Monday, August 17, 2009

My visit with Sue

I think I needed some time to process my thoughts about my visit with Sue in Kingston before writing about it. It’s hard to know how to feel about sharing time with someone who has little left to spare: Honored to be part of her care team. Sad because she is too young to die. Horrified because we share the same disease.

My day with Sue was pretty uneventful (except for the part where her keys somehow ended up in my bag and I had to courier them back overnight from Ottawa!). I tried to let Sue take the lead; spending time with her when she wanted company and giving her space when she needed to rest or wanted to be alone.

Sue is very matter-of-fact about her prognosis and at one point she asked me what I thought happens to us when we die. ‘Nothing’ would probably have been my answer 10 years ago. I’ve never been religious and don’t buy into the angels-with-wings-on-a-cloud-in-heaven thing.

But I now think that there has to be more than ‘nothing’. Everything is energy, including all of the cells in our bodies. That energy has to go somewhere. That ‘somewhere’ is probably so out of our realm of thinking that we can’t even imagine it. Maybe we’ll exist in a very different form; maybe we won’t even have a physical form.

In Life is Eternal, Carly Simon sings “How and where my spirit will go? Will it soar like jazz on a saxophone, or evaporate on a breeze? Won’t you tell me please?”

However and wherever our spirits will go, I think it will be a surprise. I’m hoping it will be a good one!

As for Sue, some people might say that she’s in the process of dying. But I don’t think she’s there yet. I believe she’s still in the process of living.

The pleasure of the feel of sunlight on her face; the comfort of her cat curled up against her in bed; the care of friends and family that love her; peace and moments of awareness that she’s still living her life, regardless of the limitations and the number of days ahead.

In addition to freedom from physical and emotional pain, these are the things that I wish for Sue.


Dee said...

An intriguing book about what happens to us after death is by Brian Weiss and it's called "Many Lives, Many Masters". He wrote others called "Only Love is Real" and "Messages from the Masters". It's the concept of how our souls continue, even after death, until they are reborn again. It dovetails quite nicely with other religious belief systems, such as the Inupiat/Inuit/Yup'iit Eskimos, Buddhism and Taoism, Hinduism and even early Jewish thought. Just a suggestion . . . I really enjoyed it and learned something and felt comforted.

POD said...

A beautiful post. Very moving. Thank you.

Sue said...

Thanks Chris ...... I'll read this often over the next while and I know it will help me get through some difficult moments .... Take care and hugs to wonder dog!

Peregrina said...

A moving blog. I have found a lot of solace and peace about life after's called Journey of Souls...I can't recall the author's name at the moment. The author is a hypnotist who took hundreds of people to lives between their earthly lives...they all had remarkably similar stories.