Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Dealing with the loss of a Loved One

May 26, 2009

I just read a comment left yesterday by Lash. Through his words, it is like I can feel his pain as he talks of the passing of his father.

I have said it countless times that I believe it is so much harder on the families and loved ones left behind. Really how could it be otherwise. When I pass, I will have moved on to a much more wonderful place, a place glorious beyond my wildest dreams. I will be surrounded by and engulfed in a love, again far greater than anything I could possibly imagine. I am not sure how to exactly say this but it is like my situation will have been improved beyond belief.

Not so for the families and loved ones left behind, although in time their turn will come and we will be reunited.

But for the moment the loved ones are left behind to feel and suffer the pain and grief. Dealing with grief is a very personal and individual thing. I can’t totally relate to how others may feel it or deal with it. I can only relate to and express my own thoughts and feelings.

I remember so clearly some of the thoughts and feelings I experienced with the passing of my own mother. My mother was a truly wonderful and even inspirational lady. I loved and respected her very much. She was a very strong woman, it took multiple heart attacks to even slow her down.

I was living in a different town than her when I got the call from the hospital, that I should come QUICKLY.

I was like in a panic to get there and an sure I was driving well above the speed limits. It is normally about a 1 1/2 hour drive. I am sure I would have made it in record time. I got to about the 1/2 way mark of the trip and something changed. Suddenly the sense of urgency, the feelings of panic left me. I really can’t explain it but somehow I just knew she was gone. I got a mental image of her standing in front of me, hands on her hips telling me: “you bloody well better slow down or you are going to get yourself killed driving like that.” Slow down I did. I was driving in from the north, my brother Eric was driving in also but from the south. He talks of having a similar feeling, the just knowing she was gone. Comparing notes we realized even though miles apart we had each experienced that same feeling at about the same time of the day, which was also the same time that she passed from this world.

I am not sure if it was that same day or possibly the next but I realized my life would never be the same again. With her passing my life was changed forever. Suddenly an important piece of what I saw to be the picture of my life was gone forever. My life felt sort of incomplete like there was a gaping big hole in it.

The moment my mother passed, my life as I saw it changed forever. It would never be the same again. Maybe it is like a jig saw puzzle you have it all neatly put together and then loose one piece, the picture will never look the same again.

I came to realize that by looking at that jig saw puzzle picture of my life. I was  really looking at was a snap shot of how I saw how my looking at that particular time. As I so often tend to do, I was not looking at the big picture of my life but only of a single snap shot of how I saw it at that time.

I will say it flat out. When you loose a loved one, will your life ever be the same again? No, it won’t. I just have to get the thought into my head that just because it isn’t the same doesn’t have to mean it can’t be just as good.

There were and still are several thoughts that helped me deal with her passing. I may have written about them or I may in the future. A big one for me now is. I have no doubt in my mind she is experiencing the wonders of Heaven. I also have no doubt she is looking down at me from Above, watching as I proceed through life.

I also believe that when the Good Lord decides the time is right, I will be reunited with her. I know she loves me and wants me to have a good and happy life while on this earth. When our reunion comes, I know it will be a loving moment. But, also knowing my mother, I can easily picture her standing there giving me the look and saying something like: “you had it so good down there, you just never took the time to appreciate and enjoy it.”

So to my mum, up there in Heaven. I am doing my best to appreciate and enjoy life. I hope I am making you proud or at the very least not disappointing you. I am looking forward to seeing you when the time is right.

Advertisements

Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Use Life Energy Wisely

May 25, 2009

My last post was on how life requires effort. We all know that is, oh, so true. The effort required for life begins when we are very young. We have to drag our butts out of bed to go to school. There we are required to put forth great effort to learn the lessons being taught. This is the very beginning of the life cycle that teaches us, “the more effort we put into it the greater will be our rewards”. In school it is obvious the more effort we put forth, the more we learn and the better are our grades.

Generally, right out of school, we enter the work force. Here we are paid a wage for doing a particular job. Now I know it doesn’t always work this way but here again the more effort you put into it the more you get out of it, ie. raises, bonus and promotions. I know that in the work place things don’t always work this way but I hope you get the point I am trying to make here. The idea being harder work (greater effort) is recognized and rewarded.

