Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Road to Death


Yesterday, was a much better day for Vi. She even got out puttering around in the garden a little. She says she is fine but I can see she is still not 100%. Trying to get her to just rest for a few days is impossible. Her idea of rest is still doing 10 times as much as I do on a regular day. I am still struggling accepting my physical limitations. Vi’s brother Henri has been coming over helping a lot with the outside work that needs to be caught up on. Patching a leaking eaves trough plus a lot of other things. Thank you Henri, you are a real blessing to us.

I am going to have to phone my doctor today. For the past 3 days, I have intended to go for blood tests he has requested. No problem going for the tests, except for one. How could one of the various tests they are going to do on my blood make any difference? Well it does if it is for my sugar levels for my diabetes. That one is like a double test. I fast, they take the blood. I then go out and eat a big breakfast and 2 hours later another blood sample is taken checking for any change in the blood sugar levels. Simple, right, well not so simple if there is no way you can eat the big breakfast, nausea won’t let you keep anything down. There has to be some other way.

Vi made such a wonderful comment a couple of days ago. She was right in the midst to the worst of the flu and was really sick and I mean really sick. In between throwing up sessions she comment on how occasionally it is good to feel this way. Good only in that it was a short term reminder of how others feel even on a daily basis. Vi, you are awesome.

That simple comment keeps running though my head. Dying can be a very scary, lonely process. I wonder how others deal with it. What else is there in this physical world that we must do totally alone. Everyone of us is preparing to make that same journey, we are just doing it on different time schedules. There is no denying the fact every single on of us will make that journey at some time. We all know that, yet death remains almost like a taboo subject. We don’t talk about it or even really think about it, “it is just to morbid”. Why is it “morbid” it is a reality. Now I am not suggesting we all run around continually talk about death and dying that would be morbid. Death is a fact of life. I think it is just plain fear that causes us to push the mere thought from our minds.

Fear of thinking of our own mortality and the having to make that final journey all alone into the “great unknown”. Or, fear of loosing a loved one, knowing the pain that will come with that. Or, even fear of facing a future without that special someone in our lives.

I have a very strong faith that has helped me so so much. More than anyone could imagine, unless I suppose you are in my position. I wonder about those that do not have a strong faith to carry them through this. I can’t begin to imagine how scary and lonely that must be. I pray the Good Lord will comfort them. I have very strong Christian beliefs but death is not only restricted to Christians. I wonder about people of other faiths and wonder how their faith and beliefs comfort them. This can be a long, lonely road.

There is an old saying “misery likes company” well I am not really sure that is fitting for what I mean, but I think it gets the message across. We as a human race are all in this together. Religion, culture, politics, race nothing enters into this. Everyone of us is making that same lonely, scary journey just on different time schedules.

Why do so many of us have to make this lonely trip alone. Ultimately, the final leg of the journey we must so our selves, when we leave this physical world and pass into the warm loving hands of God. I am talking about the time prior to that, our final days, weeks or months leading up to that.

I spoke with my cousin Fran on her recent visit. Her husband, Russ tragically passed with cancer recently. She spoke so highly of the loving care Russ had received in his final days in the palliative care unit of the hospital. She became visibly upset though when she spoke of some of the other patients. Patients in the final stages of this physical journey that were forced to do it alone, no family, no friends, no visitors.

There are days when I struggle on this journey and I am surrounded by loving, supportive family and friends. I am assuming most of the patients in the palliative care unit would be elderly but not necessarily. I wonder how they must feel. Likely, they worked hard all their lives raising a family and were surrounded by loving family when healthy. Suddenly, now while on this loneliest and potentially scariest of times, can they help but feel hurt and abandoned, this in their there greatest time of need. Fran, in discussions with a nurse, heard it is not uncommon for people to not visit, using fear of saying the wrong thing as an excuse. I say using it as an excuse, because that is what it is an excuse and a poor one at that.

Think about it really, with love in your heart what is there that you could say wrong. Your presence can be the greatest gift of all.

I started this journal with the hope of helping others on this lonely journey or the families, by sharing my journey. Just because a doctor has labeled someone with the dying word doesn’t mean they are any different from the person they were the day before they were labeled. I am still me, and treat me as such. Just show me you love me and be there for me as I make this journey. I know I must ultimately do the final part alone, but loving company and support certainly helps on the road leading up to that point

27 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Road to Death

  1. Bill,
    Your words are so powerful today. My husband, like you, is a man of great faith. I, alas, have no faith. I suppose I am just too practical. H insists that I am ‘on the journey’. I must agree with you though, regardless of faith, religion, or lack of either, we do travel the last part of the journey alone. I cannot imagine how difficult it is for you to think about it. You are fortunate to have your faith, Vi and your family.
    I can only hope to have some of those assets at hand when my time comes.
    Please know you are in my thoughts often. I never imagined that I would become so attached to people when I began blogging for my friend’s company 4 months ago!
    Your thoughtful and intelligent writing has inspired me several times when posting my own ideas. You seem to have a clarity in your ideas which makes them a pleasure to read. Thank you.
    I know that my company may not be one that holds appeal for you now, but my intentions towards you are most genuine. Have a good night, and look after Vi.

