I am now a 62 year old male living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The past several years has seen a real transformation in my life and in my very thought process. Hearing the words “you are dying” come out of your doctors mouth, tends to really catch your attention, or at least it did in my case. I can now see that it was indeed at that moment, the “transformation” of my thinking began in earnest.
I have had numerous “wake up” calls in my life. With each my thinking and my actions in life did change, but sadly for me any change was minimal or temporary.
I had my first heart attack when I was 39 and have had 4 more since then. Two of which were very serious, one followed by by-pass surgery. Three of the others were followed by an angioplasty with a stent being implanted in my heart each time. A brain tumor was discovered and over time a few more conditions were diagnosed, the most serious being my current heart failure. Each event in itself, a wake up call but I just didn’t want to hear it. I blindly carried on in my own old way of doing things and of thinking things. No, that is not entirely true. My thinking did change a little, but I suppose it was almost in an arrogant way. I became proud of how tough and strong I was. I mean four heart attacks hadn’t put me down, doesn’t that show how tough and strong I am.
Three little words out of my doctors mouth “you are dying” was finally a wake up call I could hear. Oh, I could hear this one loud and clear.
With this my thinking began to change, I began to see life differently. I see, I wasn’t in the past being tough and strong, I was being stupid (man do I hate using that word to describe myself, but if the shoe fits) or blind or maybe in denial. I am sure there was an element of laziness thrown in there also. Changing your thinking, your way of life takes work and effort, something I sadly wasn’t ready to do. I suppose it could be said my laziness paid off in the end, I didn’t end up having to work at it at all. I had left it to late. I left it until I got the BIG call and then it just seemed to happen. I had to wait to the point when I am dying before I could begin to see life more clearly. Oh, how I am kicking myself now.
I try to chronicle my on going medical issues, (heart failure, edema, brain tumor, epilepsy, diabetes and severe memory loss.) I hope in a way that provides hope to others. Life does not stop because of an illness. Life carries on with the only difference being, whether we choose to live it or endure it. Life is beautiful, sadly we often don’t appreciate how beautiful until we are about to loose it. Attitude is everything.
I hope by sharing my thoughts I can maybe help others see their own wake ups calls on time and not wait as I did. I hope by sharing my story I can provide possibly an element of comfort to others in my situation and maybe a bit of an understanding about this whole dying process to families and friends. It is a natural part of the life process and doesn’t have to be feared.
I am truly bless as I make my journey to be supported by my faith, loving family and friends. All of which I share here. I realize dying is not exclusive to those of the Christian faith and while I may share my individual beliefs, it is not my intention that this should be a Christian site. Rather it be a place of sharing and learning, as we all are or eventually will be preparing for our final earthly voyage. All are welcome to join in and leave comments as they see fit. Sharing expressing thoughts and feelings. I invite comments from those of all Faiths, we are all in this together.
I was hoping to see some background information on you, so I could understand better what you are going through.
I wanted to pass along to you my friend’s blog. It may be inspirational to you. She has shown tremendous courage through this most difficult journey. http://patriciapblog.blogspot.com/
It is difficult for her to post often. She does have a bendhi head mouse, which allows her to operate her computer.
To give you some background, after she got sick, her husband was diagnosed with two brain tumours. We believe it was the deep grieving, which for him, had already begun. He passed away not long after the surgery.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog. For more inspiration,
I invite you to look at my photo blog:
and my website where you will see my artwork: http://www.blumoonart.com
I will be visiting your blog again. Stay strong.
Yeah, I too was hoping for some information coming to your About page.
With Love ~
Hello there. I was saddened but inspired to read your daily messages because the harsh reality took hold that life happens whether you want it to or not. What I learned is that you need to keep living as long as you are here to do so. Explore your faith and surround yourself with people you love as much as you can.
Thank you for reminding me just how precious life can be and that no matter what, live each day as if it were your last.
I’m glad to hear Vi is feeling better. My heart started to race just reading your posting. I had to skip forward to the part where Vi was okay and then go back and read.
I just got back home and into the swing of things and just wanted to say thanks for having me over. It was great to see you guys and as always it was like no time had passed. Hopefully we can do it again soon when Mike and the kids are along too.
Take care guys, and Happy Holidays! Heather
I just found out about your blog from Free Press this morning.
I looked at it and read a bit.
Some of what you say is familiar to me.
Back in 1994 Doctor diagnosed me with Cardiomyapathy.
Had a few months of work then and again in 97 and then in 98 for 9 months and also in 2004 from January to Sept and finally retired in Feb 2005.
Also use CPAP.
At time of diagnosis Dr said the only cure for what I have is a transplant but in reality I am not at that stage yet if I manage my day and its activities.
I will read all your blog notes over the next few days and will drop in and read regularly. I am in Winnipeg like you.
I too was reading the Free Press and this article caught my eye and felt I had to write…….my heart goes out to your family and you. My mother passed away in August 2006 from heart failure. She was 82, but I had the same struggles with my mother that you do with your health. It sounds at least like the drs sorta know what to say to you about some of the symptoms, my mother felt like she was always complaining and no one was listening. She had come to accept that she was dying and the last 6 months she really welcomed and wanted to go. This was hard for me to listen to and yet at the same time could understand why she felt like this. To her this wasn’t living, she was sick of being sick and felt she had lived a good life and was ready to go to Dad and God. I’m glad that you have found peace and I know that there is a better place over there where there is no pain and only love from God. I know how Vi must be feeling, she is prepared, but not prepared. I will check back on this blog to see how you are doing and to input some other thoughts as well.
I am sorry about your condition and the pain it is causing for you and your family. In May 2000 my husband passed away from the same illness. It has been very hard for me to come to term with the suddenness of his death but I am finding my own peace now. We found the doctors fairly unhelpful. You seem to have found a wonderful way to deal with some of the challenges. We found it difficult to deal with reactions to some to the drugs. However here is a tip my husband found that actually worked – make a tea from dandlions leaves and roots – found in the health food store. This does not leach the potassium from the body nor does it not cause the cramping found with many to the dioretics (hope I spelled that right). I cannot read much of your journal it makes me sad that someone else has to go through this
Your story has touched me deeply, and i want to share the most wonderful poem that just was read at a funneral the other day of a wonderful college where I work at MTS. I hope it touches you and your family as it deeply did all of us.
My prayers are with you, god bless.
I too have read the Free Press article and felt the need to tell you something that I think you probably already have figured out: It is because you are dying that the Good Lord has bestowed wisdom to you. That’s why people come to read what you call your “ramblings”. You’re actually a really lucky person…to have the ability to be wise (not just smart!!) must be wonderful. I think you’re able to see things as they really are, to know definitely what’s important and what’s not, to see the whole picture of what life is all about and what it’s not, to decide with no regrets what to spend emotional energy on and what not to, etc. That’s why people visit your blog…You have an enormous responsibility as one of the real, live WISE people of this world to help the rest of us get our heads screwed on straight. Thanks for helping.
Dear Shirley, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. I am glad she found peace and serenity towards the end. When you carry the thought I am going to my place in Heaven to be with other loved ones. Suddenly the reality of dying isn’t so bad, but still so sad leaving those behind. But again are comforted knowing someday we will be together again.
Thank you for the comment please leave many more.
Dear Mrs. Chudy
I am sorry to hear of your husband passing but am glad you are now able to find some peace. Be comforted knowing he is in a better place and that you will see him again some day.
Thank you for the tip on the dandilions. I will check into that. What can I say about the side effects of some of the pills, aweful.
Thank you for the comment, please leave many more, and please have a good day
That is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read, so full of meaning. I had never really thought of the meaning that could be put into that dash. Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
I thank you for the comment. Wow, I am not even sure what to say. I certainly have never considered myself to be one of the wise people of the world. You are so right when you say I am lucky, beyond my family and friends, I do see the world differently now. Things that have been so important in the past are now meaningless.
Irene, I thank you for this, you have really made me stop and think, I have known all along my thinking has changed. But, I have never until this moment really stopped to realize how much it has changed. I really have to think on this more.
Thank you, bless you. Bill
I have balked at and put off, writing to you, for too long now. I cannot believe how senseless an idea and how stupid of me to even think this when faced with a man in your situation.
I feel honoured to be here reading your blog and think what you`re doing here is immense, both for yourself, and for us readers and puts life into perspective better than anything else I can imagine.
I hope thru` all this you are not in too much pain/discomfort?
I know of loss, close loss, that is almost insurmountable to me personally and has changed me in a myriad of ways, some good, some not.
We are the same age, you and I, and I find myself thinking of you each new day, hoping you are ok, hoping you`ve written something new.
I read your piece where you came together with friends from your past and thought what a brilliant and moving piece that was…..
Gonna stop now cos I`ll start rambling, I wish you Strength, Fortitude and Courage for your future….keep writing, it gives the rest of us serious food for thought….
