Dads Last Breath
My sister called me at work. She was a mess. She said ‘dad’ and then couldn’t speak. She also kept repeating “are you at work?”. I had to try and guess what she was saying. Was he dead? What’s wrong? She said no. So I guessed, he might be soon? She said yes. She got a phone call from our step-sister Kym, that he might only have 24 hours to live.
I went to a manager to see when I could leave, and she said “leave, now, it’s ok”. I didn’t expect that I would be allowed to leave – my mind wasn’t thinking. I was even thinking of the other things I’d need to cancel and organize, and just going through the motions like on auto-pilot.
I left work and Mum, Prue, and the kids arrived at my house and from there we took 2 vehicles to the hospice.
What the hell? A hospice?
He didn’t tell me he was in a hospice.
I was so confused. And filled with guilt – I didn’t even ask where he was when we last spoke? Wow.
The last call I had from dad, he had changed rooms at the hospital and had his own room now with a lovely view of a garden, that “they made him take a walk everyday”, and that he was starting back on chemo next week, and he would be home soon.
Prue & I were planning to go there on Australia Day together with the kids, but Prue woke to a scratchy throat so she called that morning to say she better not come because she didn’t want to make dad sick.
I was thinking.. well I should still go.
And I didn’t.
I should’ve rang. I didn’t.
Lesson: Trust that inner-voice that urges you to do something.
Confused, we walked into the palliative care place and told the nurse at the desk that we were there to see Geoff Butler.
She went into the room and then came out and said that it was ok for us to go in. I remember her saying that they were taking it “half-day by half-day“… and I was in disbelief. She might as well have said that he’s dancing on the ceiling! How can he go from “coming home soon” to being in hospice taking it “half-day by half-day“. What kind of sick twisted parallel reality had I walked into?
The only thing that made sense to me was that perhaps he didn’t know where he was? I asked the nurse if he knew where he was and she said yes. How could he be in palliative care and not tell us? Maybe he did and I didn’t click. Maybe I was also in denial. Maybe he was in denial? Maybe he thought it was only temporary. Maybe he didn’t want us there? Maybe he didn’t want to believe? Maybe he didn’t want us to see him there? So many questions, what the heck.
I moved down to Ballarat partly to inspire him with my natural-healing methods to heal himself and he didn’t want anything to do with it. Anything I suggested was unacceptable to him. He just wanted to trust in chemo and surgery and I had to accept that. It was hard for me to watch him make really unhealthy choices – from not making any changes in his lifestyle/diet, to drinking litres of lemonade, and drinking tea with 3 sugars and so on. So many things I was trying to persuade him to change or add, but he didn’t want a bar of it. I’m a big believer in the power of the mind above all else, and I decided that since he won’t make any changes, that the best thing I can do to support him was to “believe in his full recovery, believe he was already healed”, to be a silent cheer-leader, holding space for his complete recovery and to encourage a positive mindset, purpose.
I feel anything else is setting up a death-wish and not helpful at all. So I believed “that he believed”, and I believed that because he trusted in a method that would work for him, then I would trust in “his belief of it”.
Because of my beliefs, I actually felt that he was uncomfortable talking to me, feeling judged or indifferent knowing that I was anti-pharmaceutical from my own lifetime of being in and out of hospitals, and only healing by stopping mainstream-medical. I don’t know. But I felt that he didn’t want me around him while he was trying to heal, and it’s hard for me as well to believe in his healing whilst watching them drip-feed poison into him and feed him highly inflammatory items that I can’t believe are available in hospital. All I could see that I had the power to do was to hold-space. To believe that “he believed” in the power of chemo and surgery. To believe that whatever he believes in, is his choice and his point of power, just as my beliefs are my choice and my point of power. You have to believe in whatever works for you.
I had no idea that the doctors had given him 3 months … 3 years ago. I don’t believe in people giving “death” because I believe that it can if they choose to believe it, and as far as I know, he was never told this, and I certainly wasn’t privvy to it either.
So this whole time, he was on his “last days” according to the doctors. Were they ever holding space for his complete recovery? Did they ever suggest to him to change his diet, to add nutrition, to detox? To clean? To purify? Did they ever discourage chemo or surgery? Do hospitals care when they are poisoning patients with their food and pharmaceuticals? Do they just do “everything by the book” and not question anything? Do they work on the mindset?
He did start getting more depressed and dark. Especially during the surgery days. He didn’t want us to come visit him when he stayed in the Alfred in Melbourne – despite my sister living only 20mins drive away. He would say ridiculous things like that he didn’t want to “bother us” because we were “busy with our own lives”, or something like that. I always said that we were never too busy for him but was doing what we thought he wanted.
In hindsight, I do wish that I’d just been there more, even if I thought he didn’t want me there.
When we walked in the room, we had no preparation for that we saw. Who was that? Who is that? His teeth were hanging out, his eyes were white from all the drugs. They had him on 24/7 drip morphine via his toes. Where are the nutrients? Where are the people rooting for his recovery? Is this what he wanted? Is he even conscious of what is happening? Where’s the “choice” here? He is not in control of that pain medication. His choices were “taken from him”. Where are the nutrients? What are they doing to “save” him? He didn’t want to die. He wants to live. As far as I know, he thought he was there to recover. Did he know that when he took his last bite of food, that they would put him on 24/7 drugs if he stopped eating? Did he know that last bite would put the nurses into “auto-pilot” of “this is what we do next…we remove his choice to live”.
