Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Human Feelings

In a few of the comments I have read recently, I read of some I suppose basic human emotions. They span the entire spectrum from love on one side over to fear, panic and feelings of vulnerability. At least to some degree we have all experienced each of these and all the other emotions.

The context of these messages got me thinking back to the very first time I heard the dying word. I don’t think you can ever be prepared to hear that about your self. But, I suppose to some extent I had been prepared. By that I mean, Huh, I can’t even remember now, it was either after heart attack #3 or #4. I think #4 but it doesn’t matter. I had by that time on numerous occasions heard things like shortened life expectancy etc.

It is a huge leap though to go from hearing shortened life expectancy to you are dying. This may be strange I don’t know, but I didn’t even get upset. Instead it is like I went blank. I remember feeling totally empty inside except for what felt like a huge weight in my lower abdominal area. I felt lost, not knowing what to do. I am sure the doctor went on to say more after that but even 2 minutes after I left his office I could remember nothing but I AM DYING. That is news that cheers you right down. I became like a walking zombie, my body was there but really I wasn’t. At first I told no one. The zombie me just carried on, I wasn’t afraid, nor angry nothing. Maybe it was a form of denial, I was just empty.

Over the course of time I got a 2nd and then a 3rd opinion. I liked neither of them, they just confirmed what had been told to me. Somewhere in that time, the emotions started to kick in. Panic is the one I remember the best as I think it was with me the most. It was panic about all the things I wanted to and needed to get done. Outwardly I did my best to remain cool and calm. As my brain scrambled through all those emotions my body continued to feel hollow, empty inside??

Somewhere back there I also began to open up to family. Maybe I was avoiding saying the “I am dying” words because by saying them it would some how make it real. As long as I kept it my head maybe I thought is was then just a conceptual thing, just a thought and what is a thought, really nothing. Saying it made it real.

I really don’t understand this but as I began to talk about it, I suppose I opened up my heart to the love around me. That feeling of emptiness began to lessen.

Then I came up with the idea for this blog. because of my circumstances I had been doing a lot of reading on death, dying, the afterlife etc.. A few things really struck me doing that reading. Talking about death/dying is a taboo subject for most. We don’t even want to let ourselves think about it. As I thought about it, I realize that is a little ironic (I suppose that is a good word to describe what I am thinking). Dying is the one and only thing that each and everyone of us, every person on this planet has in common, we are all going to die when our time comes. As I read different books I began to see a pattern. One chapter would told of someone sad that they didn’t get to say good bye to a loved one. The next chapter would talk of someone being afraid, or nervous maybe just not wanting to go and visit the dying,. Total opposites of each other. I think to me the saddest stories were of those that for what ever reason passed up the opportunity to visit a loved one and then regretted it when it was to late.

I came up with the grandiose idea that maybe by sharing my story, I could maybe give others a bit of an understanding of what it is like and maybe alleviate some the the fears.

I admit I was very nervous and felt vulnerable about going on line and sharing my inner most thoughts. Dying is a very personal thing and we all deal with it in our own way. What sort of reaction would I get from baring my soul to the world?

A WONDERFUL REACTION is what it has proven to be. I have received loving support from literally all around the world. The more I opened up my heart and shared, the more vulnerable I became. I had to open my heart to let the love out. By opening it more love than I could ever have imagined flowed in. I thank  you all.

That hollow empty feeling has long since gone.

7 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Human Feelings

  1. souldipper says:

    This is making the best use of the internet! Connectivity has been in limited supply until this technology came along. It’s a blessing in so many ways.

    Bill, I am so glad you were willing to become vulnerable. Man, what you have done for others…

    Connecting people with other people with whom they would normally have never had the opportunity, is wonderful. In so many ways the internet is a blessing. a huge blessing for me. I have had the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world all kind and loving as are you my friend.
    I am very glad I started this adventure, it has been amazing. As for what ever I may have done for others, it definitely can’t come close to all it has done for me, emotionally, physcially and spritually.

  2. Noel says:

    Bill, I think this is the greatest thing who can do as a result of receiving the news about dying, besides spending quality time with loved ones. I think I would do the same thing if it happens to me. I would let others know, not so that they feel sorry for me, but so that I can share with others the beauty of living, especially upon known that my days are counted. I appreciate your blog. It inspires me to live a fuller life. I just received news about a family member of an in-laws who was just diagnosed with cancer, and was given hours to live. I wonder what he is going through. I cannot imagine. I then think what I would be thinking if I would be in his situation. I guess, after denying and fighting with God, I would eventually accept it and try to live every second with loved ones, without worrying about the little things, but look at the big picture instead. Anyways, I enjoy reading your posts very much. I have faith that some day we will meet in the after life. God bless you, brother.

