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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday morning, August 25

At this time last year, my grandma was in the final stages of dying. She was barely conscious and had moved into the stages of active dying. Those last few days were difficult. Aidan and Ami my grandchildren were with me during that time, and one of those nights, Ami was ill, and grandma was quite agitated. It is very likely that a dying person may experience agitiation for a brief period of time during the last phase of their life.

Anyway, I had a night that I will remember forever. GG (grandma) and Ami were both awake, Ami crying and GG upset, wanting to get out of bed, and Ami wanting to be held. It was a night of extreme ups and downs, I alternately held and rocked and comforted both of them through the night. I eventually pulled a sleeping bag into gg's room, and laid it on the floor next to her bed so I could reach up and touch her, and then laid Ami next to me on the sleeping bag, so I could reach both of them at any time.

I was struck by the similarities in the needs of my grandma and the needs of my granddaughter. At times I filled with despair, I was so tired, and yet in some ways oddly peaceful. I was with two people I loved intensely, and was connected to them both in a way that changed me forever. My grandma died two days later, and when I spoke at her funeral, I talked about this night, and loving them both so much it hurt.

Jim is dying, he is wasting away. He is in bed 24/7 and is taking morphine to help make him comfortable. Any effort or exertion wears him out completely. The area where the tumor is growing is incredibly sensitive. It has made the skin there hypersensitive, he can barely stand for cloth or clothing to touch it. Jim has always been such a person of doing rather than sitting, so to see him always in bed with no energy to even get up, to dress or to shave is very disheartening. We did watch most of the Rockies game last night, and we enjoyed it.

Jim's blood pressure is very low - like 66 over 52, his body is slowly shutting down, and it is very possible by this time next week he may be in a coma, or in the process of active dying or dead. I am spending my time in a chair not far from the bed, just being here so he's not alone. He is very quiet and peaceful, and continues to drink ice water which tastes the best to him of anything.

I cried off and on all day yesterday. I think this is the worst part, I no longer want Jim to live like this, so as I pray for a swift peaceful death, Death itself takes its own time, its own way, and its own path. In its own way a healthy day, one which is filled with love and kindness and companionship is very beautiful. It grieves me to think of people dying alone, suffering without the benefit of companionship.

Jim's daughter told me yesterday, right before she left, that she had been to see a Shaman Healer, and he told her that Jim was already in a place of planning his activites in the afterlife. That he was seeing a vital life, where he would continue to serve people in need. His journey and stay in purgatory would be very brief as the door into the heavenly afterlife was already open and beckoning him. He will play an active really in the afterlife, continuing to do good deeds, laughing, active and watching over all of us.

I was comforted by this, and yet still feel so sad for me. Though I believe in God, and afterlife, I am sorry for me, sorry for Liana, sorry for the love and companionship that will no longer be with me daily.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Pray for a peaceful, swift passing for Jim. Always with love - Dawn

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