Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Birthday presents please

November 27, 2011

I want to send a big hi to a dear cyber friend Jennie. a few years back Jennie honored me honored me by trusting me enough to accompany (via email) through what can only be called a very difficult time in her life. I thank you for that Jennie. I find myself now owing you a second thank you. With everything happening right now, I had actually forgotten my birthday is coming up and I am flat out asking for a birthday gift from every person that may read this. That is right, I am asking for a birthday gift from YOU, actually 2 gifts. They are gifts I will appreciate and treasure in my mind forever.

Gift #1 Perform a random act of kindness, preferably it will even be anonymous. The size of the act of kindness doesn’t matter, for whom it is done doesn’t matter, I am just asking that something be done. It is something that is done with no expectations of thanks, reward or recognition. A gift coming straight from the love and beauty contained within our hearts. I know we all do many of these sort of things everyday and that is wonderful. I am asking that you make a special effort to do one more. Let the love and kindness within your heart pour out.

What sort of gifts am I talking about, well it can be anything. When you neighbor is out run over and shovel the snow off their sidewalk and leave them wondering who would have done such a nice thing. If you see someone’s parking meter has expired just shove in a quarter. If you are going through a drive through restaurant, pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line. There are just thousands of little things that could be done. Just be alert actually looking for an opportunity and then do it.

Again I can’t stress enough the size of this gift doesn’t matter, for whom it is done doesn’t matter. All that matters to me is that you open your eyes and your hearts to look for the opportunity and then do it.

Now come the gift part for me. Leave me a comment telling me what you did. Now this won’t be seen as bragging but instead as a gift to me. Letting me share in the warm glow you are feeling from within your heart, knowing I did something good and kind. I did it not for any other reason than I saw a need and realized I could help.

I truly am hoping for  many many birthday gifts.

Gift request #2 – Scroll to the top of this page. There you will see listed across a number of other pages I have started and added to the blog. There is one page in particular I would like you to look at. It is titled “the spirit within me”. On this page I have started a very non-exculsive club. I hope you will join. Let me know what you think

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Dying Man’s Daily Journal – All are welcome, please

November 26, 2011

We are having more remodeling done, replacing the outer doors of the house. The opening for the front door is an irregular size which is causing extra work for the guys putting them in. I really do appreciate all the effort and extra work being done. I really don’t imagine they will ever see this but hello and thank you to Don, Glen and John.

I am gong to keep this short as I want to get over to try and acknowledge directly the wonderful comments.

What is this blog? It is me sharing the final part of my earthly journey. I share my thought, Ideas and feelings such as they are. I am so glad Meg has joined in with our little family here, sharing details of her thoughts, experiences and feelings as she travels this same journey. In the recent comments there have been suggestions that this is a meeting place for any and all travelling this journey. none of us need to be alone we can travel it together, helping and supporting each other as we go. Yes, I have heard the you are dying words and it sucks but I am not the only one that has heard them. I would hope that this blog can become so much more than just about me. I welcome all to join in sharing, comforting and supporting each other as we go.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Dying is lonely

November 24, 2011

I heard something one time that went something like this: “sometimes one of the loneliest places in the world can be when you are in a room full of people.” If we think about that I think we can all understand that at least to some extent. Imagine you are invited to attend a huge party or celebration of some sort, hundreds of people will be there and if for some reason you have to go alone. suppose you know no one at the party, how are you likely to feel? At times shere numbers can be over whelming. Others may go out of their way to try to welcome you. You may realize all the others there are close friends with whom you have nothing in common. It can be a lonely place to be you can feel the odd man out. Having something in common is at least a good starting point in being able to strike up a conversation. having something in common will allow that conversation with someone that has some knowledge or understanding of of the subject you are discussing.

What if you are dying? Who can you talk to then? Now, I do not mean in any way for this to slight or insult all the wonderful loving care givers out there. What you are doing is fantastic, please keep it up. Your help and support means more than you will ever know.

It is just if you are dying, that thought can play a prominent role in your mind. Some times you just need to talk about it. All those around you may be the most wonderful,loving caring people you can imagine. All trying to be as loving and as supportive as possible and yes I am sure you can talk to them. It is just no matter how hard they try they can’t truly empathize which what you are going through. When it comes right down to it, what you are going through is a private, individual journey of life. But, if you can talk to another person in your situation, they will at least have a better understanding and be able to relate to some of those thoughts and feelings that can haunt us.

I know that feeling of loneliness very well. I am so very blessed to have the blog here. I can express my thoughts and feelings and have received the loving support of so many. I will be eternally grateful

I have recently put up a couple of posts about a lady I have been conversing with. Yes again, this is the lady with the hot air balloon ride and the cooking lessons. Her name is Meg and after some coaxing and encouraging she had joined us here on the blog.

She speaks so well of the loneliness of dying in a comment yesterday. Now I do know for a fact many don’t always read the comments left and that is such a shame. In those comments is so much more than I can ever offer. Because of this I am posting Meg’s comment as part of todays post.

“November 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm  (Edit)

Hi

I am the woman who has been in contact with Bill for the last eight months.  I have been humbled by his generosity of spirit and time since I first came across his blog and I see that same generosity reflected in the comments left by those who visit his blog.

i wonder how many people who still inhabit the world of the living, rather than the living-dying, can truly appreciate what Bill and his blog has given to those of us in the last stages of our life.  I doubt it – try mentioning death in casual conversation and then sit back and watch the ensuing fidgeting and discommfort and unease.  I think the dying process is one of the best kept secrets we have in our world.  It saddens me for at a time when connections and relationships are so important it sometimes feels we suffer a ‘social’ death long before our biological bodies draw their last breath.

I have spent my professional career working with people who are dying and my own biggest fear was never death itself but dying alone, not just physically alone but emotionally alone if people in my life were unable to accompany me into the void if their own fear of death overwhelmed them.  I have no family and when my husband died I threw myself into my work as it was the only part of me I felt safe in.  Now I find myself facing my own certain death and although I am physically alone, Bill and his blog had brought me a comfort that mere words on a page could never convey.

Sharing my dying process and engaging with Bill in his dying process has given me a sense that I matter and I will be missed, personally.

I am so grateful for the kindness and warmth that saturates the comments left in response to Bill posting my e-mail and will treasure each as a precious memory that will give me a longed for buffer during the journey that lays ahead.  Who knows, perhaps I can develop some friendships here amongst like minded people who ‘get’ this whole dying thing from the inside.

with love to all who share Bill’s blog and bask in his kindness, openness and warmth – truly one of the worlds ‘good eggs’

meg


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Just rambling

November 23, 2011

Up really early this morning 4:00am. With my sleep apnea on occasion I wake up choking, unable to breathe. Now this has happened enough times that I know all I have to do is sit up and breathing is back. It just seems that no matter how many times it happens though, the adrenaline is pumping or something and I am wide awake. Will go for my nap later.

Saw my family doctor yesterday, I just needed some paper work for the insurance company through which I am paid my disability benefits. I am just sitting here thinking and realize I really should give credit where it is due. My disability pension is through Manual Life and they really have been wonderful. That monthly disability cheque keeps rolling in it is what financially keeps us going. It certainly takes away a lot of stress just knowing it is there.

Yesterday I started a post about how winter was finally upon us. We have a couple of inches of snow but then I hear the forecast is for temperatures around +4 or 5 for the next couple of days. What little snow we have will very likely disappear. Now this is almost un-heard of for Manitoba, coming up to the end of November and no snow and temperatures on the plus side of zero. Global warming of what ever I don’t know but I am loving it.

Pushing as hard as “I” can trying to get the couple of reno’s or remodel done to the house. These are things Vi would like done and will undoubtedly add to the resale value of the house. Feeling like a sense of urgency to get it done quickly. Had the exterior door of the house replaced yesterday the new one in the front has more glass and looks very nice. For me i am starting work in the laundry room. In there the work that would likely take anyone else a weekend will take me a good couple of months for sure but then I do work at “Bill” speed.

My mind keep rolling back to one section of that form the doctor filled out for me. I think it asked for overall condition or something, he just put deteriorating.


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Thoughts/wishes of a dying young lady

November 20, 2011

I am taking a liberty here and posting the contents of an email I have received. A few posts ago I wrote of a friend with whom I was exchanging emails. I wrote of her working through the preparing to leave this earth process, which in our turn is something we must all do in our turn. I wrote of her coming to terms with the situation and deciding to make the best of the hand in life she has been dealt.

In the email she shows gratitude to me personally which is nice and I so appreciate it. Messages such as hers make it so much easier for me to drag my lazy butt to the computer some days. But that is NOT the point of this post. I am using her so well written words to illustrate how a few loving supportive words can help us all and that is irregardless of circumstances.

Now this particular lady is in the end stages of a long painful battle with cancer. She has fought the good fight but the battle is nearing its end. Yes, this is the lady I wrote about taking the hot air balloon ride and signing up for the cooking classes. I have never met this lady and know I never will but that doesn’t matter. I have come to admire her and respect her deeply. As I do not have her specific OK to publish her message I am leaving her identity anonymous. My friend I am sure you are going to read this, I invite you to please join us here.

I share her comment to illustrate how important and appreciated our words can be. She mentions a dream, can we help her fulfill that dream? Let’s show her the love and support she needs

Hi Bill

I have read your blog piece and am truly honoured.  I also read your piece about Mel and would agree that from the things I have read on your blog that she has left that she is a very special person and one I wish I had the privilege of being in communication with.   The time you give to me is so very special and I treasure it.  Knowing that there is one person in this whole world of ours that will take a moment to think of me or remember me when I am gone means more than simple words on a page could ever convey.  I wonder sometimes if you know how much you have given to me.  Here is an example, last night I felt awful; I was in so much pain and feeling so very sick and when I feel that bad the loneliness of my life really seems to hit me, the fact there is nobody I could pick the phone up to and have a chat with to try and take my mind away from the pain coursing through my battered body.  So I opened up your blog and felt a sense of connection with you and the others on your blog that made me feel less alone and more able to cope with the pain.  That is such a precious gift that you have given me Bill.  I guess that was what was behind my idea of the chat room.  I know that there will be others who feel totally alone, perhaps not because like me they have no friends or family but maybe purely from that sense of separation when we move from the world of the living to the world of the living-dying.  Anyone feeling that need for connection could just pop in for a wee blether (a good scottish word meaning a chat!) and feeling connected can help cope with physical, psychological and existential pain and that can only be a good thing.

I now for both of us that time and energy are limited.  That is why the time you have spent e-mailing me and chatting to me means more than you will ever know.  You see Bill, I know you have a warm and loving family wrapped around your heart and many friends too so to give some of your precious self to me is so generous.  I, on the other hand, have nobody that needs a piece of my precious time so for that reason I would suggest that it is you that has honoured me with time and connection when you have so many others to share with.

Part of me thinks just release my e-mail on your blog and try and get more precious connections in this world of the living-dying!  Gosh, how lovely would that be?  To have e-mails to reply to, people to share my hopes and dreams with and my live life to the full adventures!!!  A girl can dream!!!!!


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Words/Friends

November 18, 2011

Before drifting off to sleep  last night I spent some time laying there just thinking about the blog. Everything about the blog has been such a wonder, such a support for me.

I was thinking especially of the wonderful, kind and loving people I have met here. For the first time I am editing a post. I had started listing down the names of so many of my dear blogging friends, those that have come to mean so much to me and have helped and supported me through this time. I had quite a number of names listed and had gone on to the next paragraph. I was typing away when another name popped into my mind back I came and added it. After I had come back 3 or 4 times adding names each time, it came to me that I am “memory guy”. As I sit here like this there is no way I am going get anywhere near a complete list which would be unfair to the many I would miss.

Maybe I can just put it this way. I thank everyone that has helped and supported me through this journey, you know who you are and you will always  be in my heart. Please always remember every single comment no matter how short has helped me and I thank all. This is a message that is important for me to get out while and when I still can. As with everything in life, with each passing day we are a day closer to the end of the blog, which we all know will be sooner rather than later.

