I returned yesterday from an overnight with my parents in Sherman. It was another emotional time for me to be with my father, watching him slowly weaken while my mother and family looks anxiously after him. I found I am having a much harder time letting him go than I thought. It’s hard for me to believe the person who for years I thought “bigger than life” is actually quite normal with a mortal body which is wearing out. When I arrived Sunday he was very weak, almost commatose, sitting slumped in a chair, no longer even interested in an exciting Bill’s game. (A rarity this season!)
My daughter and her family came to visit. My son-in-law Jeff and I gave him some water and suddenly he began to perk up. We gave him three glasses with a special protein-vitamin mix. He seemed to be coming back! I suggested to my family if we gave him more water and better food he might get well.
Yesterday, after a night of listening to dad talk with his relatives, associates, and others during his night of heavy dreaming, a hospice supervisor came to help evaluate dad. We were told he is obviously in the “end of life” stage. It seemed to shockingly final to me, as I couldn’t obviously see it before my eyes, or ears. We were told they encourage a wholistic, more natural way of dying, of passing from the body. I was shocked to hear him say they do not encourage extra hydration, but that dehydration is a way the body tells us it is shutting down! I later apologized to my brother for being too strident and certain we might “save him.”
It was an emotional drive back to Hamburg. I realized I didn’t want to let dad go, to accept the end of this life cycle for entry into another better one. I had to remind myself again of how attached I am to bodies, others as well as my own. I was reminded of the words of the song I had learned driving down written by Daniel Nahmod, “Don’t Decide.”
“It doesn’t make no sense at all
It’s a deceptively simple call
When I’m holding nothing, only then I’ll have it all
Guess I’ll see—maybe it isn’t up to me.
You’re gonna be alright.”
And so it is. Letting go of error, letting go of judgments, letting go of guilt, letting go of holding on to ideas, logic, bodies, and our loved ones as they move on into the dimension of eternity.
I am better, as today’s meditation goes, “Into His Presence I would enter now.” (ACIM, W.157)