Today’s blog is more of an inside look.
A myriad of emotions ran at full speed, last night when I ‘envisioned’ my upcoming death – with my ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
I’m not sure how long I have. I was diagnosed with it last August, after a long bout of trying to relive the pain in my shoulder, so that I could continue one of my passions – paddling.
My canoes and my sea-kayak have been my solace, my respite from the trials of the world.
My ALS is a slow-moving variation – most live 3 to 5 years after diagnosis; I was told that with this variant, I’ll probably have 5 to 10 years but that may not take into account how long it took to get the diagnosis nor that the deterioration seems to have speeded up.
The mucus is so out of control! … after I’d envisioned my death last night and drank some water, I laid awake listening to and feeling the bubbles of air work their way through the glut of mucus in my throat … they’d make a slight popping sound as I could feel them break through. As usual, it made me laugh.
It’s odd the freedom to laugh at all this has been a real blessing!
Last night, at the same time I saw myself, I remembered, being in the hospital 14 years ago, having difficulty breathing (my gift of ‘foreshadowing’ ?) – I was aspirating – my trachea was full of bubbles and I couldn’t talk well enough to convey to the nurses what I was experiencing, … that I couldn’t breathe. At the same time I was remembering this, I “saw” the same thing happening to my body again, but this time, as I watched – my body died, and my soul rose with my final breath; then it left.
Understand, I’ve died before … or I guess I should say “flat-lined” once before – an out-of-the-body experience – May 10th, 1974. That time is interesting, and yet, that’s for another blog article, … another time, but this is to address … to chronicle, my emotional / spiritual event, last night.
Since that 1st time in ’74, I’ve been filled with joy. Most don’t get it, especially with the amount of physical pain I’ve carried since (funny, but it’s much less now, than before) … there I go again, on another tangent! Confident I know where I’m headed, and that I’ll have a new and pain-free body, death doesn’t frighten me, yet for some almost unknown reason though, I’m homesick, … for heaven, … yet I continue to struggle, to stay alive. I promised my love, I would.
As I watched my soul rise out of my body, I felt an overwhelming grief … for I knew my beloved, who laid next to me (my body), that I would grieve her loss – we married, only last September and we love each other so, it’s beyond words. I grieved for her, not me!
A few moments later, as I finished thinking things through, she stirred, and I whispered to her softly, asking if I could share what’d just happened. Of course, she said “yes.” It wasn’t easy. We both cried, as I do again, trying to convey this to those (you) left behind. I told her she had to find “purpose” again … that she had to know how I love her, yet (though I was already grieving for her) she had to know that for me, … it would be a joy to be in the presence of the Lord! And, that she had to rejoice with me over that!
Of course it’s a gigantic conundrum to try and explain this ‘mystery’ of conflicting emotions, but somehow she understood, and we laid in each other’s arms … wishing it could go on forever, but the pain eventually demands moving and then there comes the need for the bathroom, the dog needs to be fed … etc.
I’m confident this is how death will come … it’s actually a relief; I’ve had enough pain for 10 lifetimes and I dread more, so much so, I feel as if I’m a wimp now!
I wish the same for you — that you have the time to say goodbye, ahead of time, as I have! I’m not sure how long I have, but there’s a renewed sense of urgency to get on with what I’m to do, with the time I have left.
It seems as if the progression of the disease has intensified significantly this last couple weeks.
Yet, I’m so truly blessed! I never thought I’d make it this far! 72 is really OLD! Or maybe it’s that image in the morning mirror that tells me that … : )