God agree with any of my dreams, for I must have needed to be punished for any and all past crimes against my soul and therefore against God.

Surely I have revealed enough in past articles for you to understand where all that unworthiness comes from. So today with my understanding of God as benevolent, kind, and unconditional, I practice self-forgiveness for any judgments I have held against myself for past indiscretions and transgressions. And I realize that God only sees me as an innocent child, completely lovable and tender, learning as I put one foot in front of the other. That there is nothing for God to forgive.

I did not die when Kenny died. I have much more to live for, to learn about, and to practice—especially placing God first in my life as I live each day in its glorious unfolding. Apparently he was done on this earthly plane, but I am not.

Which leads me to how to live each day in the heart of God. What would I do, I ask myself? Whatever it is, I do with a consciousness of serving. Serving at work, serving in my interactions with friends, family, and coworkers. Serving as I contemplate discovering new relationships. To emerge from the cocoon of a child-born need to be shown I am loved, to giving love, serving, sharing, and taking care as the fruits of my impulse to belong.

The whole being emerges content in the serving, peaceful in the relating, completely free to share delight and compassion, joy and even silliness. The whole being spontaneously touches with hugs, comforting pats and caring, giggles when it’s funny and belly laughs when it’s hilarious, which it is more often than ever now.

From our Hospice Chaplain just 17 days before Kenny passed into Spirit:

“Dear Kenny,

I wanted to write you to affirm your wisdom and good humor and sureness of life in the spirit. I also wanted you to know that all the love that you share with your loved ones will only increase, though they may not be able to see you in the form they are used to seeing you in.

You have everything you need. Your words are a testament to that. The only thing I would suggest is that you and Carol (or anyone else who will) agree on some touchstone symbol of connection (a particular bird, butterfly, etc) that you can send them when you are in your next cycle. This may sound crazy and may or may not be compatible with your beliefs. Most families were certain I was crazy when I suggested this, but then they would call me and say: “You’re not going to believe what just happened!” We would laugh together about the wonderful gift of “coincidence” of timing or electrical “impossibility” that had just occurred…or the cardinal that wouldn’t fly away, though only 2-3 feet away…the butterfly that landed on some loved one’s nose!! So I offer this to you in the hopes that the ongoingness of life somehow fits into your life view. It is not intended to diminish any part of your full spiritual potential…it is just a love tap from the other side that brings comfort to those of us left on this side. You write beautifully and I imagine that your writing will continue in some special way. Clearly you have written beautifully on the hearts of your sisters. You have Karen, your Mom and Dad, Gramma and Gacky waiting for you with open arms whenever you are ready to graduate this part of your journey. I send you thanks for reminding me what I sometimes forget, which you obviously have known all along: “Have fun with your life!” Back atcha. Well done, Kenny. Your birthing will be glorious.”

Today I immerse myself in the passion for God even more after having seen the movie, Les Mirerables. Even though the story is sad and it brought tears of compassion to my eyes, it also brought tears of joy and connection and recognition that God is real. In the beginning of the movie the priest says to Valjean, “I saved your life for God.” At the end of the movie, Lemaire eloquently utters, “To love someone is to see the face of God.”

So from beginning to end, my heart was open, receiving of the most beautiful melodies, lyrics, costumes, scenery, production, all of it without a smidgeon of hesitation, reservation, withholding. How glorious it is to receive with the purity of an open heart. Everything is blessed. Everything is bliss!

March 30 marked three years since Kenny’s passing. Here’s to his soul, his memory, his talent, and his ability to bring us joy and exampleship as he blazed his trail to God.

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Standing in for God

For the last several weeks, as I began to realize I was nearing the concluding chapters of this book, I ran into what would normally be called a “writer’s block.” I thought about what I would write, I consulted my therapist on what I would write, I gathered comments from readers, and I worked on it in my Consciousness Health and Healing class. I certainly had gathered enough material to write. But alas, I continued to tinker around with, well, it was all important content, but still it wasn’t the ending content.

After weeks of pondering, feeling guilty and looking at the calendar seeing that time was running out on my self-imposed June first draft submission date, today it dawned on me that there might be something that needs to be cleared or discovered before I could launch into finishing this wildly revealing account in a life, in our life.

