Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dying a good death.....

Today I listened to Dr. Haider Warraich share on an NPR podcast, about the ways that the medical community have changed the dying process. As I drove along, listening, I felt back in my element.
This is me, this is my passion, helping people to have a good death. These are the things that speak to my heart. How to let go of those we love so much, to leave us on their own terms, surrounded by love and care and comfort. This kind doctor shared his heart... he mentioned that he doesn't wear a lab coat because he doesn't want to be known as an "other." He wants to be part of, an equal, we are all just people. I have never worn scrubs to see clients...I wear my regular clothes. I have wanted to just be a friendly and supportive face coming through the door....not a reminder of their need for care, or help, or their disease.  Its not typical protocol to wear street clothes and I was so happy to hear that he does this too and for very similar reasons.

I loved his humanity. If you listen you will know exactly what I am talking about. He is a humble young man (29 years old!!!!) with such a kind heart.

Our world feels surreal right now. So much conflict, anger, distrust, and fear. I dont know what to make of it all to be honest. Listening to this today grounded me. Brought me back to my world. I realized Ive felt lost this week. What can we believe? I told a friend, its another thing that is unsettled in my life, that I dont have the answers for, that I have to trust and believe that there is a plan, and that the set of human and spiritual checks and balances are in full working order and that God can handle all of this. I know that that might sound like a cop-out to some, but its all I have. I can't fix what ails the world, I can't fix what ails my girl, I can't even quit eating chocolate even when I try my absolute hardest.

The only sphere of control that I have is the one I am standing smack in the middle of. What will my responses be? How will I find ways to continue to love unconditionally? Can I, will I, choose to abide in the power of my God each moment of the day? Or will I barrel off in my own direction, thinking that my best thinking will fix and cure.

One thing that is beautiful to behold is humility. I want to be humble. I want to not just talk about relying on God, but really *rest* in His power. In every manner of my being. My marriage, my girl, my other children, this crazy world we are living in where everyone seems to be rising up and fighting for what they think is right and best.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me." John 15:4

God, give me your heart for each person I encounter. Help me to not judge their motives or their actions. I am only seeing a glimpse. Purify my heart with your spirit that I can be a light in this dark world. Amen.

Love to all.....


Linda deV said...

How I wish to trust; yet life has set me up to trust very little. Grateful that a gracious God knows the past and understands my pain. I keep moving in that general direction with two steps forward and one step back.

What I know is that when I get there, the peace will be the most powerful feeling I have and that it will reign over the other emotions, allowing them but guiding them and keeping them at a manageable size.

Lolly said...

This was a lovely post. And just in case you were unaware of this, you ARE a light in this dark world. Love you friend.

Birdie said...

Your post makes me think of this woman.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Hi Annette,
I'm new to you're blog. I so identify with your views on death and dying.

Although through my work as a massage therapist, I generally don't deal with death professionally very much but I have developed many long term relationships with clients and a few have died and a few more have developed fatal long term illnesses. I do leave the door open if they want to talk to me about their circumstances but I really just try to accept them in the moment wherever they are. Sometimes there is verbal communication and sometimes there's not but I always feel blessed when they share some part of theirselves with me.

I have been in Al-Anon for 13 years and I too have a daughter that is an addict. She appears to be sober now and is pregnant with her first child. I have two sons as well. The younger of the two was also an addict and he took his own life June 26, 2015. My older son is doing well. I mention this because since facing the tragic death by my own child, I feel maybe I have something to offer others who are dying or bereaved. It's almost like I feel I want to soften the experience somewhat for others and let them know they can survive this and death is part of life. Although many would say that suicide is not a natural death and on many levels it does appear to be so. But I choose to respect my son's choice and I believe that love transcends many boundaries so in some ways our relationship continues.

I've also recently began training as a hospice volunteer. I'm excited but also fearful about this endeavor. I'm inspired by your work in this field.

Thank you for a very inspiring blog and I look forward to hearing more about your life.

Honey said...

When I got to the part when you say that you want to "rest in His power", my shoulders, that were unbeknownst to me, tucked up high and close to my ears!, suddenly dropped and softened. I need to be reminded (daily sometimes!) that God is holding me and that the weight of the world is indeed NOT on my shoulders to bare alone.
Thank you!

Mary Christine said...

Annette, you are so wonderful!

I've started taking communion to the homebound for my church. I have had to deal with the fact that I am kind of terrified of old and sick people. I have come to love them. What a gift to be able to play some small role in their last days, weeks, or months.

I have thought of you many times while doing this.