Hi Bill (Billy),
This is your cousin Sherry. I am under strict instructions that I am to get a message to you ASAP. I’m not really sure how this blog thing works so I’ll keep my message short in case it doesn’t work. Sooo… Hello!! I bet you don’t even remember me?? I was just little when you visited and I didn’t go to the one room schoolhouse like you “Old folk”. Even though I don’t know you that well, I want you to know that I have heard all about you from my mother and my older siblings. I also recognize the wit and humour in the blog as I read some of the entries. Truly Howdle humour! I haven’t read it all, but I promise you I will! My sister Carol (the older and wiser one) talked to me last night on the phone and had me check out the blog. My mom called tonight and told me to get on the blog and then she hung up to “threaten” her other children. HA HA You can’t say no to your mother. So Bill, you may be hearing from several of your cousins tonight. I think mom would be on the computer now if she had one and I know your other cousin Fran would be as well. We keep updated through the grapevine and Fran speaks of you often.I think you may be one of her favourite cousins!
I would just like to say that even though I don’t know you well as my older siblings do, I do think of you often and am wishing you well. As I was growing up I heard about your heart condition and your health problems. Somehow, despite the odds, you always pulled through. I admired you for that. I think what you are doing is inspirational. You are putting your thoughts and feelings out there for all to see. Inviting people into your life to get to know you despite what you are facing. What we will all face sooner or later. I love how you talk about your family, your girls, your granddaughter, and Vi. You definately have your priorities straight – and I admire you for that. Until next time, Sherry.
Thank you so much for your comment. I hopeyou don’t mind but I subscribed to your blog and blogrolled you also. You are so courageous. Thank you for listening to my venting.
Of course I remember you. I remember you as a sweet young girl of about 7 or 8 years old. I also keep tabs on you. The wonderful job you are doing as a teacher, of the home you bought. Your brother John helping with renovations, I imagine the whole family is helping you with that. I am just sorry that here it is I have a grown up cousin such as yourself and my only memories of of a young girl. How did I let that happen?
So Auntie Isabel, your mom, want everyone to read the blog. That is nice. It would be nice to hear for all but spread the word, I do not want anyone to feel pressured or anything.
About your comment on how I always seem to manage to pull through all my health issues. Well I am of 2 minds about that. I have an extra dose of the Howdle stubbornness in me, plus a double dose of the same from my mother. I think I am just to stubborn to die. It is either that or there is the saying, only the good die young. If that is the case I should still be here until I am about 200.
Sherry, nice to hear from you lets try and keep in touch.
I felt honoured that you wrote of our conversation. Don’t forget about the forgiveness part. Although we all have lessons to learn, can we be perfect? Physical scars are similar to emotional, although they heal, one must wear them everyday. They become armor for the soul. That is what I have experienced. Love you uncle Bill
Hi Bill and Vi, Sue and I also had a very good time, lots of joking and teasing, laughter and getting to know one another better. The food Eric and Lynda prepared was great! I ate too much as usual and we were living life to the fullest, as much as we could when we had to work the next day. Hope you’re feeling better and keep in touch.
I have been meaning to write, but haven’t been able to articulate my words very well. I don’t think procrastination is going to help the issue.
Your words have touched me intensely. Your journey through your life, the hours, days, weeks, months, have all reached a core in so many people, and what you are doing is nothing short of inspirational, and a true blessing for others.
My mother died Veterans Day (of all days), November 11, 2004. She was a veteran, not of the military, but of her ailing body, her numerous heart problems, and a veteran of her internal strength, and spirituality.
She was ready to leave this realm, and made it clear that she was not afraid of death, but rather looked forward to a new life form.
My brother and I found it difficult to hear, and difficult to let her go, but, we realized it was what she wanted, so we told her that it was okay, that we understood, that we would miss her like crazy, but that we didn’t want her to suffer any longer, in the state she was in. WE told her we loved her too much for that, for her to continue in the state she was in. The three of us had a good cry.
Three days later she left, in peace, without pain or suffering, and her face, for the first time, lost all of the worry lines, and calm replaced painful looks.
I wish you the same strength, peace and calm, in your daily journeys, and may the love and light of the universe surround you, each hour of each day. You and your family are in my thoughts.
Happy birthday VI May GOD bless you and your family. I read and appreciate the blog very much.It is very important to have to have faith and assurance of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour.
I thank you so much for sharing your very touching story. It is such a sad story but at the same time is a beautiful story. I hope you understand how I mean it when I refer to it as a beautiful story. It is so sad and I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. Such a hard painful time for you and your brother. I would imagine much of that same pain lingers in your heart today. I think with the passing of a loved one, it leaves an empty spot in our hearts. We all have the strength and courage to carry on, and with time we may not even notice that empty spot quite as much. But, it is still there.
You started by saying you were having trouble articulating your words. You did a wonderful job. In your few short paragraphs, you have so clearly shown both the pain and the love felt by all.
Such love, such courage while in so much pain. I can’t begin to describe the respect and admiration I have for you and your brother.
At the time it became clear the out come was obvious, you had the courage to gather and say your good byes (i prefer to think of it as saying I will see you later). As painful as it was you were able to put your personal needs aside to help her on her journey. We all know this is a journey to a much better place, but it is still so difficult to see anyone depart on that journey. I can only hope and pray you have been able to achieve some peace within yourself. The empty spot in your heart will be again filled, in the spiritual world.
I am honored you found the courage to share this with me. Bless you.
You are in my heart, in my thoughts and in my prayers.
Hi Bill, I had to write and tell you what an inspiration you are. I first read about your blog in the Free Press. You are on what is probably a very lonely journey yet you still inspire all of the people around you and the thousands who are reading your blog. I have read the blog every night since I heard of it and I find it very comforting having lost my mother-in-law and a very dear aunt within 2 weeks of each other last July. I wish that they could have also been inspired by your writings. Please continue on and I will pray for you and your family. May you find much comfort in knowing that you have made a difference in so many people’s lives. I hope that Vi has an extrordinary birthday celebrating life. I am inspired by this everyday so I will share it with you. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (john 14:27)
Happy Birthday Aunt Vi!!!!
Happy birthday Vi
Wishing a super day for a great woman. Haven”t met yet
Vi, just assuming . Takes a hellava lady to keep tabs on Bill, keeping him on an even keel. Cooking, cleaning, working, know
from talking to Bill he appreciates everything a hundred-fold,girl.
Hope to meet sometime, till then god bless & take care.
Lori & Les
Wow, that’s amazing Uncle! What an act! That must have made you feel so nice…Champagne for the soul!
You are still an amazing man!! The last time I remember seeing you was back in our Thompson/Norway House days…remember those days? I have often thought of you and Vi over the years, and was delighted to hear that you were ‘easily accessed’ by way of your blog. You’ve always been an inspiration to me, as I recall many conversations over a cup of hot coffee (sometimes it was a R & Coke)…and you always put a positive spin on life, and I’m so pleased to hear that you are still giving great advise and contniue to be an inspiration to so many people. I was really caught up with your story, as your words brought me to tears a number of times……I hope you will continue with your story, and share your insights and inspirational message to all those in need. I want to get caught up on the years that have passed, I’d love for you to call me someday. I look forward to hearing from you. Patty W. xxxxxx
Thankyou for writing back to me in your diary entry today.
You are so right, all we can do is show love and support to them and they will know we are always here.
I thankyou for putting your own journey out there for us all to read. It really helps us understand when we have someone that won’t do the talking. I am going to show my family your website. I don’t know much about blogging (first I’ve heard of it) I think we are a little behind the eightball here in Australia.
I plan on just showing all the love and understanding to my cousin that I can, and I hope that in his own way he will accept what is happening to him to give him some peace within himself. That unfortunately is a journey he will have to do himself. All I can do is show I care.
I will keep reading your diary entries daily. Thankyou for just being you. I cannot explain what a comfort it has been to find your website. You truely are an amazing person. I live on the other side of the world and you find the courage and strength to answer my little question.
My prayers and thougts are with you and your family and I thank you for sending back prayers for mine.
I promise to keep in touch.
Just got up this morning, it’s 5.30am and the first thing I do is check out your posting that you have written during the night while I am asleep. We are in for a hot 38degree day here. That is celcius our term not sure what it would be in Ferinheight. (Bloody Hot is how i could describe it). Your winter sounds truely amazing. I complain when we get down to 12 degrees.
I just want you to know that Angels are our life lines. I am ashamed to admit it, but I pray to angels before I pray to god. I love my angels. I ask them everymorning to protect my children as they go off to school, to protect my husband at his job as a carpenter and generally to surround my family with white light and protection.
I also pray to my loved ones who have passed over. I know they are there at all times. My grandma always used to say to me, “Oh I love ya, love ya, love ya, I could eat you”. And its funny I could of been talking to her the night before about something going on in my life and the next day, I could be at work just working away and there it is in my head, “Love ya, Love ya, Love ya, I could eat you”. Its funny I say that all the time to my kids now, and my 4 year old Montana came to me about 3 weeks ago and she said she had a lady in her room and she told her the same thing. I asked her did she know who the lady was and she said, yes it was my nate namma margaret. (Graet Grandma Margaret). I just thought that was beautiful, and knowing my Grandma as well as I do, I know she would be enjoying every minute of watching down on them. Especially since the 4 year old is just like me and I can hear her now thinking, “My word young lady your going to be in trouble”.