We can see that in our dealings with the “outside” world that the more the effort put out the greater the return back becomes.

Do we ever stop to think that this may also apply to within our own  personal lives? When I say personal lives, I am actually meaning it in 2 different ways:

1) Personal life meaning relationships with spouse, children, family and friends. Let’s just take children as an example. As a parent, it is our job to raise our children. In raising a child we firstly provide the basics food, clothing and shelter, hopefully in a safe environment.But, when you think of it, that is only the tip of the ice berg when it comes to parenting. It is our job to teach our children how to become good healthy, well adjusted adults, prepared to go out on their own and face the world. This is the part that can require a whole lot of effort, can seem never ending and even thankless. This I believe is generally one of the biggest examples of the more effort put forward now yields the greatest returns later. The “return” being able to see your children as well adjusted adults.

A thought just hit me as I am sitting here. If we fore go the parenting part of raising our children. We can in fact become some one more akin to a landlord providing room and board to young unpaying tennant that are raising themselves.

2) Living with the inner me. I am the inner me. I live constantly with my own thoughts and feelings. How much effort do I put into feeling good about this person that is me. The person I see staring back at me in the mirror every morning. It takes effort to work on myself but this is the ultimate example of the more effort put in the greater will be the return as we become better, healthier, happier people.
Geesh, we really are talking a whole lot of effort being exerted all the time. No wonder we are all so tired all the time.

I look back now and can really see, most of my life, I had my priorities mixed up. I put way to much effort into my endevours in the “outside world”. In all areas of my life I needed to have my priorities in a more proper or better order.

At times it is hard to accept we are human and there will be many times when our best efforts are not enough to accomplish everything we would like to. We may not have the energy or the TIME.

As humans we have our limits, our frailties that can limit the energy we have to expend. Maybe I or we have to look at each day individually. OK, I have this amount of energy I can use today. How am I going to use it, wisely I hope.

For me and many others “time” has become a major factor in our lives. I know I have to, but maybe everyone should look at each day and realize, I have only so much time in this day, how am I going to most wisely use it. Oh, time is such a big one, none of us know how much of it we have left. It has to be used wisely


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – LIFE TAKES EFFORT

May 24, 2009

Yesterday was a big day for me. I planted 30 hills of potatoes. Now, I know many will read this and just say, huh, so that was about maybe 3o minutes out of your day, so what!!!

Well possibly that may have been about 30 minutes out of the day for many. For me it was an almost all afternoon job. Let’s just say there were “several” breaks for me to huff and puff. OK, there was a lot more time spent sitting in the lawn chair than there was planting time. But, who cares? My point is, I got it done!!!! For me it has been hard, accepting my physical limitations. I find looking back I have too often had a bit of a poor me attitude. I didn’t actually think, “poor me” but I was acting the role. My thoughts were more like: “a few years ago I could have done that and not even given it a second thought. Now is different, with all my medical issues it would just take too much time and effort, it just isn’t worth it.”

I can now see that once I started with that thought process, it became like a slippery slope. It became easier and easier to rationalize away doing more and more in life. How many times have I written the importance of living life and not just enduring it. Now I can’t really say I feel like I have been enduring life, my life is good, I know I am a lucky man. What I realize is I am allowing more and more of living  life to slip away on me because it would take to much effort.

Irregardless, of health or anything else, LIVING LIFE TAKES EFFORT. enduring life takes much less. I suppose it is one of those things that the more you put into it the more you will get back.

Obviously, there is a balance here and common sense has to prevail. I concede it is not to likely you will be seeing me running in any marathons at any time, but so what!! Living is doing what you can with what you have!!!

Yesterday, I decided I could plant potatoes in the garden and I did. Fine it took me a lot longer thatn it may have for others, but so what. I did it. Not only did I get them planted but with all the time sitting resting in the sun, I soaked up some rays. Any that have looked at my picture will see I have a lot more forehead to burn than do many and burn it did.