OK, a little history—in my last therapy session, even though together we have moved mountains (or healed nerve pathways at least), we still hadn’t touched upon what I experienced as blocks in my pelvic area. I was still devoid of sensation from the heart chakra down when my therapist would ask where in my body I felt such-and-such. So she suggested that this week I might put my hands on my belly, imagining it was Kenny with his powerful healing touch, much like he did in life when he put his hand on my chest or would hold me in silent embrace.

Today I opened the journal where I write to Kenny and he writes back through my hand. I asked: “Kenny, can you help me get started writing about myself to conclude the book?”

He said: “Remember my hand on your abdomen! Do it now, my sweetie.”

Dutifully I did what he said. I put both kind of chilled hands on my belly and waited until they warmed up. Then I put one hand on my chest with the other still on my belly. I heard Kenny say: “Now I AM standing in for God.”

I burst into sobs of gratitude for the synergy, for the all-encompassing love, for the listening and the sharing. For experiencing myself as connected through all the realms of Light right up into the God Source, through my darling Spirit of Kenny. How I am becoming in my own eyes, a Divine Being having a human experience. All this through his healing hands. You see, the consciousness doesn’t care if an image is taking place in the physical or the imagination. One way or another it reaches in to experience it fully. Amazing!

As I was thanking Kenny for this deep connection, I again heard him say (and the hearing is really intuiting through writing), “Carol dear, my heroine there on earth, sometimes thick and hard to reach, but when I finally get through you always open your heart to me in the most innocent ways. Have I told you lately your tears are so endearing to me. Come, my Sweetie, rest in my arms where we are one with God the Comforter. And in that I began to write this chapter.

I had dinner with my dear friend, Georgea, a few days ago and I recounted the phrase, “Standing in for God.” I first heard it coined by Diana, MSIA minister and Circle of Light visitor during Kenny’s last days. I wrote about it in previous chapters. I was so moved by her description of sitting in our room holding the Spiritual Light that night Kenny woke me up in the middle of the night to say goodbye. He wouldn’t pass until at least a week later, but Diana held and held throughout the night until dawn when she needed to leave for work. Georgea suggested what a wonderful title for a book or a chapter in this book. I thought, yes, but I’d already written about it at least a couple of times. Little did I know it would blossom into this chapter, while Kenny stands in for God 24/7 now, probably not just for me but for whomever he agreed to watch over. His family, his friends who resonated with his passions, the flora and fauna here at MSIA headquarters, and wherever he is assigned.

How does this chapter draw me closer to finishing the book? How about being my own awestruck witness to the myriad ways grief emerges and submerges. Let’s go there for a moment.

Grief struck early, before the diagnosis when Kenny uttered that telling phrase, “Maybe I should just kill myself.”

Then as his illness progressed, it permeated every day, underneath the daily activity of his treatment regimen. Underneath my unwillingness to face what he knew way before I knew.

Then finally “agreeing” by default that hospice was the best choice.

Through those first months when I felt like I would never fill the hole left by Kenny’s passing from this world.

Through many months of moving in and out, up and down, sadness, gratitude, and some feelings of joy as I anticipate the future, and especially as I review the opportunities for growth and upliftment that I have been given through who we both are in Spirit—magnificent Divine Beings having agreed to love each other throughout eternity. Having loosened the shackles of karma, the purity of Divine Love with absolutely no karmic ties left in the hard realms of the physical, emotional, mental levels is at hand. What reigns supreme are gratitude and wonder, love and acceptance. And with all that comes a deeper understanding of my own process of awakening than I’ve ever experienced before.

I am blessed. I am loved. I experience peace in the stillness.

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Sacred Crossings: The Night Kenny Left his Body for the Last Time

In earlier chapters, I described what I dared put to paper about the night Kenny died. Today, 20-some months later, a bit of training as a hospice volunteer, and having witnessed the death of another loved one in my life, I can brave more recall, more important parts that may be valuable to you as the reader, that are certainly more available to my creative hand.

I didn’t know then that I could give him some comfort by closing his eyes during those last few hours of labored breathing when he couldn’t communicate. I didn’t realize I could continue to moisten his mouth. The hospice nurse left in kind of a hurry with no such instructions for me. I didn’t know they would leave us at such an auspicious moment.