    Hi Noel,
    I am so sorry to hear of your family member with the cancer, my prayers to to all. As would you, I do not write this so people will feel sorry for me. I am living a fuller live than ever before. My hope is that by sharing this part of my journey to give people a better understanding and appreciation for life. Life in general, on a daily basis, irregardless of health or circumstances.
    Blessings to you and I look forward to meeting you in the next world

  3. Mel says:

    Empty–that’s an accurate word. Numb and empty.

    Good things come from opening our hands and hearts.
    I’m grateful you opened yours.
    And I’m way grateful you took the risk to become ‘vulnerable’ here, with us. You could have turned off comments and not allowed others to share with you. I’m very glad that wasn’t the choice you made.

    There’s something about the connectedness here that brings me great comfort and peace.

    I think that’s you.

    (((((((((( Bill ))))))))))))

    Hi Mel, that numb empty feeling is not what you want to feel, I think we have both been there. Mel, I also thank you for opening up your heart and sharing with us as you have so often done in the past. Numerous times I have said there is more wisdom contained in the comments than I could ever hope to share. You contribute a lot to that.
    “There’s something about the connectedness here that brings me great comfort and peace.” Some how this blog has grown to be much more than “my blog” and I am so very happy about that. I feel that same connectedness and get the same feelings of comfort and peace. There have been times in the past when I am not feeling so spry and just so tired and worn out, I have had brief thoughts of just letting it all go. Those thoughts are brief as they are quickly overwhelmed with the thoughts of that comfort and peace. You are all such great blessings to me. The blog all of the readers help keep me going with the prayers and kind messages

  4. Mel says:


    Forgive me for the rambling….but it’s that ‘human emotions’ deal.

    Can I just say I don’t always LIKE being human and having them?
    I do not.

    It’s the package I’ve come in today–and they’re mine to sort through and deal with. The cool thing about it is I don’t have to deal alone. That’s the thing that I can tend to forget…..or misplace while I’m in the midst of fear.

    I’m thinkin’ about you.
    And others.

    It does my heart good to get out of me and my ‘stuff’ to do that. Good things always happen for me when I do that.
    I dunno how that works ….. I just know it does.

    ((((((((( Bill ))))))))))) Thinking of you!!

  5. pattiredd says:

    Bill – Thanks for this particular posting. Thinking the word “dying” and living the “dying” are also two different things. Sometimes I feel strung out and angry, then the next second I feel reconciled, then I’ll have a good old fashioned crying session in the closet. But, all of that seems so selfish when I come out of the feelings of the moment. The fear of death has been drilled into many of us in the western communities of the world (i.e., US). We’ve been taught to be afraid and to think death is a frightening, ugly thing. I think what’s frightening and ugly, though, is the pre-death dance. And, that’s where faith – any kind of faith – must come into play. We have so much to learn, each and everyone of us. Thank you for sharing your lessons and experiences – you are a blessing for many of us in the struggle of dealing with the day to day realities of death; take care! Patti

    Hi Patti, excellent comment, I thank you for sharing these deep feelings with us. Ahh, that “pre-death dance”, isn’t that what so much of all of this all about. We can be surrounded by people but it is a dance we must ultimatly do alone. I think that adds to the fear factor, I mean what else is there in this world that we truly do alone? I think that can add to the fear factor here we are venturing off into this great unknown, alone.

    It is sad what so many of us have been taught about death, creating these fears within us. We fear it so much we don’t want to talk about it or even in many cases even think about it as applying to ourselves.

    Faith or lack there of makes a huge difference at this time in our lives. I have written often of my strong beliefs and lean heavily on that belief system.
    My very best to you my friend, be kind to yourself.

  6. six1eight says:

    thank you so much for your courage and generosity in sharing your experience with dying. i stumbled onto it why i searched “coping with a dying loved one.” that’s what i’m currently going through now…my partner of only one year is dying of terminal cancer. a very short and yet to blossom relationship has been given the death sentence, along with his life.

    i am often at a loss, angry, sad, afraid, anxious and even numb at the prospect of losing him and not having him around in the future. and i often am at loss on how to help him cope as well.

    reading your entries so far (i’ve only gotten through a couple) has been really helpful though. everyone is different so i am sure my partner is dealing with his dying differently. but it is helpful to know what may be some of the things he’s thinking about/going through inside.

    thank you again for sharing your thoughts. i wish you peace.

    Hi six1eight welcome to the blog. I thank you for leaving this comment. I am so very sorry to hear of you loved ones condition. It is so very hard on you both. I have though written many times it is more difficult I belief for the families. The families face their own lose while at the same time are forced to sit back helplessly so badly wanting to help but are unable to do so.
    I remind you I am not a doctor, man of the clergy nor a therapyist. I am just a regular guy sharing my own thoughs and feelings. Every situation is different and it is a very individual, personal time, that we will each deal with in our own way.
    Speaking for myself the best support is just know my loved ones are there for me.
    My prayers are with you. Please return to the blog as often as you like and leave what ever type of comment you need to at the moment, be it ranting and raving, crying or just chatting.

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