When you pull back from all the sadness and crap you deal with watching a loved one die, there is a fantastic beauty and grace to the process. You do have to shift your perspective dramatically and go from being in the space to extricating yourself for your own physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being to function. If you go down and circle the drain with the loved one, it is effortless to get stuck into thinking you are helping by holding on, yet, you are actually hindering them.
The common problem the hospice people mention is people overfeeding the sick. The patient can tell you what they want, but I guess people have some reaction where they keep shoving food into the patient even if most of it ends up on a bib.
What I am witnessing today is a man holding on to this dimension. It is probably because he is worried about his wife, who he has been with over 60 years. While there was ample time to process and walk out the end – the human brain and its desire to hold on tight to what is known I fear is allowing the unknown, and/or the fear of being alone to terrifying and debilitating.
Watching and seeing this, and ideally being able to help with this, is a great gift. I don’t have those gifts. I also have been working in earnest only about 14 years daily, at changing inside of myself with the idea of being alone is fine, god is always around and with you (you are never alone) and that to really grow – it doesn’t mean how many cars, houses, jewels, baubles, or things you have. It really is more about what is inside yourself.
Sadly, in our capitalistic/consumer society, it might be more challenging to get real with yourself than ever. The sheer amount of conveniences, choices, and entertainment provide seemingly unlimited ammunition for you to never really have to see yourself. In the past 8 months, I seriously am questioning the institution of the church and denominations and wondering why the message I read in a bible with Jesus and what he says to do? Why is this seemingly covered over with legalism, traditions and burying the reality that a church is more like going to a doctor’s office for health reasons than a dress-up session to socialize and have a cup of coffee and a bagel one day a week?
I don’t like or want to hurt someone I love, but today, to keep dad here and allow us to take care of him. The “design” of the room had to change. It is going right back to where it was when dad came home. There was no time to think about it or have an emotional pow wow to feel the grief that had time given to ease into it.
No. today was more like “Uhm, were you blind? Or are you in denial? Or are you aware we might not be able to take care of dad this way for long?”
The telling side and a sad one was when we moved the bed and dad was facing a mirror. Mom immediately said, “take the mirror down.”
At that moment, I realized what my fear and suspicion of dads up and down roller coaster ride were like.
It also really brings to the front, that which is repressed and covered over – that being fears.
People don’t’ really want to see themselves. We much rather play a part in the game of life and have the world tell us how wonderful and beautiful we are.
The irony is that life is so much more enjoyable and beautiful when you get honest with yourself and stop caring what others think. The reality is most really don’t care. Somehow our human brains have us thinking that they do.
Letting go is painful, but once you learn how to, and then learn to forgive your enemies. Life really gets rich.
I don’t know what lay beyond our three dimensions, nor do I know or will profess to understand the meaning of life. But I have faith, that being the belief in the unseen that one day we get to experience pure love and I wager most everyone on the planet will look back at our times here and wonder, “why did we find holding onto stuff so important? Why did we limit ourselves so much?”