So when Kenny took his final breath, his eyes were wide open as well as his mouth. I tried to close his eyes, but they flipped back open twice. Those incredible deep blue eyes that I so often sank into for love and comfort. That I so often admired and could see into his vulnerability, his true loving and his powerful oneness with God.

While I could cover his body and arms with the sheet, I couldn’t cover his face and I also couldn’t look at it after my attempt to close his eyes. It was too haunting to me—At that time I’d rather have remembered his eyes when they inhabited his Soul, his life here on earth.

So his body lay there while some friends gathered with me in the room. We called the mortuary, because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. They were to come in a few hours. In the meantime, we told stories, laughed and cried and waited. And everyone present, of course, took my lead and didn’t look at Kenny’s body either.

Aside from those haunting memories, I do remember something really important:

Soon John-Roger had his aide, Zeus call to ask where “the body was being taken.” I told him which mortuary and that was the end of the conversation.

Just a few days ago, Kevin and I were looking at photographs of Kenny as a young man and I found myself recounting that phone call. In a burst of recognition, as Kevin held my hand and stayed with me in his empathy and love, I went from laughing at the photo of Kenny doing some funny antic, to tears of understanding and gratitude. I realized once again how blessed we are to be under the protection of the Mystical Traveler Consciousness, that part of us that guides our way back to the Heart of God. For I knew that John-Roger’s call was about checking in on Ken’s body to see if his Soul was on its way to the proper dimension in Spirit—to help it along if needed. So many times in years gone by when J-R was counseling MSIA students in the presence of many of us, and the subject of a loved one having already passed over came up, I would hear J-R say, “I’ve got him (or her). He’s OK. He’s where he should be.” And as I listened, I would well up with tears of gratitude, and I sensed so many others witnessing the counseling, did the same. Thank God the Traveler chose us. Thank God we chose back. Thank God our loved ones, even if they are not actively studying in MSIA, just by being connected to us devotees, are protected as ones of his own.

Back to what I didn’t know, but know better now: I could have closed his eyes so they would stay moist and more comfortable. And after he passed, if they were open again, I could have laid a clean cloth over them to help them stay closed. And I could have rolled a towel under his chin to help his mouth stay closed. I could have done a lot of things to honor his body, the Temple of his Soul, for as long as three days if I wanted to (legally). I didn’t know this. I actually kept a lot of information away from myself because I didn’t want to face his dying. For as long as he was alive, even as he got weaker and weaker, day by day, in my mind he was not dying. He would not be dying until he actually took his last breath. So I didn’t ask, I didn’t read much, and what I did read I forgot immediately. The only bit of compassionate education from the particular hospice agency we were assigned came from the doctor who one night only a few days before Kenny passed, told me I could stop counting liquids in and liquids out. That I should just focus on being with Kenny. Thankfully there was that much.

Only later when I was with my cousins supporting them as Cousin Nicky was passing, did I begin to get some education that mattered from the Hospice agency assigned to them. They instructed on meds, on bathing and changing, on when it was time to say our last goodbyes and so much more. Their loving, compassionate manner made all the difference. Their loving, compassionate manner gave me a measure of what was missing from the agency assigned to Kenny and me. Thankfully we had our MSIA ministers, our Circle of Light, our incredibly service-minded housemates. We were blessed beyond measure. Remember my talking about Circle of Light minister, Diana? She recounted her experience with us as “standing in for God.” And that’s how I experienced my presence at Nicky’s side.

I am blessed to be in a position to help others, having experienced the death of my husband in such a complex way. And to have the gift of awareness that allows me to grow from the experience, to awaken the parts of me that were afraid and unwilling to see. In tenderness for the lost part of me that I am gradually finding and surrounding with love, compassion, and forgiveness.

So now in my memories, whenever I may picture those last hours of Kenny’s life, I also remember the long moment just days before he passed, when he took my face in his hands, and held his gaze on my eyes in silent communion for a very long time. The world stood waiting outside our little bubble—it could have waited forever as I soaked in the loving we shared. It shall always remain a Divine Soul-to-Soul moment when time stood still, when nothing else mattered, when his death was imminent but yet so far away.

Bringing compassionate awareness to end of life issues is one of my passions now. Thus this blog and thus the compilation of the book. Wish me well! And I send my love to all of you who over the months have devotedly supported my efforts to bring myself into a greater Light focus around death and to bring this subject, however raw the accounts, to the Light of Spirit.