My cousing Terry who is so sick. His wife the other day, who had been a non believer in the spirit world is now completly a believer. She said that she had a dream the other night, and she was looking down over the bed of where her and Terry lay, and she said sitting in the corner of the room, was Grandma, just smiling at her. She said she had the most overwhelming feeling of peace, and she felt like Grandma was saying to her, “it’s ok, I am here, he will not be on his own, I will walk through this with him” Bill if I could describe my Grandma in one word it would just be “Amazing”. She was our rock of the family. I know she would be there to give him comfort and trying to help him know that he is going to be ok when he faces the time to let go.
Oh I could ramble on for hours about my grandma, angels and spirits. I’m glad you love them as much as I.
Hope Vi is feeling a little better, I sent my prayers to Arch angel Raph over to help her feel well.
I’ve just done the same as you though, Is he going to think I am weird. I’ve just re read what I have written. But you got me into the talk of angels and I could talk all day about them and some of my experiences. I won’t delete anything then that would be hiding what I so dearly believe is with us all the time, Angels and Loved ones.
I’m so glad we have met through cyberspace.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
Take care for now.
Found your blog today. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I live with multiple sclerosis and all its challenges. Your post today reminded me of a haiku I wrote a few years ago. I share it here
Life is short—it’s true
Do we rush and rush and rush
To get to the end?
Hi Billy, Sounds like you are having a good time with the “special ladies” – glad to hear it. The remedies make for a good laugh some days when a few “special” children want to reminisce about their youth and how rough it was. Don’t we all have a story for that and yet our, or least mine, still think they have it rough!
Anyway I’ll bet there is lots of storytelling going on there and in true Howdle fashion “some of it may hold a grain of truth” I know the “special ladies” are enjoying themselves and I am glad the weather cooperated so they could get to see you and Vi. They have talked of it for a long time.
I am off travelling today as Jillian heads to Calgary for a competition in Winterguard (flags, rifles, sabres). I will meet up with the other two “special ladies” Sherry and Gloria, catch up on their happenings and get in some teacher talk with Sher. I’ll be think of you all today and your names may come up in our discussions so your ears may be ringing!
Take Care and God Bless!
Good Morning Everyone,
What a lovely journal entry today Billy. Not that the other days weren’t great too, but this one strikes a cord with all of us. You’re right. We get so caught up with our day to day routine that we do lose track and contact with special people in our lives. But, even though you and I did not keep in touch with visits and phone calls, you did keep in contact with my mom, Isabel. She has always thought the world of you and your brothers. She called me a few weeks ago when she knew she was going to visit you. She was very excited!! She told me several stories about when you were little. She and your mom used to take all the kids out for a walk everyday in all kinds of weather. She told me another story about when you were a little kid your mom was worried because you wouldn’t eat for her. She told mom about it and when you were at our house, they put you up to the table with the other kids and you ate and even asked for more. I love hearing these stories. Not only do I hear about you, but I hear about what my mom was like before I was born. She’s not just my mom, but a person too, and I love hearing about what she thought, or did or wanted to do when she was younger. I get to know her on a whole other level. We joke about how we need to write some of these stories down, or some of mom’s “motherisms”. They are classics! You are writing down your thoughts and ideas now, and I read that one of your girls is going to print it off and make a book. It will be a great keepsake and memory for them.
So, you are right. We may not get there for a visit. It is a long way to come. The weather is terrible. Time is short. But, despite these reasons or excuses two of our best ambassadors came to represent us and let you know that we are thinking of you and your family. It sounds like they did a fantastic job and I can’t wait to hear all the details from Mom and Carol. They truly are special ladies and we love them dearly. Speaking of special ladies, both Mom and Carol have always said what a lovely lady Vi is too. I do hope I get to meet her one day, but even if I don’t I think she is special too!
I’m so glad you had a great visit. I know it meant alot to both of them too!
So, just to end off Billy, if your ears are ringing constantly for the next few weeks or so. It’s just all of us talking about you and getting everyone caught up on the visit —-oh and rehashing and updating our home remedy stories of course!
You are never far from our thoughts cousin. Have a great day.
p.s. Mel, I’m glad I’m all grown up now because if my Mom had known about it, she would have tried that horseradish remedy on me. Yuck! Sherry
Just wanted you to know that I have been reading your journal everyday. I am glad you have had such a lovely visit with your Aunt and cousin. Family is so important, and it makes you feel extra special when someone in your family takes a long trip to see you etc.
You sounded a bit down in your journal before they arrived and now you are sounding upbeat and fresh again. I can see from your writing that you have a smile on your face again.
My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.
It is nice to hear you are still reading.
You know, you are right I am feeling better. I suppose my “emotional” batteries got a little run down. Nice company for the weekend and I am all charged up again and good to go.
Jo, I thank you for the past comments on the Angels. That is a topic near and dear to my heart. I emailed you directly on the topic, not sure if the message got through. But I do hope you will feel free to share more of your thoughts here at anytime.
Thank you, you are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.
Hi Bill, sorry was off air for a day.
I have emailed you back, I hope you recieve it and I hope I haven’t bored you to tears.
Take care and I’m glad your feeling better. I pray for you everyday.
I think what you are doing is bold and wonderful. Thank you. I’m linking you.
I am not sure if you remember me but I am Ken’s oldest child and Isabel’s granddaughter. I have been reading your blog and really enjoy how you have been keeping and all the messages that people send to you. I am glad that you had a good visit gramma and Auntie Carol and gramma said that she enjoyed herself and that you and your wife are wonderful hosts.
I am currently living in Red Deer attending college and will be graduating this Spring from Early Childhood Development and then continuing next fall to earn my Education degree. My brother Kenny joined me out here a little while ago after he graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice and is now stationed in White Court. He and long time love Michelle will be taking the next step next Thanksgiving and getting married in Saskatoon. My youngest brother Greg is still living and working back home in Saskatoon. Dad as always is keeping himself busy with work and hockey meetings but seems to be doing well. He claims that since he has a computer and can email and has a cell phone that he is up on technology but at Christmas time as a joke I changed his ringer to Dancing Queen by Abba and when I saw him a couple of weeks ago it was still set to that very song. Is it because he likes that song or because he can not work this new technology? You make the call.
Anyways, I guess I better get back to the books but I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed your blog and the way that you inspire others. I hope to talk to you again.
Thoughts and prayers from my family to yours,
It is nice to hear from you. I do remember you but as a very young child. It sounds like you have done a very good job growing up to a very nice young lady.
I thank you for the up date on you and your brothers. Now as for your dad and his technological ability. As we are cousins, I am a Howdle male as is your father. I am sure I can relate to his abilities. He has made 3 or 4 futile efforts to change the phone ringer and has given up, knowing inside it is beyond him. But this is something no male will ever admit. Rather than admit our inability we find it easier to just change our favorite song. If you were to ask him today what is his favorite song or at least one of his very favorite has become Dancing Queen. We like to consider ourselves has having great “adaptability”.
It really was nice hearing from you, how about if you get your poppa to bring you to Winnipeg for a visit. If he doesn’t want to, know you are welcome anytime yourself.
First cousin, once removed
Notice you haven’t been writing in your journal last couple of days. I hope you are ok and that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
May you be blessed by the angels to watch and protect you.
Although this should probably be a private email, i thought this might be the next best place to write to you ~
Thank you for your kind comments and for adding me to your blogroll ~ it means so much to have support!
I have felt a kinship with you since first finding your blog, but i never found the time to be right to say hi.
9 years ago, i fell 100 feet in the mountains and died. i write to you now from a wheelchair, and with a very diffrerent view on everything ~ different from the me before the fall, and it seems, quite different from people who have not had a near death experience, or who are not consciously close to death.
To shake hands, make friends with death puts one on a completely different playing field. And when i read your words, i feel a familiarity with you.
If you would like, you can reach me at email@example.com
Wishing you the Highest Blessings,
Good on you for blogging on this difficult topic. There is lots of cancer in my family but we don’t talk about death. You and your readers are very lucky to be believers. It gives you hope and also an avenue for expressing your thoughts and feelings. A long time ago my grandfather showed me that he was a great man to be able to die gracefully, It is one of the greatest things you can ever do. I hope to have the guts to ‘step up to the bar’ as he did one day, although not being a believer makes it a hell of a lot harder.
Love and hugs, Kirsty
Hi Bill, The house is finally quiet so I ran to check your message for today! Thought provoking as always and very true.