Hey, who knows, maybe I will be mountain climbing next. LOL


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Being Right vs Being Happy

May 21, 2009

Yesterday I did a post on what I call the highway of life. This highway is simply the path we follow down during our life times. Sometimes the highway is smooth and or lives carry on smoothly. Sometimes this highway may have a little pot hole and life suddenly isn’t such a smooth ride any more. So what is a pot hole in the highway of life. It could really be anything that we find to be unsettling or upsetting. The pot holes can vary in size, some are small (possibly an argument with a loved one). They can vary in size right up to really big ones. (possibly the death of a loved one or some such)

There are issues in life that we just can’t avoid. Things such as the loss of a loved one are just beyond our control and we must just work our way through this painful time. So in what I am about to say I am not talking about this sort of life issue.

I am talking about more the more mudane issues in life. Those nagging little issues that come along and can be anywhere from annoying to almost driving us “crazy”. There are millions of examples of the sort of thing I am talking about and the list of things can vary from person to person. I am talking about the sort of things that have us saying to ourselves:  “WHY did this have to happen, today of all days” or “he/she/they are such idiots, I keep trying to explain to them how it should be and they just aren’t listening”. You know the sort of things I am talking about. Little pot holes in the highway of life.

With time some we see coming and can learn to avoid. Others we often just charge in head first and can turn what could be just a little bump in the road into a huge quagmire. Why do we often charge right in, because we “know” what is the right thing to be done, even if it may be in the lives of others. Our intentions are good, we want to help in many cases and we “know” the best thing to be done. Often we enter gently offering loving “suggestions”. Huh, what is up with this, I told them what to do and they are not listening. The answer to this problem is so obvious, I can see it, why can’t they. Huh, they must not have heard me the first time, so I will tell them again, maybe I will be a little more forcefull this time so they will listen and see what I am saying and realize that obviously I am right. “WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THESE IDIOTS, I KEEP TELLING THEM WHAT TO DO AND THEY ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME. Well, FINE if that is their attitude, see if I am going to try and help them again”. Feelings have been hurt likely on both sides and nothing is accomplish.

What have I learned? Often, there is no, one size fits all, right answer. What is right for or to me may very well not be for the next person. I accept that. So, I ask this, is it better to be “right” or to be happy?

Today, if I come across a situation, I am not shy about offering my suggestions usually only once, unless later questioned about it. Even though I may “know” my point or my view is the “right” one, I will not beat it to death. I will not argue or take offence if you do not agree with me and act on my advice. I prefer to be happy. I admit, I may still have a bit of a smug feeling inside, “knowing”, I am right. I am content to know for me I am right but don’t feel the necessity to pound away at it until I force you to agree with me. Take what you like and leave the rest.

This is how hard feelings and grudges are formed. A grudge is the heaviest thing you can ever carry. Why waste your precious time and energy arguing over something likely would have been forgotten about very shortly anyway. Forgotten that is unless we make a mountain out of a mole hill, turn a simple little pot hole into a huge quagmire.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Leaning to deal with life differently

May 20, 2009

Heart attack #5 seems to have really knocked me onto my butt. It wasn’t even as “Major” as a couple of the others. I don’t seem to have the energy to bounce back as I have been able to do in the past, but I am getting there. There is a saying something like: “No one ever said life would always be easy, just always worth living”. That is so true and I am going to go on LIVING every moment I can squease into this lifetime.

I have often said that I know see things differently than I did in my younger years. I know I am very lucky to see things as I do now, but feel sad that it took me this long and to have to get to this point in my life before, I could actually see things as they are.

Obviously, I am either a slow learner or just not that bright that is the part that, I suppose makes me sad. I firmly believe, our Heavenly Father, will present us with life situations which are really opportunites for us to learn and grow as Spiritual Beings. The lesson is right there for us to learn from no matter in what form it is presented to us. If we do in fact take advantage of the opportunity presented to us, we will learn and grow as people. Yes, we will then see things differently.

Every parent here on this earth loves and wants their children to grow, to florish, to be happen, to love and to find love. To help them attain this we do our best in our own ways to teach our children the lessons in life, as we are able.

In my eyes I see this as being a good comparable with that of our individual relationships with our Heaven Father. There is a difference though, that being that His love for us is magnified to a level beyond our physical understanding. He wants us to learn and to grow as spiritual beings. No let’s face it if everything in life just flowed smoothly along we would just complacently go with the flow and likely learn very little about being a better person. Now obviously there are exceptions to this but I do think it would apply to most, as it did to me.

