In 2006 I started attending Universal Medicine workshops and presentations by Serge Benhayon. Over the years of attending my life has completely transformed in many positive ways because of these presentations of the Ageless Wisdom.
I came to understand that death is not an end but simply the beginning of another cycle,
We can offer what we may feel is needed at the time but not be attached to any outcome, and to leave it with another to make their choice. I had also heard of reincarnation at the age of 14 and it had always made so much sense to me.
In 2009 my father, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2002 and had been living in a nursing home since then, had a fall – hitting the side of his face on the ground. He would lose control of his legs and not be able to stand so he went to hospital for a head scan which revealed a dark area. This could have been a bleed or a tumour but at 86 years old the medical staff didn’t feel the need to investigate this further.
My father had always said not to prolong his life – that if it was his time, to let him go.
The hospital was keen to feed him but after Dad removed the third naso-gastric tube they wanted to put a PEG tube into his stomach and feed him through that. At the time he said to me that when he had the headaches, he didn’t feel like eating, so I spoke with the nursing home and they were happy to have him back without a PEG and to feed him when he chose to eat and this was respected.
Over the following month he would alternate between being unconscious one day and sitting up in a chair chatting and asking for a cup of tea the next. He ate very little – maybe a couple of teaspoons of food at each meal. To add, this was from a man who loved his food and ate according to the clock – mealtimes, including morning and afternoon tea, were always at a specific time of day and were eaten whether you were hungry or not.
Through this time I was able to talk with a Registered Nurse working in palliative care who was also a Universal Medicine student, who supported me enormously to understand what was happening, what I was feeling and to gain a perspective of death and dying that was crucial in allowing Dad his own unique-to-him dying process.
Rather than reacting to the ups and downs – the conscious one day/unconscious the next, which many (including myself prior to my attending Universal Medicine events) would see as an emotional rollercoaster, I would allow each day to be what it was. I wasn’t there every day as I lived two hours away and had a child at home and work to continue, however I was frequently in touch with the nursing home and I visited often when I felt that I needed to be there.
Four days before he died, the nursing home rang and said he was agitated and appeared to be in a lot of pain. I was able to stay with close friends near the nursing home over this time.
Dad was given medication that was continuous via a small pump and he settled. I knew it would not be long before he died once this pump started. I would sit in his room by his bedside, sometimes stroking his hand, sometimes holding his wrist with his hand resting on my wrist.
I understood that this was his process, that this was how he was choosing to go, and was able to allow him to do this with no attachment.
Although he appeared to be unconscious, there was one particular time on the last evening, when I was holding his wrist, that he turned over to face me. We looked each other directly in the eye for at least thirty seconds, although it seemed like ages – there was absolutely nothing between us, no emotion or reaction, just presence and grace. And then he turned over and went back to ‘sleep’. The room was very still.
The next morning as I was about to leave for the nursing home, they called and said that Dad had just died. I cried then and I cried when I walked into his room. The staff had put a large hibiscus flower on the bedsheet above his heart, which felt so honouring and respectful of a man whom they knew loved gardening.
Because I knew his death was imminent I had been making plans over that last month for what was needed.
On earlier visits I had taken the time to organise a funeral home where the funeral could be held, which was near the nursing home and had also chosen the coffin. I had called family and explained what was happening and kept them up-to-date with emails.
Dad’s funeral was held in what the funeral director called a garden room – it had a large glass window that looked out onto a well-manicured garden – not Dad’s style of garden but it was lush and green and provided nature’s space. I placed a couple of his favourite paintings in the room along with a couple of pot plants, collected a large basket full of fruit and vegetables (Dad had always had a massive vegetable garden), had candles burning and his favourite gladioli flowers on top of his coffin which was placed in front of the window.
Friends and family came. There was no official service – I had written highlights of Dad’s life and read this out as a eulogy and then anyone who wished to share also had the space to contribute.
We then had ‘morning tea’ together in another room. I sat in the garden room for a short while contemplating all that had been shared, then joined everyone.
Although the circumstances of both deaths were different, after Dad’s death I could see how much I reacted to Mum’s passing and how graceful Dad’s dying process was – there were no reactions, only responding to what was needed at the time.
With Mum there was need and attachment, which made the grieving process difficult. With my father, although I had become the parent over those last few years, there was grace and understanding in his dying process.
What I find extraordinary is that I have not thought about Dad much at all since the funeral - there have been days, even a week or two, when I haven’t thought of him … and when I do there is no emotional attachment, no investment in him being here or having gone.
I feel that moment of thirty seconds of connection before he died cleared our lifetime of ‘stuff’ we had created between us and we have both been able to move on in life and death. There has been nothing to grieve and that to me is true completion.
Paula S., Australia
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