In its simplest form this is another one of our Human learning opportunities. I was 21 when my father journeyed beyond my sight on this earth. He needed a liver transplant because of the blood infusions and kemo he had had many years earlier. He was on the transplant list when he got Pneumonia and had to go into the hospital. He was scheduled to go into the Lethbridge hospital for some tests and then come back to the Cardston hospital to stay until he felt better or was called for a transplant. That morning he was in a great mood, talking, laughing and hugging everyone… he even sent us all home to get some sleep when he went for the tests. He made sure that he told us all that he loved us and gave us an extra hug.
After he arrived back at the our hospital, he drifted into a Coma and never came out of it. After we called all of the family to come in and say goodbye, the Edmonton hospital called and said that we needed to send him in right away. He was on the top of the transplant list.
My Step Mom asked her brother to give her a patriarchal blessing, (Mormon prayer) so the three of us went into a private room so we could have a couple moments to get our minds around the situation. It was too much to take in hearing that he was possibly already brain dead because he had been in a coma since he left the Lethbridge hospital. The Blessing is where the blesser places his hands on the top of the blesses head. He asked for direction that we would know in our hearts the right decisions to make as well as to let my dad know that if it was his time, that we would release him with love and understanding. Even though there were only three of us in this closed room, I felt someone’s hands on my head blessing me with the strength that I would need for what was next.
After confirming with the doctors, we gathered with the rest of the family to say our final goodbyes. I noticed that my little brother was not in the room, so I went to find him. While I was looking, I ran into my x boyfriend in front of the nursing desk. (He worked in Maintenance at the hospital.) He said that he was so sorry that I was going through this and that my father was such a great man. As he hugged me, my husband walked up. The x boyfriend repeated his apologies about my father to my husband, shook his hand and left. My husband and I walked around the corner and he said, “I want a divorce.”
I almost could not stand as this was the peak of my tolerance level for the day. After gathering my composure, I explained again exactly what he and the entire nurses station had witnessed and then I went back to be with my Dad.
Then the call from Edmonton came, it was the transplant doctors. They said that he needed to be put in the ambulance and sent to them asap. My step mother said that we would rather have him die here with us then in the ambulance on the highway. The Doctors were so cruel when they harassed her by saying things like, “How can you deny him the right to live?” And, “ Why won’t you let him live?” After hanging up the phone, she and I walked into my father’s room to say goodbye.
We all kissed him and then I removed his oxygen. Within ten minutes his body and spirit struggle was over. Unlike every Television death that had been my experience, he never just fell asleep. I witnessed the pulling of his spirit out of his body in a scary jerking action that seemed to last forever. As his heart took its last beat, I kissed him goodbye.
I wanted him to know how much I loved him and even though I knew that he knew how much, I decided to dress him at the funeral home when the director ask if I wanted to. It was not as difficult for me to do as I thought it was going to be. In my own human journey it was what I needed to really see how much better off he is without the weight & pain of his body. That was when I truly believed that our real life happens when we pass through the veil.
The pain of losing a loved one, is an illusion, only their body is gone… their spirit never leaves, it is all around us. Always loving us, always listening and always here to help us through our own human mission of learning.
I love you, my heart goes out to you and your family!
P.S. The picture is of my Dad riding across the hills at our ranch on the Alberta / Montana boarder under the shadow of Old Chief Mountain. The kids are my little brother and myself...