Just wanted to say that I am very much looking forward to this weekend. Please don’t do a lot of extras for the “Queens” as I see we are called. We just want to chat and see everyone. We know how to cook, so Vi should relax not be working. Maybe we could exchange a recipe or two for the secret lasagne! We shouldn’t be any trouble as when I told Reg that Mom was also coming he said, “I know, I asked her to go keep and eye on you girls as no good can come about with all four of you there at once!” So apparently she is a spy!
Also read with interest comments from Brother Ken – not once but twice I might add. Wow I was so surprised! You see Bill, Ken was never one to jump under the cows quickly morning or night! Something about weak wrists and how they bothered him to milk so we picked up the slack for him. However, he doesn’t seem to have any trouble sitting in front of a computer and typing out smart remarks – his wrists must have miraculously gotten better as he got older. How lucky for him!
Also he seems very interested in “remedies” and concoctions. I see he has not shared his own story with rubbing alcohol – a procedure that was tried on him but is not listed in any medical journal!
Looking forward to seeing those pics of your granddaughter and hearing of her antics. Bet she is a cutie.
See you and Vi soon.
Hi Shirley, thanks for the nice comment. We are really getting excited and are all looking forward to your visit. I see Reg and I are of a similar mind about calling in your mother. The 4 of you sisters all together, Winnipeg man never be the same. Don’t tell your mother but I invited her for the pleasure of her company. But keeping an eye on you 4 sisters is my story and I am sticking to it.
Would you consider elaborating on the Ken story, with the rubbing alcohol. I think I actually may know the story you are talking about. But you know us guys we have to stick together.
I am not sure if I will be at the airport to meet you or if it will be Eric and Vi. Looking forward to you being here.
my name is Robin, a young Scotsman (I know, it’s usually a girls name where you come from) living in North West England. I am a student nurse and have just completed a module on continuing and palliative care. It has been an area of great interest to me since my own mother passed away in strathcarron hospice almost five years ago. The attention and genuine care she recieved from the staff there, many of them volunteers, was one of the main inspirations which made me want to change my life and become a nurse. I find your blog just as inspiring.
In the near future I am making a presentation discussing the impact on patients, families and carers in situations such as your own. If I may, i would like to show some extracts from your writing. I have not come accross anything else that illustrates the full spectrum of emotions that are present throughout your intimate account. This includes the input from family, friends & readers. I realise that i could simply cut and paste without anyones knowledge, but i feel it only right and ethical to ask your permission. I figure that if you have gone to the trouble of writing this blog, you are hoping to educate people on one of life’s most important journeys. This is also my aim.
Be sure that I will not be offended if you are against the idea.
I look forward to reading many more of your journals.
I just wanted to let you know and the readers that our Terry has be admitted in to palliative care. As you are aware Bill from my email there was a big blow up with his family that did get a bit messy. He had a cat scan yesterday and his tumors on his brain have grown quite substantially. This has been causing him to have his outbursts and hallucinations. Since being admitted to hospital his family has come together as close as ever.
I am really excited to say, and I know that can sound wrong when this beautiful soul is dying, but he has taken on some acceptance, he is talking, he is telling his family he loves them. He has admitted as being as frightened as all hell, but he said to one of his sisters, I am the first to go, but I will see you all again.
The reasoning behind me saying I am excited, is I have been praying so hard for him to let the spiritual process of dying take hold, and let him feel at peace. I think this is happening, and I am not concerned as such now that he will die and be a troubled soul. He says he feels our loved ones dearly departed as strong as ever waiting there for him. I felt I had Grandma last night, telling me that she will be there waiting for him, to hold and protect and walk with him on this journey as he enters this new phase of his soul.
Bill I truely feel that he is going to be ok now. I am so glad he has had the chance to make peace with his family. They understand that the tumors are where the anger and outbursts were coming from.
We have all cried together as we are not even sure if he will make this week out, but I wanted to let you know the anger has gone and he is ok He knows he is going to be ok.
Thankyou everyone for your prayers thoughts and well wishes.
Our angels work in mysterious ways, and I thank them for putting peace inside of Terrys heart. Surround him with love in this last few days and let him feel the empowerment of your protection.
Sending love to you all.
*sending prayers and loving, warm thoughts*
Thanks Mel. Your well wishes mean alot.
Thinkin’ about you and yours this morning–and sending more prayer filled thoughts.
Your approach is an inspiration to us all Bill. I hope you have another good day tomorrow! If you have a chance, come visit me at blog.respectance.com I’ll share my stories with you.
Have been reading your blog for several months now and have great admiration for you. We humans are all so connected. I think your blog is just one example of how one person can impact many. God bless you and may the angels continue to inspire your writing. Audrey
I did not read all of the comments. Not because they are not worthy of my read, but because I read your very short “about” paragraph and simply wanted to write.
I have often wondered why no one has written it down, shared with us, or opened up more on the books of their life to help the ones left behing and those that follow.
I have no idea what you are facing I can only hope that you are turned toward the light.
Paula of “Receiving Light” turned me onto this blog, and I have to say how grateful I am for you. You are witnessing to faith in an important way. God bless you in your ministry, and be assured of our prayers as you journey on to the Lord.
What a lovely photo of you and Vi, and so nice to see the face behind the words.
What a lovely couple you and Vi are! It is nice to see a picture of you.
It’s nice to be able to put a face with you and Vi now. You make a very cute couple. 🙂
Your blog looks very nice, Bill. I like the new theme and the fact that you added an “About” page to the site.
Oh, don’t call it “dying” because you will never die. All of us will just “cross over” to the other side. You see, it’s a natural process all of us will go through. If you are to look at it, you are luckier than most of us because you know when to go. Some of us will never wake up tomorrow, others will be run over by a car, while some more will be shot, will have an attack, get a virus and die just the same. They won’t be able to say goodbye and write a good blog like this one.
Just continue on writing, for as long as you can..perhaps until the pen just drops from your hand. Cast out from your mind the gloom, it will only dampen your spirit. Look at death straight to its eyes, until it cowers in fear. You have the power because the fear of death is only in YOUR mind…come on, Bill …write another page!
Your blog is truly such inspirational, the strenght and courage you show. I know at some point in life we are in denial. we dont want accept things as they should be. But i believe God has purpose in everything happening to us. I truly agree that each of us will face death, time will come that we have to say goodbye in this called world.But what matters is that how people remember us, is not how fame or rich we are. Rather what the good samaritan we did for others whether it is big or small. I admire you……..
I know you will go to heaven with the arms of God………
rhosie, I thank you.
Thank you for your wisdom. I stumbled upon your blog this evening and thought maybe it was a play on words, since we are all actually dying. I was saddened as a I read through your posts to hear of your health struggles.
I wanted to write and let you know that the few post I’ve read had a profound effect on me. Maybe I should start listening to that small voice I’ve been ignoring, that tells me I’m killing myself with the stress levels I experience on a daily basis, fighting my way up the corporate ladder. I have a wonderful husband and three teenage boys that unfortunately are forced many times to take a back seat to my career. I’m not quite sure how to slow down , but you have given me something to think about.
I was also very moved by your observance of how a few encouraging words have the power to effect someones life. I will be actively taking that advise to heart. Thanks for reminding me.
You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing this intimate time in your life with strangers. You are blessing many people,
I thank you so much for stopping in for a visit and taking the time to leave such a kind comment.
I can personally relate to everything you have said about the family, the stress etc. I pray you are able to find a balance in your life that gives you more time for what really are
the important issues.
As I can so personally relate to what you say, I hope you will leave more comments. Possibly give me a better understanding of the why, I did so much of what I did.
With all my prays and wishes to you, I’d like to thank sharing your ideas and situations. Your blog really make me think about all over, may the god’s help with you.
You don’t know me but I’ve been reading your blog since February and on this odd occasion I decided to leave a comment. I can’t even express how much I think of your blog — it, to me, is one of hope carried by thoughts. It sounds to me that you are now a strong-willed man ready to take on what is inevitably going to happen.
I’m no stranger to death in any way when it comes to grieving. My Uncle (May 2002), another Uncle (August 2002), my Grandmother (August 2003), and my Father (December 2003; 7 days before Christmas) all died extremely close to each other in that respect. Instead of thinking about my life, I began thinking of how sad I was and how bad I had it. Sheesh, was I acting childish — more than ever!
After strengthening my inner-self and praying, asking for the Lord’s help to give me the faith I needed in order to remember that one day I will be reunited with them, I’m now a pious man trying to live life to its overall fullest.
What I’m trying to say here, Bill, is that I admire your ability to write (or type?) about death, grief, and all things of your life or any thoughts related for that matter. Your story has truly touched me in a sense that I’ve became addicted to reading your blog daily now.
I want to thank you for the time you took to write me a comment, I am pretty sure it wasn’t much but I truly appreciate it. In fact, you are the first one to do a comment on my page.
Yes I am new and starting up. but we all started as novice in this field. Like a child, we grow up and learn eventually life’s biggest and toughest lessons and I know I should be meticulous making a comparison of the two but to be able to do something and make good at it after time is the real essence of growing up:hence, as a starter I need to put more determination and the willingness to learn.