P.S. Today I attended a volunteer meeting of Hospice Partners of Southern California. A woman named Olivia did a presentation on “Sacred Crossings.” She calls herself a Death Midwife and helps families create a sacred experience for themselves of caring for a loved one’s body after death. I don’t necessarily advocate her business or her methods, but the subject is certainly worth exploring ahead of time so families can make educated decisions about the disposition of their loved ones’ remains.

Please do “like” this article, make a comment, share your experiences, however you are moved to do so. Or write to me directly at carol.jones43@yahoo.com. Baruch Bashan. The blessings already are!

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Kenny’s Run, More Passings, and the Beat Goes On

Tonight after I drove home from visiting my cousins in Victorville, there was a knock at my door. When I opened it, there stood Andree and Peter brandishing big heartfelt smiles and their Redondo Beach Super Bowl Kenny’s Run 2012 badges. This was their third run in Kenny’s honor, the first one being the day before we boarded Continental to Houston for that heart-stopping, telltale month of the melanoma march in February 2010.

How dear of them to honor and pray for Kenny and me. How integral they were in his care during those nine months of trying to halt that never-to-be-forgotten relentless invasion. I speculated that Kenny must have been with them on the run. He always loved training his body through sports and watching others doing their best and perhaps outrunning their last race.

And how perfect to receive of their love in this very tender way after I had been with Annabelle, whose husband of 60 years had died on December 26 of multiple myloma, a nearly always incurable form of cancer. My purpose in being there was to support my cousins, Anna and her daughter Teresa, in whatever way I could—listening, sharing my own experience, making suggestions, looking at pictures and reading articles about Nicky. To everyone else he was Nick. To me, I couldn’t call him anything else but Nicky, ever since as a child I wrote to him when he went off to the Korean War. “Dear Nicky, I miss you and I love you. Come home quick, OK?”

Teresa called me some days before Christmas to tell me her father (“Daddiola,” she called him) was bad, not expected to last much longer. Did they want me to come out, I asked. Oh yes, please can you? The next day I drove out to find them at the hospital with Nicky incoherent and in a lot of pain. They were about to send him home on hospice care. So we all trudged home where a hospice agency met us with a hospital bed and other such equipment. Nicky was worse by the minute, writhing and moaning in pain. The hospice nurse exclaimed that they were ill-equipped to manage his pain so she recommended we put him back in the hospital. This time a different one where he might receive better care. There they cleaned him up and administered some pain medication and kept him overnight until another hospice agency was arranged. This time, it was the Visiting Nurses Association.

This agency really knew what they were doing. By this time in my limited experience, I had now witnessed the workings of as many as four different hospice agencies, and I could tell the quality of care provided by VNA was outstanding. The managing nurse quieted Annabelle’s and Teresa’s fears about giving medication, she assessed the situation and Nick’s condition, and soon after a crisis nurse arrived to manage Nick’s pain levels, which were making him so uncomfortable. By this time he had not eaten in days and was not drinking, so we knew it wouldn’t be long before he took his last breath. I quickly understood my place in this family experience—I was to support them emotionally, to assist them physically as they requested, and to call upon the MSIA ministerial body worldwide to stand by spiritually to help anyone present to release anything no longer needed and to assist in ushering dear Nicky into whatever realm of Spirit was his next “grand adventure,” as Kenny coined it. So when Anna couldn’t watch and had to retreat, I held her in my arms. When courageous Teresa had to administer medications, I stood by assuring her she was doing the right thing. When everyone else was asleep, I sat by Nicky’s bed silently chanting and sending him Light and assuring him we were all there loving him and praying his journey now would be as gentle as possible.

On the morning of December 26, at about 9:30am, I had just freshened his mouth when David, Teresa’s son, noticed he had stopped breathing. That was it, his Soul had ascended, no longer inhabiting his body. The man that was their husband, father, and grandfather and my cousin was gone from this world. Today it’s only been about six weeks since Nicky passed. Anna is still very tender and going through the gamut of feelings one experiences when a spouse passes. Each one goes through grief over the loss of a loved one, their husband, their dad, their Papa, or father-in-law in their own very personal way. And in all that I witnessed, I recalled my experiences with Kenny, grateful for his extraordinary exampleship in leaving this world with dignity, grace, great love, and peace.

