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


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!!!!!

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

  1. Lenore Diane says:

    Bill, thank you for sharing this woman’s email with us. Loneliness is horrible when one is healthy – to feel alone when one is sick is much worse.

    My heart and thoughts of strength and support are with you and your friend, Bill. May you continue to inspire and support each other, while giving the rest of us valuable life lessons.

  2. souldipper says:

    It’s very hard to stand by helplessly knowing a friend is alone and hurting.

    The invitation is before her. If your generosity is not accepted, you at least know you have done all you can.

  3. JUANITA says:

    My prayers are with her. I know first hand what she is going through. I want her to know she is not alone, she has the love of many.

  4. I agree with Lenore that loneliness when you’re well can be awful, when you’re sick and in pain it must be so much worse. I do hope we get to say a hello to your friend or if not, that she will know that without needing a name or a face she is nonetheless in our thoughts.

  5. Mel says:

    I’m tearful and overwhelmed.

    See–I know what she says is true. I know what being alone in the midst of the pain and in the sheer terror of the moment felt like. And I know what it meant to me to be able to sign into a chatroom at 3 in the morning and find someone to talk to…anyone to talk to–just PLEASE talk to me.
    It was a silent scramble that I didn’t dare share. I knew it would drive people the opposite direction and I’d be alone with it all…..again. It was a life saving venue. It helped me keep my sanity at a time when everything felt insane.

    Oh Bill–
    I’m so glad she’s connected with someone. And I’m so glad that someone is you.
    I asked…..G-d heard…..Please connect–please come back, please let people care about you so you don’t have to walk through this alone. The circumstances create enough alienation and loneliness. No one ought to have to do this alone………. No one NEEDS to do it alone.
    II’m so glad she’s been able to just say what’s true for her somewhere….with someone.

    And if I had ‘faith in a bottle’ I’d open it up and ask that she breathe it in and just LET herself connect with others here or by email–no matter what.
    Talk the weather. Learn about another place. BE connected to people. Share with others who are hurting. Care about others. Let people care about you…..
    There’s so much left to give, even when we think we have nothing to offer.

    It’s a leap of faith and I know that.
    And it all starts with a willingness to just DO it.

    *huge hugs*

    Tearful and overwhelmed.
    And so very grateful she connected with someone like you.

  6. meg says:

    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

    • rangewriter says:

      Meg, it breaks my heart to think that you are going through this transition alone. I hope you are at least not physically alone. Perhaps we are all somewhat alone emotionally as we go from here to there.

      I wonder if you have ever seen Dia’s blog: http://acuriouscure.wordpress.com/
      Dia is not transitioning, but like you, she has worked in the hospice profession and seems to have connected in an almost shamanistic way to the process of dying. She speaks openly and eloquently about it…not as something to fear and deny, but as something to face, an opportunity to make things right before leaving, stuff like that. Perhaps you would feel comforted by reading some of her posts on the topic.

      Anyway, please know that you do have friends, even though they may seem intangible because they are so far away….cyber friends. What a world.

      I will leave with this wish. May this evening bring you eight painfree hours of happy-dream-sleep.
      Linda

    • Mel says:

      I’ve visited a number of times in the past 24 hours and all I can do is read this and Bills post above…. and get weepy. Absolutely nothing I have in me to say it makes it as big as it’s felt. Small words, hugely felt–Thank you.

      I have this passion that tells me again and again and again to pass on the message– ‘let people walk though things with you’. Mostly borne from my own stubborn experience of trying so hard to be ‘independent’ and ‘self sufficient’…..and I’m a prideful gal, sometimes a bit of a martyr. I learned invaluable lessons and have had priceless, precious experiences based on that one little lesson I had to walk through.
      It changed my life, my perception and my ability to love and let others love me. I had no clue how powerful that ‘simple’ thing was. (not easy–but simple….)

      You’re right. You mention death/dying in the company of others and the air changes. They struggle–just as much as I struggled in letting what was true BE said. I didn’t like how it seemed to affect them, no matter what drove the reaction. Sometimes it had so little to do with me and had more to do with things in them that I wasn’t privileged to know……..didn’t matter–still felt like I was the center of the issue/problem/discomfort.

      It’s good to have somewhere, someONE where you can simply say what’s true for you. It’s good you found that in your relationship with Bill. I know he feels blessed–just as you do.

      I’m proud of you for coming back. I’m proud of you for sharing what you shared.
      I hope for more.
      I’m greedy like that.
      And I know that as I give to the world, so shall the world give back to me–a thousand fold.
      I know that today.
      I hope for you to take that experience with Bill and apply it with others…..you don’t have to do this alone. It’s awesome when you don’t–you’re experiencing that and I want you to have more of it. LOTS more…….cuz……..

      ((((((((((((((((((( Meg ))))))))))))))))))))))

      Thank you.
      Small words. HUGELY felt.

      Bill’s place is open 24 hours, 365 days a year.
      Ain’t that way cool?! 🙂

  7. Deric says:

    Hi Meg, THANK you for your words and the spirit that I felt with them; brought tears of gratitude, connection and “NO, we don’t want anyone to feel alone; please reach out!”… and you did. 🙂 Did I read that you are Scottish or have Scottish heritage with the phrase you wrote? My lineage is of the Pyper line on my grandma’s side 🙂

  8. Meg says:

    It is almost 2.30 in the morning here just now and I am having a rough time. Reading the kind and understanding words left in Bills blog feels like a huge hug from around the world, giving me strength, my own little cheer leading squad supporting and making it possible to get through until it is medication time again. Words on a page could never convey what bill and his blogging friends are giving me; a gift so precious and so needed. I may be physically alone here in a cold and windswept scotland but I no longer feel emotionally alone and that is the most precious thing of all.

    • Mel says:

      *hugs*

      That 2:30 in the morning time is a tough time. There are so few ‘available’ places and people at that hour–and if you’re me, you’re left with your own thinking (baddddd plan for me!). I’m glad you checked in and found the messages folks have left. The computer became my friend with chatrooms and folks from different time zones available any time I found myself in one of those moments. I assigned myself to a support group chatroom and message board– and made them my home for those times. It worked to keep me connected and involved in something besides the craziness of my own thinking.

      You just keep coming back, Meg. Please.
      There’s a great little community here–folks from all places in all sorts of circumstances willing to support and cheer you on.

      I’m gladly digging out pom poms and passing them around! 😉

  9. Dia says:

    I’m thinking of you right now, Meg, wherever you are, and I’m so GLAD you’re here with us, on this page, and not quite so alone because of it. It makes all of us a little less alone, too. Gentle hugs and thank you for everything you did for others as they were making their final journey. I like to imagine they’re all there waiting for you now.

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