It seems we learn best from our mistakes or from facing adversity, this just seem to be a human trait or at the very least a “Bill” trait. Here is something else I have heard somewhere with people saying “if our kids could only learn from our mistakes, their lives could be so much easier.” Now that is likely true enough, but the big question to be asked here, is Did we learn from our own mistakes? Now I would like to be able to say, either I have never made any mistakes or that I had leaned from each on and grown from it. That statement would qualify for the biggest LOL ever. I was going to say, if you were able to write them all down you could fill a book with the mistakes in life I have made. But, that would be inaccurate, my mistakes would fill easily 5 or 6 books. It is not always a bad thing having memory issues as I am sure I have forgotten many embarassing blunders.

I am greatly comforted by the fact, that I do believe that God does see us as being Human. Humans are not perfect beings. He does not expect perfection of us, only that we keep trying. That I am. Someday it seems a little harder than others or maybe it is my effort is a little stronger somedays than others.

I often consider life to be like a highway and I refer to the highway of life. As does any highway, it at times has pot holes.

Hey, I love using comparables but know I often end up going around in circles but here we go as I try to get my thoughts across in a way that makes sense. In this physical world, let’s imagine you buy a new car. You hit a pot hole and no big deal, no noticable difference to the car. But, you realize if you continue to hit enough of these potholes it is going to add a lot of wear and tear to the car. As your experience as a driver increases you learn to watch the road ahead and realize at times you can steer to avoid the potholes, staying on smooth highway. You know though that no matter how carefully you drive there will be times when a pothole is suddenly infront of you before you have time to react and you hit it. At times the pothole may be so big your car actually gets stuck in it, your car is completely mired down in mud. You can sit there revving the engine, tires spinning madly and you are going no where. While in that mode you are just adding useless wear and tear to the car and accomplishing nothing. You sit there wheels pointing straight ahead, engine roaring and you are going no where. Here we go with another on of the quotes I heard somewhere: one definition of insanity could be continuing to do the same thing over and over again in exactly the same manner and yet continuing to be disappointed when the end result comes out the same.

We have to do something differently. Maybe instead of just trying to bulldoze our way straight ahead, we turn the steering wheel of the car. maybe we can get better traction if we try even going in a slightly different direction. Maybe we need someone to give us a little push. Could be we even need a tow truck to actually pull our car through. However we do it, we eventually get our car back on the highway, how much wear and tear or battering it took while mired down depends on how we dealt with it. Next time we get our car stuck, did we learn the futility of just sitting there or will be be a little quicker to try something different.

Don’t know how well I explained that. But, now try to picture the highway of life. Your mind is the driver, your heart the engine and your body is the car. How many potholes in life do we have to hit before we learn to avoid them? How many times do we have to get mired down before we realize the futility of just trying to bulldoze our way straight ahead. Let me know what you think.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Heros/Earth Angels

May 17, 2009

What is below is a posting I wrote on May 5th.. In this old addled brain of mine, I thought I had published it, instead I had just saved it. It isn’t until this morning, when I went back to make a reference to it that I discovered it in the saved draft section. I have a bunch of draft postings saved, I will have to maybe go back through them to find anything else I have finished but not published.

My post from May 5th.

I read an article in todays newspaper. It was inspiring, heart warming and very thought provoking all at the same time. I come here to the blog and reading the comments I see, my dear blogging friend Irene read the same story and has had the same reaction to it that I did.

It is the story of a homeless man. A man that has apparently struggled with alcohol for years. This is an article in today’s Winnipeg Free Press, written by May Agnes Welch. I am taking the liberty of quoting parts of the article:

“A homeless man is being hailed as a hero after diving into the frigid fasting moving Red River go rescue a teenage boy over the weekend.”

The story outlines the heroic actions of a local man, Faron Hall. Mr Hall witnessed a teenage boy falling from a local bridge into the fridgid waters of the Red River. Now when I say fridgid, I do mean frigid as only weeks before the river had been ice covered. Now not only was the water COLD the current was very fast moving with the flooding that was happening at the time. There is no question Mr. Hall was putting his own life on the line in an attempt to save another human being. He swam out about 15 metres and was able to drag the fighting teen to shore. There is no doubt a life was saved, Mr Hall is a genuine hero. His selfless act of courage is admired by all.