I was also reminded that not all hospice agencies are alike. And it’s worth shopping around while all principals are still coherent and able to assess the differences. The VNA team was competent, loving, compassionate, responsive, and seemed to love their work. We couldn’t ask for more. These are the hallmarks of the kind of people I would want around me when it’s my time to go. There’s much more to tell about my learnings and awarenesses between then (Kenny’s passing in March 2010) and now, but that’s still to come.

I invite you to comment on this article in the field below or email me directly at carol.jones43@yahoo.com

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The Day a Dear Friend Helped Me Fill Out the Mortuary Forms

It was March 23, 2010, just seven days before Kenny passed into Spirit, when Kevin and I sat together in the small seminar room, the most ornate and timeless room in the house. Originally the family dining room, replete with cherubs, soldier-like figures, rams’ heads, swans, and fruits and vegetables emblazoned in every media; carved gold-gilt walnut, cast polychrome cornicing, oils on canvas, and hammered brass, this room is now appreciated by many ministers and students of the Mystical Traveler in classes and meetings.

This time, the cherubs and soldiers and all the rest watched over us as we combed through the mortuary forms indicating what I wanted done with Kenny’s “remains.” Remains? How cold and unfeeling, that word, “remains.” He was still with us! And here I was filling out forms for when he was dead.

Two weeks had passed since my beloved husband decided to go on hospice care. Some people, I hear, last quite a long time on hospice. Some even get better. But we knew Kenny’s days were numbered because he would have to stop receiving blood transfusions on hospice and without blood transfusions, he would get weaker each day until there was no more energy to breathe. And so it was, just nineteen days after his last transfusion, on March 30th, he breathed his last breath surrounded by loved ones and welcomed by a chorus of angels and family that had gone before him to usher him into the Realms of the Divine.

But there he was down the hall still receiving visitors with enthusiasm, still smiling his forever smile, and still eating his favorite foods like Hawaiian Lau Lau, Lomi Salmon, and Chicken Long Rice from the Aloha Café with Haupia for dessert. There he was, enjoying every visitor that came to share their loving. There he was basking in his morning bath, no complaints really. Oh maybe a pain when he was turned in bed or maybe the swelling in this feet hurt a bit, but I’m convinced now as I look back on the images I have held all these days, weeks, and months, that the absence of pain was measured by and due to the exquisite and palpable love and gratitude he was emanating and giving and receiving and expounding upon whenever anyone asked.

And I am meant to fill out these forms while he is living the most profound days of his life 200%? How unfair! We weren’t prepared, largely due to my resistance to the inevitable. But that’s another story—how denial serves and how it undermines the beauty and sacredness of the truth.

I couldn’t bear doing it alone, nor could I bear to be away from Kenny except to do little tasks that only took a minute or two. But this task was gargantuan. My heart and throat ached and I couldn’t stop the tears with every sentence I read and every mark I made. Dear Kevin read with me, helped me focus and poured out his love and compassion with the tone of his voice, with his clarity of mind, sitting real close with his full attention and his presence and his willingness—to just sit with me and hold while I wrote and checked boxes and barely grasped the meaning, not wanting to dwell on what happens to a body when it stops living. I can still feel enveloped in a cocoon of caring, the kind of caring that really works—to ease the burden, to console the tears, to hold all of me, all levels of consciousness in the love of the Spiritual Heart. Try as I might throughout all these blog posts to describe the wondrous moments when I was truly aware of the presence of Spirit, I can only hope these word pictures touch you enough to reach your heart and give you a sense of their power, their sweetness, their unpredictable magnitude.

And here we are, another day in a life when one of us has met his last day in the glory that God prepares for us. Through my words, my pioneer tracker husband is still showing those of us reaching the age when we contemplate our own mortality more seriously—that we can leave this world with the truth on our lips and in our hearts, knowing we are one with God and welcoming the ascension to which we are all heir—into the Heart of God.

God bless you and remember to prepare those papers ahead of time so it’s all taken care of when the time comes that one of you will lift off before the other.

Love for you to respond. Tell your story. I’ve had several people share deeply and that’s why I’m writing—to give us all a chance to utter the truth about death and dying, no matter what that is. Please respond by writing in the comment field or writing directly to me at carol.jones43@yahoo.com. I’ll do my best to respond to all.

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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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