I am just glad to be counted as one of your new friends.
Your blog is quite a piece of work, very insightful and moving. It’s crazy how we go through life not knowing what is truly important until something wakes us up. You’re lucky in that you got it before it was really too late, something a lot of people never learn. Keep writing, you’ll be in my prayers and may God bless you!
I was looking at other people’s blog and saw the words “dying man’s journal” and that really caught my eye. I really like your journal and now look forward to reading. You and Vi are in my prayers.
Blogs are the most amazing things, aren’t they? I just started in August and every time I get a comment on a photo or story I’ve posted, I always go to that person’s blog to find out a little about them. This evening I posted some beautiful photos I took of the late fall foliage in my area (Northern Virginia) and got a response from a woman named Gina. Gina has your blog on her site so when I saw the title “Dying Man,” I was too curious not to check it out.
I think it is an amazing thing to be able to write about your diagnosis and your journey. I just lost a very dear, dear friend to pancreatic cancer last Friday. His wife was in my garden club until they moved to South Carolina and she is a very good friend, too. They both retired as full colonels from the Air Force just two years ago. He died one year to the day he was diagnosed. It is one of the worst diseases someone can get and he fought valiantly throughout. Up until George’s final months, I had never been around someone who was dying. I thought I wouldn’t be able to find the strength to be there for him, be present, be calm and mature about it. But somehow I did. I went to South Carolina three times this year. The first was in April and a friend and I helped his wife prepare her garden for the season. At that point in time, he was thing but still mobile and able to drive himself places. I went again in mid-October and he was bedridden most of the time. After my friend left and his wife went shopping, I was left to help him out. He called on me several times for small things (chapstick, extra covers, etc.), but the last call was for me “to come sit and talk with him.” It was such an honor to spend that time with him. He said it wasn’t his time and then in the next breath he would say he wanted it to be over. I hope that I brought him comfort during that time and he knew that I loved him. He was a dear, dear friend and I promised him that I would make sure his wife was okay after he had passed.
I hope that, in some small way, being present during this process with my friend George will prepare me for the loss of a family member. My mother has recurrent ovarian cancer and is actually doing pretty good at the moment (chemo is working yet again; this is her second recurrence), so we’re feeling optimistic that she’ll be with us for some time to come. We are realistic, of course, because we know that there is no cure…we just hope and pray for more time. We are a very tight-knit family and it is hard to prepare for something like this. In some small way I believe that being there for George this past year has helped me not be so afraid of death. I’m not saying it will be easy when the time comes, but I don’t have the fear that I did.
I’m sorry to drone on about my own experiences, but I just wanted to say that I find you courageous and brave and I hope that you find joy every day that you have left! I will bookmark your blog and hope to read your entries for some time to come!
I’m honored to be able to write to you!
Hi Cindy, welcome to my site. I thank you for the visit and for taking the time to share your very touching story.
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. You can be assured he was very touched and comforted by your presence and support. It took a tremendous amount of strength and courage to do all that you did. I congratulate you for that.
Sharing time with, just being with your dear friend George, was no doubt very painful and terrible to go through at the time. In your comment you said: “It was such an honor to spend that time with him.” I am glad you see the experience for what it really was terrible, yes, but at the same time “wonderful”. By wonderful I mean that it will have help remove some of the mystery and the fear of the dying process.
Those words speak to the very purpose of my blog, the thoughts and feelings I am trying to share in my own inept way.
My thoughts and prayers are with your mother, you and your entire family as your mother continues to fight her battle with cancer. I pray for her remission and that you will have the pleasure of her company, here on earth for many years to come.
My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you.
I found out last month that my brother is terminal with liver cancer. Charlie is just a few weeks older than you and his story is very similar to yours. I am new to your blog and I will be reading more of it in the coming days. I think this is a good thing you are doing. I know it is helping me.
Hi William, I am very sorry to hear of your brother’s cancer. If by sharing my story I am helping in anyway, I am so glad. Please visit often and comment as you can.
You, your brother and entire family are in my heart, thoughts and prayers
Thanks for the great laugh this morning! I wish you both good luck and a lot of fun. I can’t tell you however, how many times I have been rushing to the finish line way out in front, only to have mother get a 16 hand and then 12 in her crib or whatever, pass me and move in for the win! I think I would rather be skunked – speaking of which, will you two be drinking out of your special skunk glasses as you play? Have fun and keep warm!
Haven’t been reading your blog lately so I had some catching up to do. It is report card season and the Band has had several activities so I found myself running! This weekend was great as the girls and I went to a craft show (gave several bags of food to the food bank as I am with you on not enough food especially in this province) and got to see my kids again. Heading in to school today to get ready for interviews and such this week but some pressure is off. Glad that Mom is there and I hear Garry had to buy a new coat as his chest was stuck out so far! He doesn’t get enough credit for all he does so it was great to see him get recognition and be your hero!! Now if he could only cook too eh??
As to everyone doing a little bit to help, I must tell you a wonderful story that happened at our school. Unicef bags arrived and we usually just have the kids canvas as they trick or treat. However, one teacher had just heard a DJ say that we should get rid of the penny as in Australia as it is a nuisance. So the challenge was on! Our kids and community brought in pennies and pennies and in 2 weeks, we had $2500 in pennies! The kids also took home the Unicef bags and brought in donations for our local community which turned out to be about 3000 items! Not bad for 14 days and very meaningful for the kids to see the power of the penny and how everyone gives a little and it means a lot! (Of course wrapping the pennies turned out to be a bigger job than we anticipated but again many hands make light work!)
Enjoy your weekend! Say hi to Vi who probably cooking and fussing around the two of you!
Hi there cousin Shirley. When it comes to crib, that mother of yours is a sly one. She actually let me win a couple of games in the build up to “the tournament”. I am on to her strategy now. That was a ploy to make me feel over confident. The entire time she was complaining how she was suffering in a drought, unable to win a game. Ha, she was toying with me. The time of the big tournament arrived. As it was for the Championship of the World, I was surprised none of the major TV networks showed up to televise the game. But we went on with out them. Tournament was to be a 2 out of 3 game event. The cash was in the middle of the table, luring and urging us both on.
Game #1, I held my own for the first few hands. Then she uttered those words, “well I guess I had better pull my socks up, if I want to win this game”. That was it she was gone like a flash. Out came the 24 hand and 16 point crib. I fought as hard and bravely as I could but nothing worked, I was seriously skunked. Ever thinking on my feet, I quickly pointed out that while on many occasions a skunk is considered the equivalent of winning 2 games, this shouldn’t be the case here. Your mother did gratiously agree to this.
Game #2. A real nail biter, but I rose to the occasion and just sneaked in a win.
Game #3. The final, this was it. The title all the money on the line all in this one game. The excitement in the fans, well fan would have been great, but Vi had gone for a nap. I quickly pulled into an early lead and then it happened. I heard the words,”Oh my, if I am going to win, I had better start doing something”. Shirley, I think you can almost envision the scene from there on. On the good side, I did see I was quicker at counting my hand than your mother was. But then it doesn’t take nearly as long to count 2 points as it does to count 24. I made it over the skunk line but just barely.
It was a lot of fun, we both enjoyed it a lot.
Shirley, what you and your classes did with the Unicef was wonderful. Wonderful those that will receive the benefits of your efforts but also wonderful for the children to see. As you said they learned a real lesson in giving, and if everyone gives just a little, it adds up to a lot. Great job.
It really is easy to see why I am so proud of my family.
Shirley, I hope you don’t mind I am going to copy your entire post and my reply over to my yesterdays post. I thank you.
Hi Bill, I’m Rhea. I stumbled across your blog (I have a blog here on wordpress too). I was touched so deeply by your story and your writings. I commend your courage and dedication in doing this blog, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. You are showing a beautiful side to life during a tremendously difficult time for you and your loved ones. I will keep you and your family in my daily prayers.
Your story has made a mark on me. I have a drug addiction. I’ve had heart attacks, seizures, and constant heart palpitations. I overdosed a few times, one of which was fatal, and I was revived. I was back to using later that day. My cognitive functioning has been extremely compromised, especially from lack of oxygen during the overdose. I’m 26. People often told me that I was too young to wind up dead from something so preventable, but I didn’t care. I was so apathetic that I essentially welcomed death, which I now regret and see as remarkably stupid and selfish. It is not something to fear, unless it is being sought for the wrong reasons.
I got the wakeup call when my parents started having health complications. My mom was in and out of the hospital with heart problems, and my dad was diagnosed with advanced cirrhosis. This was a problem he was told to address 20 years ago, and he responded by avoiding medical care and continuing to drink. We don’t know his life expectancy yet, but from what I’ve read about his advanced condition, it’s a very serious diagnosis. It breaks my heart because he will lose his mental functioning as the disease progresses. He has quit drinking since his diagnosis, but it is too late, and he is terrified at facing this stage of his life. I love my parents more than anything, and I want to be able to protect them from this, but I know I can’t.