Ok, who is Mr. Hall and why would the final paragraph of the newspaper article include the line:  “This is a man that most people would avoid at all costs.”

Why would so many try to avoid Mr. Hall. He is a homeless man living on the streets and is even described as “kind of scary looking”. Put those 2 images together and I think we have just come up with the description of someone most of us would at least try to avoid. Or, at least I am kind of embarrassed to admit it but I know I would.

It is sad reading parts of the story that chronicles Mr. Hall’s ongoing battle with alcohol. Being homeless, living on the streets is tough anywhere. But, I somehow have to think that living in a City like here in Winnipeg has to add a bit of an extra burden, that being just because of our weather. I read Mr. Hall has actually been living under a bridge for about 7 years. Now think about this. He states his record for being outdoors under the bridge is for at a temperature of -51 with the wind chill. Now are Canadians a hearty lot or what?

Mr. Hall, I have to thank you. You have opened my eyes. You are a true hero and Earth Angel. Never again will I be able to look at a “street person” or really any person in quite the same way.

The newspaper best desribes his actions with: “he just  had both the courage and the humanity to not even think about it and just plunged himself into the water to save a life”. Inside I am sure we all like to think we would react in the same way, given that situation, but really would we? How many of us would have that courage?


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Inspirational followup

May 14, 2009

I recently can across a post in another blog. It made reference to my blog here in a very complimentary way. Memory guy here can’t remember where it was or I would acknowledge them here. I did not in their comment, the mention of the fact that, inspite of the name of my blog I don’t often mention death.

Well actually, I think I have quite a few times but that is besides the point. I am trying in my own little way to promote living. Living life to the fullest irregardless of our circumstances. We have to face it that often the circumstances of life can suck. Living life doesn’t so much matter the hand we are dealt but instead how we play our cards. How we live our lives with what we have. Do we focus on what we don’t have be that good health, money or what ever or do we focus on what we do have. Live life as it is and enjoy it to the fullest.

Attitude it key. How many times have I written, there are always 2 ways you can look at anything and everything. OK, from my own experience. My life expectancy is much shorter than I would like it to be, now that sucks, it really does. But, then when it comes right down to it, that I am sure will be the feeling of everyone when their turn comes. Life will never be long enough.

I suppose what I am trying to say can be best summed up by a line I heard on a TV show. “The time you have left is shorter than you think. What are you going to do with it.”

Adversity can hit and what are we going to do. The 2 choices, we can curl up in a ball and quite living. “I don’t like the hand in life I have been dealt, so I am not going to try and play it, I quit.” Or, you can say, “I don’t like the hand I have been dealt in life, but this is my life and I am going to make the best of it.” Over the long haul the end result is going to be the same. What is the only difference. It is the way we chose to live our lives, the enjoyment we got out of it.

Every once in a while I hear of a story of someone that is such an inspirational example of what I am talking about. Kendra McBain is a truly amazing example of a person dealt a handful of lemons in life. She with her courage, strength and positive attitude chose to make lemonade. Her story is an inspiration for all and to think she is just 17 years old. I said it in my last post she is my hero and I say it again.

For the past 2 years she has battled a rare form of cancer. She has been denied the vast majority to the high school experience. Her memories of that time will be of chemo etc.. Has all that she has gone through, soured Kendra on life, made her feel sorry for herself, not in the slightest. In fact it is the exact opposite, she is grateful for all those that were there for her and she want to give something back to help others. This leaves me at a loss for words.

Kendra, I don’t know you, but I have gained and grown as a person  from reading your story. I pray all of your life goals come to be. With your positive attitude and obvious internal strength, I have no doubt you will be inspiring others such as myself for many many years to come. Bless you.

Please watch Kendra’s You tube video. I spoke to her mother this morning and do have her home address to which donations can be sent. I am just reluctant to publish it here in such an open form. Should anyone wish to make a donation to her cause please let me know and we will figure out how to get it to her.

Here is the video: