I have been away for a couple of weeks and during that time I had the privilage of nursing my dying aunt at her home along with several other members of my family. Being awake during the early hours of the morning or the darkest part of the night gave me pleanty of time for reflection and prayer, often times I would pray with my aunt or read to her passages on love and faith from the Judas messages. It was a very special time for all involved in her care at home. For the first time in my life I felt a sense of peace over what was to come, for the first time I did not feel a growing dread or fear of what lies ahead. For the most part I felt at peace knowing that God's grand designs are totally loving, knowing that I would have the opportunity to speak with her again one day. In the early hours of one morning as I sat by her bedside not knowing how much longer she would be with us I wrote the following passage. I share it now with you in the hope that it might help you or a loved one should you find yourself in a similar situation.
Sitting on the Sidelines of Death
I am sitting on the sidelines of death watching a loved one struggle to let go. Watching and waiting silently in the early hours of the morning wondering how long she will hold on, how long fear will take hold? For now she seems peaceful, resting comfortably, breathing slowly, heavily. She is far too young to be leaving us this way, just sixty seven years here on earth, but her body is giving way as the cancer takes hold. She has had a good life filled with adventure and love but it has been marred by sadness and struggle, by fear and doubt and they have taken their toll and so it is time for her to let go and face the truth.
I observe those around her, each with their own personal struggle, not really understanding this process we call death and too afraid to investigate what it really means. And I see myself in them not so very long ago, afraid, doubtful, confused, avoiding the truth of what is for fear of what it might stir in my soul. But now I am just grateful for the knowledge I have and the peace it brings to my soul. Grateful for God’s Divine Love and knowing that this life we experience here on earth is just the beginning, and when our physical body fades we simply transition to a new place, a new way of being where there is no escaping truth and where love is our only salvation. Grateful for the gifts I have been given and the love I have been shown.
I watch silently as she sleeps, listening to her breathing and the sounds of the constant traffic one block away. Soon the day will begin to awaken bringing with it fresh hope of a few more precious hours with our loved one and a constant stream of fresh faces coming to pay their respects and say their final farewells.
It is a funny thing this process we call death, it has so many varied connotations for each individual that it touches, but for most the dominant emotion appears to be fear. I see it in their eyes, in the way they carry themselves and in the way they valiantly attempt to pretend that everything is all right. I feel this fear in their souls, pushed far into the recesses of their minds, buried beneath an external veneer of strength and solidarity. They do not realize the damage this fear is doing to their bodies but sooner or later this fear will surface in their physical bodies begging to be recognized, experienced and released. This is a difficult process as I have found, but as I now allow myself to begin to experience and release my long held fears I notice a freeing of my body and a growing peace in my soul.
And so I sit on the sidelines of death observing its progress and the effects it has on those around our loved one whose last days and moments we are witnessing and I am grateful for the knowledge and experience I have of God’s Divine Love and the peace it brings to my soul at this time of transition.
She sleeps peacefully as loved ones keep watch silently by her side not knowing how much longer she has with us. The dark lonely hours of the night give way to the soft glow of dawn, to the first soft songs of the early birds gradually intensifying as they are joined by others until their chorus can’t be ignored and the sky grows even lighter with each passing minute. Soon the sun will peak its head over the range warming us with its rays and the slow soft drone of night turns into the business of the day.
She drifts in and out of sleep now brightening the room with her smile and sense of humour. How much longer will she stay we do not know, we know only that we do not want to let her go for we will miss her when she is gone, her sense of mischief and fun, her laughter and her love. It has been a privilege to know her, to call her sister, aunt, friend, but let her go we must for her time is near, a time of sadness for all who hold her dear and do not yet fully trust in God’s grand designs.
Rest well dear one for a new adventure will soon begin.
Rest well knowing you are not alone, your angels are waiting to bring you home.