I know that I must get myself straight before either or both of my parents are gone. I can’t let them pass while I am in such a messy and selfish state of affairs. I love them so much, and I want to be able to give myself completely to their care and attention. I have been using for 29 months and have been trying to clean up for most of that time, so I need to kick things into high gear. I hope it’s okay that I look to your writing for courage, inspiration, and a gentle reminder that dying is a part of living, even for those we love with all our hearts. Sorry for the long note…it’s been weighing heavily on me, and it feels good to get it out. My sincerest thanks again for being willing to help others by sharing your thoughts and ideas.
Dear Rhea, I thank you so much for you kind words. I feel kind of honored that you would choose to share your story with me as you have. I know it is not always easy to share such personal details of your life with strangers. So, I thank you for being willing to share with me.
I both commend and congratulate you in your desire to “turn your life around”. I would see this as being one huge step in the road to recovery. I have no doubt the journey you are facing will be a difficult one, more difficult than many can imagine or understand. I am sure you will face days when the pain, the need is so great you may feel like giving up in despair, feeling it is just to much, questioning yourself is it worth it. Here my friend I can assure you, YES it is worth it. Ultimately, it is worth ever moment of pain and hurt.
I admire your great love for your parents. I am sorry to hear of their declining health. It would indeed be a very noble, loving and much appreciated gesture on your part. It will really show the depth of your love. But, I think it is just as if not even more important to do it for yourself. I am not going to get into a big long spiel here on the importance and the benefits, I am sure you have heard all that before, and there is nothing more I could add that would be different.
What I can tell you is that life can be and is wonderful and beautiful. But it is only as wonderful and beautiful as we truly make it. Yeah, I know, very easy to say, but can be hard to do. Sadly, it has taken me to the point that I am nearing the end of mine to really realize that. I look back now over my life and the things that I saw back at the time, that seemed to tear my world apart, really weren’t all that important, hardly worth a second glance. I sadly just didn’t see it that way then.
I encourage you in your efforts my friend. I can only hope and pray that in some small way my words and thoughts may encourage you, to keep working towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Life is precious, please live and I mean live every moment of it. Life is worth it, you are worth it, please don’t give up.
I am not sure how but if I can help in any way, please just let me know.
You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.
Wow. I am stunned by your sharing and giving back so much to every person who writes to you with their experience. I aspire to the kind of amazingly positive impact on people that you have. It is your deep integrity, honesty, compassion and wisdom wrought in your struggle that shines through. You stand out in the blogging world and in the world at large as someone to be admired and listened to.
Your blog communicates the most important truth that a human can ever know. Life is precious above all, and too short (one year or a hundred years is too short). Every day I’m alive I am grateful for it, far more so since I nearly died after a motorcycle accident about 6 years ago. I am doubly grateful for the lives of my friends and family – my girlfriend was on the motorbike at the time, and miraculously escaped unharmed. Sadly we recently separated, but we remain friends.
It is so important to acknowledge one’s loved ones, to let them know how much you love them. I never know if I’m going to be killed by an out-of-control truck on my long drive home after work, or if the violent crime in South Africa will one day catch up with me or my loved ones. So many people die senselessly all the time, let alone those with diseases. Recently, my father’s half brother died and I was so priviledged to spend a few hours with him a month before he died. I didn’t know him closely, but spending some time with him meant the world to him and to me.
Similarly, I was priviledged to know for a brief time the man close to my girlfriend’s mother. They had been together for 3 years when this true gentleman was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer. He fought it for 2 more years, and only in the final 2 months was he forced to stop his passion, golf, because of the extreme tiredness. The impression he made in the few days I spent with him will always remain with me.
I have a deep fear of dying. Actually, the fear is of pain. The much greater fear is of Endings. I’m afraid of everything coming to an abrupt end – all the opportunity to live life, to love, to experience, to share, to be loved – my greatest fear is the loss of that, of all that is human. I do not have a clear or strong sense of an afterlife, which I imagine must give some measure of relief to fear of the ultimate ending.
So, without an afterlife to comfort me, I rely on the intense experience of life. Life is magnified by the knowledge that everything can change or vanish in an instant. This is such a powerful realisation and it empowers me enormously. I pay such better attention to friends and family, and to what I do, and to my health, being acutely aware of how thin the thread of life is.
Again, thank you for sharing your life with the world and me. I am glad that I found your blog and will put a link to it on mine. I hope your life continues to be enriched for a long time by your sharing and all the responses.
PS. I hope its okay with you, but I’ve posted this comment on my blog. I like to share my thoughts on the people and their sites that inspire on my blog. I hope that by doing so people will be inspired to visit the sites that I’ve found inspirational.
Dear brightsilentthought, I thank you so much for your so kind words they do mean a lot to me. I feel honored that you would choose to put your comment to me on your own blog and add me to your blog roll. I have in fact just visited your site and found it to be very inspiring and thought provoking. I hope you don’t mind but I will add you to my blog roll.
I absolutely admit that my faith and believe in an afterlife has made my situation so much easier to deal with. In fact I can’t even imagine how much more difficult my journey would be without it. I have heard it said by some that faith and spirituality is nothing but a crutch to help you through tough times. Personally, I believe it is so much more than that but be it a crutch or whatever it is certainly helping me though difficult times. I am not a preacher or anything of the sort, trying to convert anyone but I would encourage all to at least explore or look into some form of spirituality. It is such a wonderful help to me. Hey, there is nothing to loose but maybe a lot to gain.
I really respect and admire you attitude on life. You have a great understanding and appreciation of life, which you are using as a great inspiration to others, I commend you for that. Life is indeed to short and every moment is precious and to be appreciated. It is also very fragile in that we really never do know when it might end. It is so important to keep telling family loved one of our feelings for them. In our minds we always have tomorrow to share our feelings of love or to make ammends, whatever. In our minds we have tomorrow, in reality we may not have it.
I think it is wonderful the way you recognize that it was a privilege to be able to spend time with the two gentlemen you speak of. I am sure every moment of that time could have been inspiring. I congratulate you my friend on having an insight far greater than many.
Even with my faith in the life beyond, I share many of your same fears. Fear of dying, not so much but then that can vary depending on the day and even on how I feel and my mood. But it is more of the process, I don’t want pain. I don’t so much see things as endings but more as “I will see you later” when it comes to family and friends. I wish and pray my daughters have long healthy happy lives and with this comes the thought I might not see them again for maybe 50 years or so, hmm that does seem like a long time.
I wish you well my friend and hope you will visit again, I will be over at your site.
Hi Bill, Thanks for your kind comments about my blog. I will keep coming back to you for inspiration. You make me think of a friend of my family, who has had cancer for about ten years. For that whole time she’s been worried that she’ll die, leaving her son and husband alone. Some people die slowly in little ways, long before they’re dead.
Others, like you, are full of vitality and the spirit of giving, even in great suffering or in the process of dying. I appreciate that ability to live life to the full, in the now.
Best wishes on your upcoming birthday!
Hi brightsillentthought, I thank you for your kind words. I believe life simply that life is to be lived for as long as we are able. Savor and enjoy every precious moment that we can. Sadly I must agree with you, many people seem to begin to “die” within even long before any illness of any type may hit them. I hope we can all help all come to appreciate and live life, not endure it.
In 1978, my mother was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, and was given 2 years to live. Her response was to promptly go out and outlive her cardiologist. She finally died in June of 2000.
With that said, Mom would have been the first to say that hearing those words from her doctor caused her to make changes in her life that were truly transformational. While I was still in high school, Mom was preparing me for the possibility of coming home and finding her collapsed or dying. She taught all of our family to cherish every day, and to not allow a day to go by that we didn’t express love and affection for those who most deeply touch our lives.
Accordingly, it’s with a tinge of sadness that I read your blog, and not just because of your health. I read it, wishing that all those days and years of listening to Mom could have been captured as you’re doing here. Instead, I find myself trying to codify and put into my own blog the many things that I learned, both from watching her live, and watching her die. As my siblings have often said, “Mom taught us all how to live, and taught us all how to die.”
It’s good to find your blog… the daily journal of a man who’s living, and appreciates it all the more because of what the doctors have said. All of us, if we’re honest, are dying. Some of us have a bit more information about the timetable than others, and some of us are in denial that it’s on the horizon. Thanks for taking the information you’ve been given, and doing something positive with it. – Tim
P.S. Happy Birthday (a bit late)
I have been following your blog for about a year and wanted to tell you how much I admire your courage as well as Vi’s. Your talent and commitment for writing your thoughts is superb. I understand a bit about illness as I am a cancer survivor (4 times over). Also, my husband, who is a retired CIBC manager says he has met you. God bless you and Vi. Gail
Hi Gail so nice to hear from you. I thank you so very much for your kind comments. I am sorry to hear of your struggles with cancer, such a terrible, terrible disease. A 4 time survivor, I am in awe, but saddened to think of all you have had to endure. The Good Lord obviously has plans for you here on this earth.