    Martha

  2. S says:

    Dear Bill,

    I am so thankful to have come across your blog. I do hope you know how much your words mean to me and to everyone who reads this blog.
    What an incredible thing you are doing, sharing your experiences with others and ultimately teaching others about the importance of our time with friends and family. I , as silly as this may sound, keep your words with me when I am feeling uncertain about life or a little lost.
    You inspire people, it is wonderful thing you are doing.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    S.

  3. ceeque says:

    Hi Bill & Vi, this is a most profound post you have laid before us I believe. Re. your blood sugar test, I remember getting a letter from my Doc telling me to come and see him for a similar test, the letter told me to do the same basically, fast in the a.m. come in for the test, so this I did and then got told off because “I did`nt need to fast”!! “But you told me in the letter to!” ” Not for your type of diabetes!” Which to this day I still don`t understand…..!
    Very interesting about Frans discussion with a nurse, this “phenomena” was recorded in Elisabeth Kubler-Ross` first book in the 60`s, “On Death and Dying” in which she noted that not only did some close relatives not want to visit but even Doctors and Nurses did`nt want to visit, as though the onset of death was a defeat for them somehow. This attitude and fear still exists and over the years of marvelous hospital related care this fear of dying affects some people so radically…..and as you rightfully point out, it is fear. Personally, I completely look forward to this final trip!!! No qualms whatsoever on that score!
    Your faith and belief system together with your wonderful family and friends will be all you need and yet all your blogging friends and contacts will be there for you too, God will be proud to have you with Him…… and I hope He waits a long time for it!! 🙂
    Glad Vi is on the mend! The garden beckons!!!!

  4. mel says:

    That Vi is a smart lady. She grabs the message, no matter how ucky the lesson slapped in front of her gets. I hope the flowers are enjoying the sunshine.

    As for the thrust of the post–dying is a personal adventure. I’m not convinced, no matter how alone we might ‘feel’, that we’re truly and well ‘alone’, ever. Time after time I’ve shook my fist at the Big Guy only to turn around and discover He hadn’t moved one iota. It felt alone because I moved, yaknow?
    I’ve never really been alone in any of this.
    And in times when I felt abandoned by everyone around me (cuz at times I was)–it was those circumstances that drove me towards G-d.
    So I can’t put a lable on people’s choices as ‘good or bad’. Their choices played a huge part in moving me to where I am today.

    I’ve had opportunities to reconnect with folks who, out of fear/ignorance/anger, ran the other way and I’ve thanked them with my whole heart. I don’t know that they get it–but I do. I don’t know if I’ve helped reshape their thinking. I do know that I’ve let go of the sadness and anger that I had once upon a time.
    They’re human. Fallible just like me. No better, no worse…..just another child of G-d.

    And today, in spite of their choices and because of their choices, I get to have the most awesome relationship with the Big Guy (one I dared not dream possible).
    AND I get to participate in another day.
    So I thank them for helping me nudge my way towards Him.
    And I thank Him for making the arrangements….and embracing me in all my fumblings on the planet.

    I’m equally glad to have crossed paths with someone who reminds me day in, day out (whether he’s ‘up’ to posting or not) what’s truly important today.
    Thanks for that, Bill.

    And more hugs to the flower lady! 😉

  5. […] extraordinary. In a way I think he is onto something. For instance on his last post called Road to Death. Dying can be a very scary, lonely process. […] Everyone of us is preparing to make that same […]

  6. Shauna says:

    Hey Dad!! I sure hope all is well Jake and I have been soooo very busy I am sooo sorry that we have not been in to WPG!!! Hey Vi glad to read that you are doing better hope it is all going to be up hill from here for you. we miss you both lots and think and pray for you everyday!! I love you!! Shauna

  7. Dying is Part of Life 2

    Why do people shy away from talking to people that are dying? Death is part of life. It completes the cycle and could be the beginning of another round, the concept of reincarnation. My most recent experience was my grandfather who died early December …

  8. myinneredge says:

    Bill, your words give comfort and are provocative and real. We were told on April 6 that my sister-in-law wouldn’t live through the weekend and needed to be on morphine…somehow, it didn’t ring true for any of us; we put her on morphine on the 10th–she was in and out of consciousness until the 22nd and is now sitting up and feeding herself. I don’t know how long she’ll last with serious COPD and I am fascinated by how we try desperately to get “certainty” about death; how we don’t want our loved ones to be alone when death comes; how we don’t know what it will be like; how we refuse to engage in the mystery. Thank you for your honesty and your dedication to living in the moment.
    Blessings and peace to you and Vi and your loved ones, Sandy

  9. Kelly says:

    When I was getting to know Sylvain via email and phone these past few weeks, I asked him about hopes and fears. He said his greatest fear is of dying alone. Well, I don’t think he has that fear anymore. Thank you for the inspiration and hope you give me that a marriage such as the one you have with Vi is possible.

  10. Reggie Hudson says:

    My beloved brother, found you from sister Julie’s site. The only pitiful thing from my sorry existence that I can offer is this……Let Us Therefore Come Boldly Unto The Throne Of Grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in times of need……..”times of”….. A most marvelous statement! You know your time frame. Brother , Come Boldly! Time is something you and I deal with, not God. I appreciate your blog and the ministry it brings to get people to realize that time is a finite term! Brother something tells me you ain’t got to worry about time much longer. Infinity goes well beyond time’s constraints. We will meet some day. Who knows, I may be the one showing you around the kingdom because I went first. May God Bless You and keep you as He always has.

    Brother Reg

  11. Jo Hart says:

    You know I don’t think we die alone. I myself do not fear death as far as dying. Please God I have a long time left, as I would hate to die now leaving small children and a loving husband. I still have a lot to do. That is what I fear. As far as dying though I have great faith knowing that our loved ones passed over are there with us waiting to take us and show us, it is ok. I’ve always felt this and I feel with certaintity now as my cousin is dying and his wife said, she seen my grandma there smiling at her at the end of their bed. Jen (my cousins wife) said that she had the most overwhelming feeling of peace nowing that Grandma was letting her know, it is ok, I am here to walk through this with him. Even Terry himself has admitted to knowing Grandma is there. I am a huge believer in spirits and angels. I have no fear what so ever of passing over, and when my time does come I know I have loved ones waiting for me on the other side. How blessed are we to have this. I know not everyone believes like me, but each to there own. It has to be what gives us peace at the end of the day.

    Bill you may do the final part alone here in physical part, but I promise you, spiritually you will be surrounded by love and support. I bet even your old dad is there waiting for you with open arms. What a beautiful thing for you Bill. I know that sounds like a horrible thing to say and please don’t take it the wrong way, but I live with knowing that when my time comes, I will be welcomed with such love. I cry just thinking about it. Happy tears though, as the thought of meeting my loved ones again brings me very happy memories.

    Much love to you and Vi my dear blogging friend.
    Jo

  12. hudds53 says:

    Hi Shauna, nice to hear from you here and even nicer to talk to you on the phone earlier today. Hope we can get together soon. We both love you guys
    Dad & Vi

  13. hudds53 says:

    Hi Martha M.
    I always enjoy hearing from you and always appreciated your comments.
    Wow, you say my thoughts have inspired some of your own writing, I am flattered, thank you. I agree with H I am sure you are on a wonderful journey through this life, learning and growing as you go.
    Bill

  14. hudds53 says:

    Dear S.
    I thank you for your visit and comment. I am gladdened and flattered if you feel you gain anything from my writings. Please visit and comment as often as you can.
    Bill

  15. hudds53 says:

    Dear CeeQee
    Charles I always appreciate your comments and your support. I thank you for both.
    It is so tragic, so sad that our dying are so often pushed aside, out of sight out of mind. Fear is our worst enemy in so many case. Fear felt so deeply but which so often turns out to be baseless.
    Thanks again
    Bill

  16. hudds53 says:

    Dear Mel
    Your messages are always so thought provoking. You make me stop and think about your words and how in fact I can apply them to so many times in my own life. We can learn and grow through every relationship, very circumstance and every event in our lives. Thanks for the reminder.
    Bill

  17. hudds53 says:

    Dear Radiant Woman
    Miriam, I have read your posts and think they are excellent. Sharing your story with you grandfather, will benefit all that read it. I enjoy reading your blog in which you share all your thoughts and experiences, even those on taboo subjects.
    Thank you
    Bill

  18. hudds53 says:

    Dear myinneredge
    Sandy, thank you for sharing your story about your sister-in-law. It really shows, only God knows when we will leave this world. I pray she is at peace and the rest of your family finds the same. I can only try to imagine the desperation, the grief being felt by all as you tried to be there for her. It shows your big hearts and strong love.
    You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.
    Bill

  19. hudds53 says:

    Hi Kelly.
    There is no doubt I was fortunate to have found Vi. I think the good Lord was smiling down on me that day and brought us together.
    I pray you and Sylvain find the same.
    something Vi says is so true. Many say a good relationship is a 50-50 split or effort. A really good relationship is 100%-100% with EACH partner giving 100% at all times to the relationship
    My best to you both
    Bill

  20. hudds53 says:

    Dear Brother Reg.
    I am glad you found my blog and hope you will share your thoughts and comments often. Sister Julie’s site is wonderful, so inspiring.
    Your writing has an upbeat style to it that I like.
    I hope we will meet in the Heavenly Kingdom.
    Bill

  21. hudds53 says:

    Dear Jo
    I am so glad to hear things are becoming more settled with you cousin. You are all in my prayers.
    Jo, I know when I leave this physical world I will be greeted by many loved ones, Heavenly Angels and maybe even Jesus himself. (I can hope)
    The email you sent me this afternoon was beautiful thank you.
    Bill

  22. babychaos says:

    I think a lot of people are scared to think about death and I guess that’s why a lot of people are scared to confront the dying, too. It never ceases to amaze me how easily people let chances to appreciate life, people and just… um everything go by.

    Like Jo Heart, I’m more concerned with the inconvenience of dying or who would be hurt by my popping off early than actually doing it. Although, having said that, deep down, I know that if I was that missionary, even if I had the balls to say what he did, I’d be pooping my pants an’ all!

    Thanks for that one. Great stuff.

    Cheers

    BC

  23. babychaos says:

    Drat, forgot to add, that the thing that never ceases to amaze me about how easily let chances to appreciate…. yada, yada, yada) out of pure embarrassment.

    I always press the button too soon.

    Cheers

    BC

  24. Moe says:

    Bill,

    I’m so glad you have family and friends (and blog friends) who truly care about you and are supportive. It’s so sad to think of anyone walking through any part of life entirely alone.

    I love reading through all of the comments on your site, Bill. There are so many lovely people who are blessed by you taking the time to openly share your heart with them. Death is a scary and awkward subject for most people, but it’s one that people often need to be able to talk about in a safe setting. I think it’s wonderful that so many people have found that right here on your blog. 🙂

    ~Kelsey

  25. Reggie Hudson says:

    Wow, just by trying to read all of your blog entries I have discovered that just trying to answer all of the responses is probably all time consuming for you. Brother if that’s a good distraction for you, than to God Be The Glory! Brother you and I are of the exact same age. We have probably experienced many of the same things. We’ve both discovered there is nothing better than what comes from God’s Hands. These are words coming from someone whom is not worthy. Yet none the less, at the foot of the cross who can calculate one’s own worth… seeing what it required of God to bring us home. You and I both are called to go home. “In my Father’s House are many mansions..if this were not true I would have told you so…”

    Your most pitiful excuse for a brother

    Brother Reg

    P.S. Brother laugh your ass off as you watch the squirrels run up and down the trees, that is more than enough than a response for me.

  26. J says:

    Bill…….I am a single mother of a 12 year old son. I am not close to my family and my son’s father has not seen him since he was 8 months old. My son has a slight disability and I think aobut death and dying all of the time because I am afraid to leave him all alone. I am all he has and I think his world woudl be devastated if something were to happen to me….ANd i think about that continuously and I can barely enjoy life because that sadness and heaviness lingers with me all of the time.my father died sudenly when I was 21 and my life will never be the same. God has blessed me with so much and I can’t even enjoy it because of this fear.

  27. hudds53 says:

    Dear J.
    I appreciate hearing from you. Fear is such a terrible thing and can be debilitating as it possibly sounds in your case. I have all kinds of little sayings and such that I could quote to you. I wish it could be that simple. Say a few words and presto you are all better. We both know just hearing a few words right now isn’t going to make you feel much, if at all better. I emailed you directly and I hope you are willing to chat via email. I remember you leaving me a comment once before and I tried to email you with no success, I hope this time will be different.
    J. have you talked to a doctor about how you are feeling? If not I really encourage you to do so. Speak to your doctor but please when you do, really lay out your thoughts and feelings. Even the best doctor can only treat based on what told to them, hold nothing back.
    Also always remember that I am here as are many others, willing to listen, offer encouragement and prayers. You are important to all of us and we want to help in any way we can. Please keep in touch
    You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.
    Bill

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