Dying Man’s Daily Journal – To know you are dying

One of the big benefits of having a journal is being able to go back and read where you were physically, emotionally and spiritually at that time. It gives you an idea of how far you have come in the interim. It started with me googling a couple of terms I was looking for information on or inspiration from. My own blog came up in the list of reference sites, Geesh, what good is that!!! I wrote it so I must already know that. I have come to accept “I am memory guy”. Who knows what I have forgotten, not me anyway.

I am not sure why but some how I feel kind of embarrassed going back a rereading some of what I posted. Mostly I treat this as a private journal in which I just post what ever thoughts are in my head at the time. It would be one thing if I left it as a “private” journal but no I share it with the world, hoping someone, anyone may benefit in some way from what I write. I have started to read some at different times but never made it too far along before that feeling of “embarrassment” came along and I quit. So I can say about 95% of my own posts I have never read. I have never proof read, edited or anything. The first couple of years or so I didn’t even use spell checker. (I do spell check now) but that is it. I type it and up it goes, straight from the heart. Some I read and thing, gee, I was on a pretty good role that day. Others though just sort of make me cringe and hang my head with thoughts of hitting the delete button coming to mind.

I am going to keep going. Geesh, I hadn’t looked at the stats lately, this is post #899. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would make it this far. More and more going forward I may likely be putting up bits and pieces of previous posts.

Here is a bit from a post way back in Nov/06.

My administrators site, here on the blog, allows me to see the wording people put into their search engines to find my journal. Most often are inquiries into how to talk to the dying or on what it feels like to know you are dying.

How does it feel to know you are dying? That is a difficult question, because the answer can be different from day to day or even from hour to hour. The feeling, range from denial, to fear, to guilt, to anger, to sadness and to acceptance. It is the same, I suppose, as any grieving process. You can’t work your way through one set of feelings and neatly move on to the next.

It is almost like being at the beach, standing in the water on a windy day. A wave comes at you and almost knocks you off your feet. You struggle and regain your balance, just in time for the next wave to hit. Over time, the strength of the waves subside and you think your footing is a little more secure. Suddenly, out of seemingly no where another large wave hits and you almost lose your balance again.

I suppose that pretty much describes the grieving process for anything. You can be hit by wave after wave of denial or anger, what ever, each wave trying to knock you down. The emotional waves don’t hit in any particular order or strength. Gradually, these waves do lessen in strength or intensity and you come to the peacefulness of acceptance. You are still not out of the water, and at anytime a wave can suddenly come back and hit.

Over time these emotional waves become less frequent and less severe. For me acceptance came almost as a relief. Knowing, I would not have to deal with the roller coaster ride of emotions, the ups and downs. Am I totally free of these feelings, no. I don’t really know, if I ever will be totally free. As long as you are alive, how can you be totally free of your feelings? Accepting them is one, thing being free of them is another. The waves have just been downsized and more easily manageable.

Maybe, I am still in an element of denial. I know what the doctors have said and I accept that. I just don’t think it is going to happen any time soon. Is that denial or just the human spirit pushing us on? I don’t know. With acceptance does that mean I have given up? No. Does that mean I have lost the will to live? NO. All it means is I am ready to go when God calls me, but not one minute before that. I do not fear death, I just want to delay it as long as possible.

5 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – To know you are dying

  1. Cat says:

    I know that feeling of embarrassment in reading old blog entries, journals, emails, letters, etc. I have the same problem! I’ve recently been going through reams of old email and other online correspondence from several years ago, and I don’t even recognize myself in some of it. Last year I went back through my earliest blog posts and deleted several of them. It’s funny how much we can change in a few short years.

    Hi Cat. I heard some where that change is the only true constant in our lives. I am going to leave all the posts up maybe just to be a reminder to myself as to how far I have come.
    Nice hearing from you

  2. Brian Alger says:

    “I type it and up it goes, straight from the heart.” How wonderful – this is the essence of authentic writing. I don’t do much proof-reading or editing on my site either. I hope you continue your focus on writing from the heart, and not getting too worried about the mechanics of things. Your writing is inspired and rare.

    What I sense about your experience is that you are finding/have found ways of accepting and learning to live with the “waves of emotions” you must unavoidably experience. You spirit of survival and desire to live life to its fullest is very compelling indeed.

    Hi Brian and thank you for the kind comment. I refer to myself as a rambler rather than a writer. I just type what ever comes and up it goes. Maybe it is I am too lazy to go and reread, edit and such. I write from the heart, sadly it seems my heart is a terrible speller so thank goodness for spell checker.
    I am learning and am becoming much better at dealing with the challenges of life. I know I will continue to learn as long as I remain on this earth as will we all if we are open to it. I do know there are still some waves that come along that will rock my boat but I am getting there.
    It is really nice hearing from you

  3. Joanne says:

    I came across thos site as I was goggling “diabetes and dying”. If I may share with you, my stepfather passed away yesterday as a result of this illness.
    Your story is his story,he died of his diabetic related complications, heart, circulatory, lungs and brain. He did a leg amputation last Friday, his surgeon told us at 5.30 pm the surgery went well, only problem he was not brething on his won and was doing so with the help of a ventilator but should wake up in a couple hours. Great news, went to the ICU to visit him, then the clinical ICU doctor asked to speak with the family. We were asked to meet in the “quiet room” and was told quite a different progonosis to the surgeon’s earlier good report. My stepfather was in very critical condition, his heart is failing, it is only beating because of medicine used to contract the muscles, he has severe infections in his blood, and his lungs are also failing. How does my 67 year old mother digest this when she thought he would be ok just one hr ago? Anyhow we left the hospital and went home to try to get a good night’s sleep to return on Saturday to the hospital. We arrived and was told he was taken off sedation at 3.00am Sat morning but was still not waking up on his own. He was becoming restless and pulling at his tubes so he was sedated again, more bad news his situation was becoming worst and he could die from his complications. He did pass on Sunday at 1.05pm as his heart failed. Reason I choose to share this is, diabetes is a silent killer but the unanwered question is, did the surgeon not know the complications after the surgery but choose to deliver false optimism?

    hi Joanne. I am so terribly sorry to hear of the passing of your step father. My most sincere condolences to you and you family. You have all been through such a terrible last few days, my heart goes out to you all. I wish I had some magic words that could make you feel even the least bit better but I don’t or I would be shouting them from the roof tops.
    As to the surgeon, I can only imagine the what ever he said, it was done with the best of intensions or to the best of his knowledge at the time.
    You have family around you, I pray you can cling to each other, lean on each other for support. Love each other to honor your step fathers memory.
    Also please know you are very welcome to return here to the blog to share or express what ever feelings you have be having at the moment. You can cry, vent, rant or just share memories. All will be welcome and you will find a supportive group that has gathered here to listen and comfort as we can.
    You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

    • Mel says:

      (((((((( Joanne ))))))))))

      I’m so sorry for the empty place in your life and the hurt in your heart. He was obviously well loved by you…..and loved well.

  4. Mel says:

    Gosh, Bill. You gotta know that I just don’t bother to go back and read through the gazillion non-sense posts that I stick up on the weblog. I tend to write for me, at that moment in time. I’m sure I’d be deleting lots if I bothered to go back. *laughing* Which is why I won’t. Maybe at some point I’ll feel inclined to do that. But frankly, I think I’d need the reminder of ‘this was a big deal THEN and today you don’t remember it?!’…and the ‘oh my how you’ve grown…….’ would be a good thing. (leastwise I’d hope so….LOL)

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