On 19th July, 2016, I was present when my ex-husband, Henry passed over, ten years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Our marriage of fifty years was not a joyful event or a ‘match made in Heaven’, but we both, as most marriages of that time, were ascribing to the vow “Till death us do part”. We were both born during the Second World War.
In 1956 his family migrated to Australia. We met in 1961, and married in 1965. At that point in time we were oblivious to the fact that we were each looking to the other to fill the void of having a parent die in our early years. His mother died when he was seven, and my father died when I was twelve. Neither of us grew up in a family where both parents were present so we had no role models of married life except for the movies of the 1950’s when ‘they all lived happily ever after’.
Our first child Justine was born in May 1970 and second daughter Suzi in 1972. Motherhood for me was very difficult, as I, having been born prematurely, was in a humidicrib in hospital for a month before I was taken home, and had missed out on bonding with my mother and the rest of the family.
This resulted in me being at a complete loss as to how to nurture this gorgeous baby. Naturally she cried lots and I despaired at my inability to comfort and nurture her, which inevitably left its mark on her. This pattern of ‘not belonging’ was repeating itself.
I tried to be everything to everyone and to fulfill what I felt others wanted me to be, looking for acceptance and a sense of belonging, which eluded me. I then began to look outside for answers to my sense of ‘not belonging’ and embarked upon a spiritual journey, which I might add, did not solve the problem, it added to it, in that I was doing lots of courses etc. and became very self-focused.
In 1984 Justine was away for a long weekend at a property with school friends and their parents. One of the older boys was out walking with a friend along a creek bed where he slipped and lost his footing near a cliff face, falling over three hundred feet to his death. Justine was never the same again. She became rebellious, wanting to be out with friends all the time, not wanting to go to school. We learned she was regularly smoking marijuana.
At fifteen she left home because she felt she had to live her life ‘now’ because in her words she “could be dead tomorrow”.
Ironically or prophetically, four years later to the day of this boy’s death, Justine passed over due to smoke inhalation when the car she was sleeping in with her boyfriend on a trip to Cairns caught alight.
We struggled to come to terms with what had happened and the void that was deeply felt by us all. Henry appeared to lose all reason for being, and Suzi had lost her beloved sister and best friend.
I woke every morning with a dreadful sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, but was somewhat comforted by the fact that I knew that death was a transition from one life to another.
Although we were not okay, I knew that she was ‘okay’. In the January prior to Justine’s passing, Henry and I separated and sold the family home, so on Justine’s passing we were left floundering in a sea of turmoil, overwhelm and grief. Shortly after we joined forces again attempting to support and help each other through this difficult period.
In the years that ensued we separated twice more only to come back for a final time in 1997, where for the last nineteen years we were together the relationship gradually became an arrangement. We were compatible in most respects and had the same values and living standards and had many interests in common. When we were apart there was a sense of ‘unfinished business’, and when we were together we were unable to breach the walls we had built around ourselves to contain our hurts.
The thing that brought us un-done was the re-activeness we developed towards one another when either one would attempt to foster closeness or open-up communication. Trust had been totally lost so we fell into an arrangement that was comfortable and suited us both financially. We became independent in where we went and what we did.
In 2006 Henry was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He chose not to under-go surgery, electing to have regular visits to his urologist where his PSA was monitored. Quite a few years later when his PSA reading soared he was sent for a bone scan, where it was discovered the cancer had metastasised. There were a few small spots that showed up where the cancer had migrated to. He underwent hormone therapy, which brought his readings down, but he found the side-effects were beyond his level of endurance, so he ceased having the treatment.
He began investigating the topic of euthanasia, attending meetings to glean information on ‘how to die with dignity’ and embarking on the process of obtaining the things needed to fulfill his chosen means of departure from this earth plane.
In March 2015, I arrived home from work to find him on the floor, where he had been all day after falling from the lounge and was too weak to get himself up. Hospitalisation ensued whilst his condition was assessed and services put in place for him to be able to come home. I ceased working as it was evident he needed someone with him 24/7 to care for him and to attend to all the things that needed to be put in place to make his remaining days as comfortable as possible.
Although my dying husband had declared he would not undertake any treatments, he did, during 2014, undergo radiation therapy to his lumbar spine as the cancer was active in that area and was causing pain. This was successful to the extent that the pain eased and his quality of life was improved for a while, so when he was offered palliative chemotherapy at the time of his hospitalisation he agreed.
Being a student of Universal Medicine, I was deeply supported by Serge Benhayon as well as other student friends who were always there for me, whatever my need. Having this support allowed an unwavering inner strength in me to know that whatever was needed or called for, I was equipped to deal with.
His chemotherapy began at the end of April 2015, again a student of Universal Medicine who was a practitioner of Chakra Puncture stepped forward and offered to come to our home and give Henry a treatment that allayed the usual after effects of chemotherapy such as nausea.
In all he received a preliminary six chemo treatments three weeks apart and in time his strength and weight improved and his quality of life was enhanced. His PSA readings improved significantly from what they had previously been and he did receive another four treatments, however, there came a time when his readings began to rise again and the weakness and weight loss slowly returned.
It was obvious that the cancer was on the move again and was now in his sinuses and eventually his liver.
The chemotherapy with follow-up Chakra Puncture treatments, along with other extensive medications, did allow him to be pretty well pain free, or at least able to endure any discomfort there may have been, and allow time to discuss his wishes for his estate and funeral arrangements to be put in place.
I had never felt to ask, nor had his doctor ever offered any time frame of the length of time he may have left, except for one day when I had to ring to get the result of a blood test, I asked how long he may have. I remember the doctor replied that no one ever knows, but he felt maybe around six weeks. I knew he was fading, but it had been a gradual decline, and for some reason, I felt it would be the same trajectory downwards. It took me a day or so to adjust, but his decline was hastening fast.
Up until that time he was eating and coming downstairs to spend the day resting, then he would go back up at night where he slept through to the next morning. A couple of days later he began refusing to eat and take his medication and was disinclined to come downstairs.
I contacted the Blue Nurse, who arrived shortly after and I tried to contact the Palliative Care Doctor to arrange a visit to set him up with a syringe drive to administer morphine and his medications. The doctor was unable to come that day, so an appointment was made for the next day. He was restless during the night. His eyes were wide open but his breathing was as though he was asleep. He seemed to be looking beyond me, and was reaching up as though trying to touch something in the air.
The Blue Nurse arrived around 8.00am to see how he was going. It was obvious his consciousness had waned…… he was trying to speak but was unable to get words out. The nurse left and said she would be back in time for the doctor’s visit. In the meantime I arranged for a friend to go to John Flynn Hospital to pick up the medications that the doctor was going to prescribe to go in the syringe drive when it was set up.
Around 11.00 am, I noticed his breathing had changed. It was laboured and he seemed to be drifting further away. At 11.30 am there was a knock at the door and when I went down the doctor and a nurse were standing there, half an hour early. The nurse had an angelic presence about her and I felt an amazing calmness and strength come over me. A few minutes later the Blue Nurse also arrived. It was like everything constellated at that moment perfectly.
As we entered the room, I saw the doctor and nurses look at one another, they then told me to sit and talk with him while they left.
There was a majestic presence in the room, as I opened my mouth to speak, I found myself saying, “There’s Angels who have come to be with you, go with them. There is a golden light out there. Go towards it and don’t look anywhere else.”
With that he was gone. A feeling of absoluteness engulfed everything. I felt a joy in his leaving, not because he was gone but a joy for him leaving his body surrounded by this magnificent presence. I also felt an enormous sense of appreciation and completion.
Appreciation that his suffering was over, appreciation that what I brought during his final sixteen months may have allowed him to not choose euthanasia (suicide), appreciation that he was able to pass over at home, appreciation there had been time to implement legal and funeral arrangements in accordance with his wishes, and appreciation for the privilege and blessing I received at being present to experience the majesty and grandeur of being held and surrounded by the love of the universe.
This sense of being ‘held’ stayed with me for many months as I cleared out our home and sorted through everything that needed to be done, whilst I brought to a completion our more than fifty years together.
On a temporal level to an outsider this life-long experience may look as being tragic, but for me this is not the case. Whilst our time together was not a ‘happy marriage’ in the conventional sense, for me it was a time that in hindsight allowed me a completion, to find an inner strength and to understand that we are more than our physical body.
It propelled me to search for understanding, and in that searching, I was led to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon. I deeply appreciate the teachings and continuous support Serge offered, especially during those sixteen months. I also appreciate and thank my fellow student friends and Universal Medicine therapists who stepped forward with love and open hearts to be there for us both.
Janice L., Australia