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Thursday, March 29, 2012

How Awesome That Must Feel

One of the chaplains was sharing an exchange that took place between him and a family member by way of email Wednesday touched me very deeply. I am so happy he said I could share that exchange with you. First, I have copied his comments, then the family member's response, and finally, my response to both by way of You Tube:
I thought I should update you on how Dad is doing these days. Since mom's death a year and a half ago he has done fairly well; but when you are 91 (that) doesn't mean you are getting any younger. In face he is becoming more and more frail as the days go by.
Not many weeks ago ... Assisted Living... where he lives, had to call 911. (In fact they had to call) on 3 occasions in as many weeks.

Two of the times he was taken to the ED (emergency department), which happens to be the one I work in. He was able to tell them, and I affirmed it, that he did not want any tests or treatments and he didn't want to be put in the hospital.

The doctors were kind and understanding and agreed that at his age he should not be admitted, poked or scanned if he didn't want it. They let him go home each time, much to his relief.

From those experiences we were able to get him into Palliative Care for about a month but he is becoming more frail and still does not want to go to the hospital or leave his home. His desire is to stay in his apartment until he steps into heave; and Life Manor has been extremely supportive and desires to support Dad in this as do (my wife) and I.

And so he has not been made a Hospice patient. He now has all the support and affirmation (so) that he does not need to go tothe hospial or do anything he doesn't want. Their desire is to support him and comfort and to keep him as pain free(as possible.

We have gone through his med (medications') list and (my wife and I) have worked with the nurses to cut his meds down where possible. Dad is absolutely loving the care he is receiving from Hospice; he has a nurse, social worker, chaplain and even a massage therapist who will come and see him on a regular basis and they tell him he can eat anything he wants!!!

The best part about all this is Dad knows without a doubt that he probably is not long for this world and he is content with that. His goal in life has always been to bring glory to God and that is exactly what he desires now. Dad's greatest desire has been to show others that the "Peace that passes understanding" is real. He is trusting that God will allow those who are watching him in these last days,(to) see that "Peace" fully overtaking him now.
Family Member's Response
I was just telling W... this Sunday after church that I'm afraid of dying. I think maybe that's because I'm not living in peace. I'm fearful and anxious. The (graduate) program is pretty thankless and self-serving which is not fulfilling for me. I like helping people and working with people more directly than this. But I'm forcing myself to finish because I'm so close. I'm not sure exactly how to get there, but I definitely aspire to live that way.
Although it may only be another 6-8 months, I'm not sure if I can do it. It's made me anxious and fearful that I'm wasting precious time. I'm nost sure what the right decision is and I struggle with it daily.

Hearing about your dad's journey is very inspiring and I wonderful if has such amazing peace now because he lived a life in peace? I'm not sure exactly how to get there, but I definitely aspire to live that way. Did he everhave questions about Go's plan for him or struggle with how to live in peace?

Please tell him we are praying for him and we are grateful for His grace and the peace your dad is experiencing. His peace has brought me peace, just by hearing about it. I pray that when the time comes, I won't be scared of death and I'll look back at a life well lived, serving God. How awesome that must feel!

McGowan's response:
I was deeply moved as my team member read these two emails to me and two other members. After much reflection, the song which I have recorded came to mind:

1 comment:

Lorraine Hart said...

Oh Joseph that was lovely, thank you. I will enjoy singing along.

We come from Love, we can spend each day with mindful Love directing our movement and our stillness, and Love waits for our return.

I believe in the quote, "There is no way to peace...peace is the way." -Anon

We're humans in a very stressful world and it's easy for us to 'fall asleep' to purpose in our being. Time, space, reality, and relationships become beautifully re-worked within acceptance of terminal illness. A grace of living can be learned from the dying.

Love to you, dear brother. xo