I wanted to share these facebook posts from my stepmother and myself, and my response to my stepmother’s question, “What will I do when he is gone?”:
Update on my Beloved Danny. He’s still in hospice, but if his pain is under control well enough tomorrow, he may come home Monday. And our daughter is coming in to spend some time with her dad, as it will probably be the last time she will be able to just sit and talk with him, hold him and tell him that she loves him face to face. This has been such a difficult time. I try not to think about the end of his life, but remember the beginning of our life together nearly 42 years ago. I was on my way back to the hospice house this evening and was listening to Josh Groban when one of Danny’s favorite songs by him came on. It’s called When You Say You Love Me. I just broke down. That is how our love is, how we feel about each other. right now, I don’t even know if he remembers the song now or not, but the feelings behind it are still the same. Just as when we first fell in love all those many years ago. What do I do when he’s gone?
“What do I do when he’s gone?”
Mom Gail, what you do when he’s gone is up to you. Death ends a life, not a relationship. You and daddy have taught me the meaning of unconditional love and with that, I’ve also learned unconditional acceptance. And for me, this means also saying “yes” to grief and loss. It means fully allowing myself to experience the fear and terror that comes with grieving and loss and holding these feelings with tenderness and compassion. I know that, for me, this pain and terror touches ALL the losses I’d experienced as a child – the loss of the mother I needed (instead of the abusive mother I did get), the loss of daddy through divorce, then when my bio mother took us away from him, then when she managed to almost permanently scare him away. The child that I was had learned to be terrified that I was all alone in this world. But now, as I’m going through recovery work, I’m discovered, I’m not alone. The Universe has supported me all along. It has given me everything that I needed to handle Life, no matter what. I developed a loving presence inside. One who could comfort me while I grieved, one who could help me keep my heart open through some very extreme processing of trauma (both childhood stuff and from adult relationships). I’ve been connected to the Source of Love and felt immeasurable spiritual joy and Love, the likes of which I’d never known before from any human. Everything physical is impermanent, but everything spiritual is everlasting. What will you do when daddy is gone? Well, I hope that you would Live. I hope that you would find a way to take the Love you and daddy have shared and take care of yourself, find things to nourish your body, your mind, and your spirit. Do not be lured into thinking there is no Life after daddy dies, because there surely will be. Your greatest gift to daddy is making a promise to yourself, and him, that you will take care of yourself, treat yourself with tenderness and compassion, and turn this loss into an opportunity for spiritual growth for you. Life is precious. And the REASON it’s precious is because of the simple fact that it ends. But it ONLY the physical form of a person. Death does not stop Love. Daddy’s consciousness will be set free from his body, that’s all death does. Your relationship will change, for sure. But it can still sustain you as it does when he is alive.