Despite these human thoughts, feelings and beliefs that I have about the end of his life, I do have another, more expanded view that helps me not to be bitter, spiteful, or saddened about how the last few years of his life played out.
My spiritual beliefs over the past few years have prepared me for this. That no death is murder/unintentional/accidental. Every death, even accidents or illness, are a form of suicide; a free-will choice decided by our actual “being”, not necessarily a human-conscious-thought. That we decide when and how we die, and that we can always choose in the moment to live or let go. And that death is not the end; we continue on in a non-physical state. In a more expanded state. We have a “non-physical” version of us, that is larger, wiser, full of love, and that can be, and do anything – things that noone having a limited-human-experience can understand. That we are explorers; creators. We “choose” our earth experience, for we are creators and explorers. We choose our earth experience for our soul’s growth, for exploring, for expansion, for “the fun of it”. That life is a “day in the park”. Not all there is. That we will meet again, and that we can communicate and connect right now. That we are connected to all and have closer connections to various soul-groups / non-physical experiences/.
That day we went and saw him, I couldn’t believe it was him. I didn’t know what to do. I had a punch-in-the-gut experience and a wall around me that wouldn’t allow me to touch him. I still had the belief that he wouldn’t want me there, and that he would prefer my sister or Kym or Carol to be there, and that I was somehow unwelcome. I sat next to him, and tried to touch his arm gently a few times, but he pulled his arm away, so I stopped trying. He was completely out of it though – permanently on morphine and whatever else they had him on. The whites of his eyes were showing. We didn’t know if he could hear us and we were in shock. We spoke to him last week? I even said to Prue last week that he could call us anytime – well, that’s not true. He couldn’t call us in that state – not a chance.
So grateful to Kym for calling my sister, else we may never of gotten those last couple of moments with him.
We left that first night, in disbelief, ever-questioning what the hell happened. Could he hear us, did he want us not to see him like that? Why hadn’t he told us he was there? What medication was he on (we didn’t know at that stage that he was just on morphine). Was there any hope? Could I still hold hope for his full recovery, or was it time to accept the inevitable? What was going through my dad’s mind at that time? Was he having experiences that showed him that we still exist after we die? Or was he still in fear of death, thinking that there is nothing beyond this life?
Most of people’s experiences with the non-physical, happen during the last few days of death, but was the morphine removing that natural experience from him? Was he still able to get that reassurance on a soul-level before he died?
That night I learnt Kundalini Reiki online, and sent healing to him and then infused a quartz crystal with all the love and healing I could muster.
After I slept, I went back in the morning. And he looked better. He was snoring and I felt like I was sitting next to someone sleeping. It felt weird – like you’re sitting next to someone sleeping; invasive almost that I was just sitting there watching someone sleep. I left the crystal there for him to see when he woke up, told him that Prue & I will be coming tonight, and went to work. I had no idea that this would be his last day. He looked better than the previous day, and I kinda half-hoped that he would miraculously recover, but also starting to try and get my mind around whether he was transitioning soon.
I wanted him to know that he was loved. I arranged to meet Prue there after work. We went inside and she broke before entering the room. Carol & Kym were there in the lounge and told us that he had worsened during the day, and had laboured breathing. Kym told me to go in and see him, and I’m so glad I had those last few minutes with him. I couldn’t see the crystal anywhere. I spoke to him about my knowledge and beliefs and hopes about what happens when you transition. I sent him love. I said that “I hope I’m right”. I hope my beliefs are right and that he gets to see his loved one’s again, and that he sees that this life was just one in anamount of stories that his soul has, just one day in the park, and that we are expansive non-physical beings in our natural state. Mostly I just sent love.
I went back out to the lounge to see if Prue was ready to come in. I sat there a couple of minutes, and then the nurse came out to all of us and said “we think it’s time, I don’t think he has long”.
Woah. What? How? No. Shit.
We all went in and sat by his bed. His “eyes” had come back. Previously we could only see the whites of his eyes, but in that last minute, his “awareness” had come back, you could see that he was there, that he recognized us, that he was “back”.
A minute later, and he’d taken his last breath. I was over so quickly. A minute with all of us there, each with some part of us touching him, and another touching each other.
I’m honoured that he waited for us. I’m grateful we were all there. That he was filled with our love in his last moments. That he was not alone, and hopefully not afraid.
I couldn’t accept that he was gone. Maybe I’m still that way to be honest. I feel so close to him, I feel his love. I feel him around.
When I walked out, I kinda knew that he would be ok, that he is now discovering that there is so much more than this human physical experience that he had.
I’ve had some pretty strange coincidences or what I call “validation” since then, and I’ll create a new post to start collating them to remember when I have doubts, that life continues after we transition.
Death is simply the transition from this limited form of reality you call physical existence, to the infinite reality of the nonphysical realm. Life is your temporary experience of what it’s like to be physical. Life is like a quick trip to an exotic land. Nonphysical is your home.The Teachings of Joshua