As I sit here thinking of all my blogging friends, Mel just sort of comes instantly to mind. She has become a dear friend another friend with whom I at times exchange emails. Now I see over in the site statistics section we now have a section that shows how many times individuals have graced us with their wisdom through a comment. Mel has bless me/us 214 times. Mel, you have been with me since almost the very beginning, I thank you so much, you have helped carry me through some pretty rough times. If you have never visited Mel’s site pop over and visit her, you will be so glad you did, it is wonderful.

It blows me away when I sit here and think about it. Here we all are, mostly a bunch of strangers. We have never met in person and realistically never will and we share words. Really that is it, nothing more we exchange words via the computer/internet. In one way when you think about it how much more impersonal could it get. Yet here we seem to have been able to make it all very personal, very loving and supportive. It is all in the power of the words we use and the way we use them.  Here we use our words to up lift, support and show compassion to these “strangers” we have met here on-line and it is wonderful. I am amazed and find it almost beyond belief. With this we see the power of our words. Now let’s just think about this for a moment. With in our own personal lives do we use our words in such a positive, loving and supportive way. If not, why not?  We see the power of words used in a loving supportive way. Can we use that ability in our regular lives?


Dying Man’s Daily Journal – An example of how to LIVE

November 17, 2011

Can’t seem to quite shake the after effects of the pneumonia/chest infection. I feel better for a few days and then it seems to come roaring back. I seem to be making progress though as each time that it does return it seems to be less severe than the time before. It must be close to 2 months that I have had this and it does start to wear on you after a while.

I am sure we have all this happen to us. Every once in a while we run into a person that we find to be inspirational. I don’t have the words to describe how many of my friends here on the blog have been like that for me, inspirational. I am humbled and so very grateful for you contributions to my life.

I want to share part of the story of one lady with whom I have had the privilege of exchanging emails. Now I always make it a practice of asking permission before I share anything received via email, that is private. She has given me permission to share any parts of her messages which I will be doing. Her over all story I do not have permission to share and will there for keep her identity anonymous.  My friend though, I am certain you will be reading this and I hope you will feel encouraged to respond by sharing some of your vast wisdom and knowledge here on the blog.

Man this is tough, I am actually trying to write a post instead of just sitting down and rambling away. Finding the words, geesh, rambling sure is a lot easier.

I first met this lady through a comment she left here on the blog months back. That first post was almost difficult to read as through her words the pain was so real it was like I could feel it myself. As much as I can when I get a message like this, I try my best to respond on the blog but also send an email, which I did. She honored me with a reply and so began our email friendship/relationship. She lives so far away, on a different continent we both know we will never meet in person, but that doesn’t matter. Being able to openly and honestly share thoughts and feelings with another human being is what is important.

She is in the final stages of a long loosing battle with cancer.. Let’s just say we know her time is limited and she is well aware of that.

I think it is fair to say and very understandably so, she was really struggling. Her husband has passed, their only child has passed. Tragically, she is a young woman and facing this alone. When we first met, I think it was the alone part that was the most difficult for her to deal with at that time. Now notice I said she honored me with a reply to my email, I mean that when I say honored me. So sadly it seems, it is only when we get to this point in our lives that we come to realize how precious every day, every hour, every minute of our time is. That she would choose to spend some of her precious time with me, a stranger, is an honor. Some time we just chat about anything and everything. Other times we talk about the realities and the difficulties of our situations. She has shared with me the difficulties of the chemo and radiation treatments, the pain, the total lack of enegy, nausea and always feeling cold.

One of the primary focuses of my blog is to encourage people to live their lives. We don’t want to die so obviously that means we want to keep living our lives. Yet are we? Are we living or are we just enduring waiting to die? Think about it in your own life.

I say that and I believe that and want to live my life to the very best I can. It is a struggle and it can be so up lifting when I see someone actually doing that. My dear freind has gone from struggling to living, making the best of what she has. She is really living life in the best way she can. Life can sometimes through us a curve ball that we can’t control. What we can control is how we deal with it. How is she dealing with it, a few weeks ago she went hot air ballooning. Last week she began cooking classes.

I am not sure what more to say than I am humbled. Can we somehow take her shining example and use it in our own lives.