I have lost contact with all of my friends from CIBC and I hope you don’t mind I may pop you an email. Your husband and I have met so it would be nice to just catch up on where everyone is.
May God bless you and yours
IN your suffering, thank you for blessing us with your observations.
Peace to you
hi! i just want to say that you have indeed have a very inspiring blog. for someone who’s dying, you have imparted so many encouraging words in living life to the fullest. you see, i have been taking care of my grandmother who had an insulin shock 28 years ago and had been bedridden for 5 years. she has NG tube and catheter attached to her. she couldn’t speak. the only thing she can do is wake up and sleep. i used to joke to my mother that grandma is of the same age as me (i’m 28 years old.) and just looking at her makes me wonder what her real purpose here on earth since, as i’ve said, she couldn’t do anything except wake up and go to sleep. recently, something happened to her children which i know if she can only speak, they will really hear a lot from her. makes me realize that life itself is a gift. through her, i realized what unconditional love is. she’s already almost 92 years old now and i know that our God will take her in her own time. but i know also that when that time comes, i know that my lola (grandmother) has really the best in life.
and by the way, though you are of the same age as my mother, i want to consider you as like my lolo (grandpa). my two grandfathers died when i was very young and i can always remember the goodness and love they have showered me. i always thought how wisdom can be a precious gift.. and that’s what you are doing in here… same as what my two lolos gave me.
How about a “Living man’s Diary”? 🙂
There is no need to have a diagnosis define one.
Hello Bill!! Glad your back, always thinkin of You & Vi,hoping all is good. I’ll be headin to the Peg this month, hoping this time I’ll be able to visit to see that bright smile of yours and your wonderful stories…Till then & In my Prayers always.
Uncle! (because I am 32), I was really distrubed to read ‘Who Am I?’ But I was happy later realising that God has given you so much strength to endure hadship of life. I will be going through your journals later when I have time. I will be praying for you, asking God to give you more days and more strength…
Do visit my site. God may give strength through my posts.
Thank you for writing here about your experiences. The reality is that all of us are dying but don’t know it. I never thought of death too much until my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I will be adding a link to your blog on mine. God bless.
do you really want to just accept your diagnosis?
I’m honored by your visits to my blog and even more when you decide to add me to your blogroll. Thank you.
Bill, I was feeling sorry for myself and very tearful when I decided to surf the net for something inspirational on death and dying. And then I found your journal that caught my attention. I haven’t read all of it yet, but plan to.
I am 49 years old with health problems waiting for a definitive dx from my doctor. I fear the worst and have such a sense of impending doom right now. I am in pain most of the time and still manage to work full time and keep a smile on my face for my customers/children and husband. I think your right about stress… and how you handle yourself. A person does have a choice how they handle their self in stressful situations. Getting frustrated and angry only makes matters worse. I am trying to take one day at a time and not worry so much. I have no control on my health outcome at this point in time. My scans and labs are all abnormal…. more tests are to come… i think the waiting for answers from the doctors is the hardest thing to do. They never seem to been in a hurry …. just the patient is…. I think the doctors need to be on the other end of the spectrum. I am tired now and will end this on ..you helped me stop crying today. thank you, kim
Hi Kim, I am so sorry to hear of your health problems, you will be in my prayers. I can absolutely understand what you are saying about the frustration of waiting, seemingly endlessly for test results. The waiting while not knowing is the hardest part, our minds and imagination takes over and we fear the worst.
Good for you, I am proud of you, take it one day at a time. Try to make the best of each individual day as it comes. Deal with today, tomorrow can be dealt with tomorrow, really pointless to fret about it today.
It is good to be able to talk about your situation or even just vent about it. Please know I am always here for you if you want to do either. If you ever want to chat more privately just let me know and I will contact you by email. Please keep in touch.
You are in my heart, thoughts and prayers.
Wow! I didn’t expect such a quick response. I am getting ready to go to work to a job I love. I am a hairdresser and I own my own salon in a small country town. It’s like drama in a box (meaning the box is my salon). Hope you are okay today. later.kim
Kim, always looking forward to hearing from you
In your recent discussion (sept. 27) on “Learn CPR Please” was good. You definitely reviewed the stats on saving lives with CPR. I agree that everyone should learn CPR. But I think the problem with that one lies in the “fear” of doing something wrong and the cost is not really cheap for some people to afford (at least in my home town) to learn the techniques. In my salon, I make it mandatory to take the class every two years. The American Red Cross charges $50 per person. The people who teaches these classes are volunteers (they don’t get paid) and they have full time jobs. They teach CPR on their time.
I personally think that our medical insurance companies should teach CPR to families, employees in businesses, schools, and restuarants (or just anyone who want to learn) for FREE. Just think what it would cost insurance companies… if a heart attack left someone disabled in some way ( they don’t always die .. which would be the cheap way out). I believe if the insurance companies get rid of some of the CEOs, they could afford to teach the american and the cannadian people at zero cost…. isn’t that their job…. medical insurance… lord knows we pay dearly for it.
Well, I am exhausted from working today in my little soap opera box. Have you seen the movie “steel magnolias” with dolly parton, shirley maclaine, sally fields, julia roberts, daryl hannah … the beauty shop scenes? that’s what my shop is like. A total blast filled with laughter, drama, and tears. a close knit family/community. Tommorow is geriatric day, my ladies are 70 years and older. my oldest is 93. Its like demolition derby in the parking lot. These ol’ gals say what ever comes to mind and don’t hold back. It’s a total riot . They are my reason for learning CPR. It would be ashame to loose one of them… i wouldn’t want to be responsible for a death from plain ignorance. later, kim
Hi Kim, you could be right about people having the fear of doing something wrong when it comes to CPR etc. I agree with you everyone should have CPR training, think of the lives that could be saved. It is not a long course possibly it should even be taught as a mandatory course in high school.
Your work place sounds like a real blast, wish I could visit sometime.
Thank you my friend.
I find this inspirational! I came to the web looking for comfort, and your story has really made me understand so much. There were so many things that had me up every night. But your journal entries have really made me come to peace.
I am left with little time to live. A couple of months if I’m lucky. However, my fear is not dying. My fear is the process. Will it be painful? Will I be alone? It’s hard to think of this, considering I am 23 years old. My whole life I have planned for a future that no longer exists. I have done my best to be an excelent daughter, student, friend, and employee, and I believe I have been successful. Yet, I know I will never get married or have children or complete my degrees. That is what I am having difficulty dealing with. Trying to figure out what I have done for myself? Currently studying my master’s degree in Harvard while working at an excelent system’s company. But I wonder, I’ve worked so hard to achieve all this, with no reason. What was the point in missing so many important/fun/exciting things in my life, in order to dedicate time to my profession, my future? How many birthdays, gradutations, celebrations I have missed. How many difficult times of family have I not been available for support?
It is still a bit difficult to come at peace with the thought of never having a family, never giving birth and/or see my child say mama for the first time. Never being able to say ‘I do’ to the man of my dreams. But I do understand that God knows what he is doing. And if it is my time to join him, then I don’t need to understand anything, I just need to trust. We are put in this world for a purpose, and maybe, without knowing it, I have fulfilled my purpose.
Thank you Bill for this site. By the way…my birthday is December 13th as well..I will continue to be a fan of your entries!!
Hi EU, Reading your story truly tugs at my heart. What you are facing is so very difficult and I am so very sorry you have to go through it. I am glad to read that you know that God’s does know what He is doing and can accept that Will be done in your life.
That is very good, but it doesn’t change or help the disappointment you feel over a future lost, the hopes the dreams that will never be fulfilled. That is painful beyond belief. It is very understandable that you feel the way you do. Try to take at least some comfort from knowing that God has something bigger and even better planned for you.
You speak of past regrets of thing never done. Try to take some comfort in knowing you did what you did or didn’t because that was right for you at that time. The past is but a memory, a memory that we can’t change. We can’t change it so try to let it go. I often write the past is but a memory, the future but a dream all we really have is the present. It is the now that counts, how we live it and what we do with it.
It is tragic, regrettable and so very difficult but you are now faced with a very difficult or very easy decision
to make, I suppose it depends on how you look at it. None of us really know how many days we have left. This is hard I know, I am struggling with it myself. How do you want to spend your days? I imagine and hope your answer would be, I want to fill those days with as much love and joy as I can. I can let this rob me of what ever time I have or I can make the most of it.
Please don’t try to go through this or face it alone. Seek and accept loving support as it may be offered from where ever be it friends, family, who ever. Even from me.
Our situation is not that totally different. I can understand and relate to much of what you are going through. I am always here for you if you want to chat or to vent what ever. I hope you don’t mind I am going to email you directly and should you choose we can chat more privately
Hey EU. I don’t know what to say other than this. If I had half the courage your comment displays I’d be a very happy lady. I wish you peace, comfort and love.
Hey Bill! Thank you for the reply! I know I seem curageous…but deep down inside…not that curageous at all…just living one day at a time…
Hope you have a wonderful Holiday season!!!
Looking forward to your email.
This is for all!
Our thoughts and prays are with you. Courage isn’t a lack of fear…foolishness is. Real courage is facing fear and dealing with it as best as possible. Hope you have a peaceful and happy Holiday season surrounded by love.
Before stumbling across this site I was feeling down or “under the weather” as they call it due to University workload and the like. However, when I took time in reading the situations of others and how some people on here have the pure courage to keep going when many would give up is amazing.
I was close to tears reading about things others have to put up with, and it honestly gives me hope in the human spirit when we learn about others, it makes one appreciate one has and what it could easily be like.
I’m 19, and would like to say this really moved me. I hope you stay strong and carry on the struggle, its a real ispiration for us all!
Sheikh from London
A film I watched once that gave me something to think about : “The ultimate secret of life is the sure knowledge of death for without this knowledge, man would not strive to make his mark upon the earth”
we are all dying; some of us are just luckier than others because they have things encroaching on their lifespan a lot sooner, bringing it all into stark focus; making it all that more sweet.
Carpediem. .. but I don’t have to tell you that.
Love and Happiness,
[…] https://hudds53.wordpress.com/about/ […]
Hi – have been following through reading your individual blogs over the past week or so since you began postng in 2006. You are helping me cope, and I just wanted you to know that!
I had to take my blog down temporarily because weirdly enough, I began to have some strange little “stalker” out there who was disrupting things.
Meantime, I’m blogging privately, and you are on-target with one comment: Writing and blogging is a wonderful way to work through our grief and try to get a handle on this death thing! Keeping it all bottled up inside is harmful. Thank you for your blog. You help me cope much better than the stupid pain pills do! 🙂 Patti
I recently discovered your page here:
I wanted to let you know that the ” The Dhx ” link on your site points to a website (www.thedhx.com) that is no longer active.
Would you please consider replacing it with a link to my website called Dietspotlight.com? It is a resource for readers looking to inform themselves on health and weight loss topics.
If you think it would be of use to your visitors, would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page.
Here is the HTML link you could add:
Dietspotlight.com – the complete health and weight loss resource.
Thanks and have a great day!
Glad that we managed to get in touch via family history.
Your 3rd cousin 1 time removed
Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, England
Hi Mark, I am also glad we were able to get in touch. I appreciate your help with the family tree. Wow, 3rd. cousin time removed. Nice to meet you
Should have told the doctor when he told you you were dying…….’so are you’ doctors told my father he was dying said they wouldn’t give him 6 months…….he lived 21 more years!!!!! Gloria
I’ve come across your website by accident, I just wanted to say, it’s awesome you sharing these thoughts, it does make me think.
I’m hoping there is more for you in life, than what you might think you’ve got left.
Hi, I’ve chanced upon your blog and found it really meaningful. Thank you for writing down your daily journey. God bless, and have a Merry Christmas.
I’m doing a school project and I was going to use your blog as a source for understanding the thought patterns of man and I went to cite your site as a source but your name is not available. I was wondering if you could email me your name? Thank you very much!
You have been nominated for The Sunshine Award!
I started reading your blog about an hour ago after searching Google for a reason that has now totally escaped me. I was feeling very down but after all your positive words and tasting a little of your strength and courage I feel ashamed of myself. I have cried at some of the things you have written and it has been a real wake-up call for me.
Thank you and I really do wish you and your family peace and happiness.
Yours from England
56 years old. Hmm. I always find it interesting when an entity leaves this place before the usual number of years for his demographic. I know it doesn’t ultimately matter though. Thanks for writing.
Did you see tje work of doctor stephen sinatra, hes a cardiologist that cures congestive heart failure with supplements. Mainly with the coq10 he mentions beople dont need surgery after months of taking that supplement. See his videos on youtube..
Hi Kasha, welcome and thank you. I will be looking into this. I do hope we hear more from you.
Dear Bill, its Allan Kellehear again from Dalhousie University. I wrote to you some time ago asking for permission to reproduce your blog on the loneliness of dying and you kindly assented. At the end of that blog on loneliness another Blogger ‘Meg’ identified herself as someone who was also dying and found it useful to connect with someone else in the same situation as herself. I would like to reproduce that rejoinder with you – do you know how I might get into contact with her to gain her permission to reproduce her text? Or – do you think she has passed on – it was 2011 at the time. Thanks again for this.
Hi Dr. Kellehear. I am sorry to say Meg passed from this world. She was an amazing lady with such great in sight into both life and death. Beside here on the blog I was honoured to exchange many emails and even Skype on one occasion. She had much to share and I gained greatly from our friendship.
With her condition she knew what her future held. She wrote often on the loneliness of dying as she had no family, no one close to her. She spoke of the loneliness and of how wonderful something as simple as a hug would be. She spoke of how much “easier” this might be having someone at her side.
Meg chose to end her own life rather than face her future alone
Thanks for letting me know. I will remember Meg; and hope that my reprinting her words along with yours will provide her another positive legacy in the world alongside her published conversations on your blog site. More people need to know of these circumstances of dying, otherwise there will be insufficient attempts to address it from those who can. Thanks again, Bill.
For one, I thank you for your work in this area. I totally agree “More people need to know of these circumstances of dying”. The more information available possibly the greater the understanding. Greater understanding may result in slightly different care in some circumstances. To be clear in saying that I am in no way meaning it as a derogatory comment about the wonderful care givers out there. The medical teams, support workers, families all are doing am amazing job under the circumstances they are in and I thank each and everyone. This last leg of life’s journey is difficult, one that we are ultimately destined to travel alone. Understanding companions do ease the burden for some of that journey
I enjoy your blog and I would like to nominate you for the Sunshine Award, a blogger-to-blogger award given to writers who inspire and add a little sunshine to people’s lives. I hope you will accept.
For more information please visit http://exploring-life.ca/about/sunshine-award/. If you do accept please note the four “rules” of acceptance. I hope you enjoy working with the award.
Thank you for your important and courageous work. It is truly inspiring.
Hi Brian, I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Sometimes, I am not sure how really doing nothing seems to keep me seemingly so busy.
I am very honoured that you would choose my blog for such an award. I checked out the list of other blogs you have chosen and am humbled to be included in such a group.
I am not sure even how to word this so as to make sense but it is where my head is.
Over the years I have been offered numerous awards, gifts of all sort. Each I have I hope tactfully declined. I try to write from the heart with no expectations of or wish for anything in return. Well comments I do love to receive.
If I started accepting awards/gifts would that begin to change my thinking? Well I don’t know.
As honoured as I am, I humbly decline the honor. I hope what I have said makes sense and that you understand
I’ve nominated you for the Creative Blogger Award! Here’s the link: https://danicapiche.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/creative-blogger-award/
Congratulations and I hope that you’ll like it 🙂
Hi Bill, I read this post with tears in my eyes. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be told you are dying. Having not known you very long, i feel like i have known you for much longer and it upsets me to hear you are dying. You are an amazing, brave and inspiring man. Although you are struggling through all these conditions you are still wanting to help others, i am in awe of you. You made me think of myself when i smoked 25+ cigarettes a day. My Uncle (a heavy smoker) died from lung cancer many years ago, my mother (a non smoker) had a triple bypass 10 years ago and my father (a heavy smoker) was diagnosed with enmphasema 5 years ago. My father gave up smoking immediately, his wake up call too late, he has slowed down a lot having always been very fit and always on the go. You would think with my family’s health problems i would immediately give up smoking, but i would always think, that will never happen to me. I myself started to slow down, getting puffed doing simple things like walking up our steep driveway, walking up stairs etc. (never had in the past) It made me think that maybe it could happen to me. I am happy to say i have not had a cigarette for 18 months now and feel so much better for having given it up. We sometimes take even the smallest things for granted. Life is a gift from God. I cannot imagine what you and your family are going through. God bless you and Vi and your family. Thankyou for sharing your life and your thoughts with us. I continue to be inspired by you and to always see the positives in life. I always enjoy our chats and games on Words with you Bill, my good friend and my thoughts and prayers will always be with you and your family………….Gail
Hi Gail, I thank you for taking the time to leave your comment. Good for you for the quitting smoking, you heard the wake up call and answered it.
You are so right about how we take so much in life for granted and do not appreciate the miracles in life God has granted us. Those miracles surround us everyday. We are just blind to them taking so much for granted until something affects us in a negative way. If we could all just open our eyes to see and appreciate the miracles, the blessings in our live we would be in awe and so grateful.
You mentioned breathing issues. I have breathing issues. I have come to appreciate something as simple as breathing a blessing, which it is as a gift from God.vso many things in life we take for granted, not appreciating them until we are negatively impacted.
Maintain a positive attitude and it will take you far.
I likewise enjoy our games over on friends.
Again, thank you for your comment.