When Death Comes Sweetly

Third Times the Charm Monthly Newsletter

Say each thought lovingly to yourself & watch magical things begin to happen:

  Day by day I am learning to trust the flow of life.   Angel
  I am at peace with the reality of physical death.
  I accept & release everything in my life that is beyond my power to change.

Expand your awareness with wonderful words:

beatitude \bee-AT-i-tood\, noun:
1. Supreme blessedness; exalted happiness.
2. Any of the declarations of blessedness pronounced by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

When Death Comes Sweetly

Phyllis, my mother-in-law, has had Progressive Supranuclear Palsy for the past 8 years.  She has spent the last 3 years in a nursing home.

PSP is a gradual deterioration of brain cells mainly in the brain stem. The first symptom was a distinct difference in her personality, she became almost apathetic which was highly unusual for her.  Then the forgetfulness and finally imbalance and falling.  The disease is often misdiagnosed for Parkinson’s because they are very similar.

PSP is thought to be related to exposure to some unknown chemical in the food, air, or water which slowly damages certain vulnerable areas of the brain.

Hospice began last Friday which means the end is near.  The hospice manual says, “It’s time to let your loved one know that it’s okay for them to go home now, to God.”

Saturday, I went with my 26 yr old son, Marcus, to visit with her allowing him the opportunity to say his good-byes.  He was very close to her especially growing up.  We sat and cried the entire time, but it was a good cry.

The hospice manual says, “It’s okay to cry with your loved one who is dying, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed or try to hide your tears.”

Marcus has grown up to become a fine young man.  He’s finishing college in 6 weeks and has a full time job in his field already.  I could hear the pride in his voice as he shared his successes with his grandmother and his heart-felt gratitude for all that she had did for him in his life.

But the moment that I will never forget is after we had each given her a big, long hug and said I love you one more time, she looked into Marcus’ eyes and held out her arms again and moaned.  I laughed and said, “I think she wants one more hug.”

And with a big smile on his face he said, “Only for you Grandma, only for you.”

julie & phyllis 2009
Me & Phyllis July 2009

The most important thing that Phyllis taught me, was how to stay connected with the people you love and how to be a blessing to others.  She always made time for me and my family by calling just to say hi for a few moments or stopping over quick with groceries or a meal.

Phyllis was always giving and our favorite time of the year was the harvest from her gardening.  Oh how she loved to garden!!  She canned everything from pickles to tomatoes. Now, I see that gardening was a way for her to give to and stay in touch with the people that she cared about.

When death comes sweetly, Phyllis will be ready.  She has fought the good fight and she has won the honor and privilege of going home, to be with God and have eternal beatitude.

God bless you Phyllis and all the good that you did in this world! I can honestly say that I am a better person for having known you.

And remember, if you hear, see or feel it three times pay attention it means the Universe is speaking to you.

How do you stay in touched with loved ones?  Do you garden or bake just so you have something to share with others?  Have you had an experience watching a loved one pass? 

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts below. 

Comments

  1. Julie, Thank you for sharing Phyllis with us. Love to you and your family.

  2. Thank you for sharing Phyllis with us and how blessed you and your family must be to have her in your life. My God be with you and your family during these times.

  3. Hi Julie..
    I’m thinking of you.. so important to stay present in these last days..and to be with all of the intensity of the different feelings that come up.. and yet being on the other side of my sweet brother’s death 5 months ago.. I know I wouldn’t have missed a minute.. He was very young and left 2 babies and a young wife, and the rest of us. I wear his tee shirt to bed, talk to him at different times, and find lots of ways to stay connected to him. I know that you will find lots of ways to connect with Phyllis…Sending you love and every blessing.. xox Lisa

  4. Julie, I have had a number of experiences with loved ones passing. It is a bittersweet, holy time, a time I am grateful to be a part of. Blessings to you & yours with your mother-in-law’s passing coming soon.

  5. My Mom has worked in hospice for years. I have learned so much in discussing death with her. I love what you said here, Julie. I think that so many people try and keep people alive when they think that they are close to death. This makes it hard for the person dying to express their feelings and fears. Many times, the person dying ends up consoling the people who are not dying!

    When death is inevitable and near, I think it is so important to express to people that it is OK to go when they need to. This peace can help them relax and let go themselves.

  6. Timely post, as my boyfriend’s grandmother passed away this weekend – sadly we are not in the same country, but I know we’ve been preparing for this moment as she was declining. My boyfriend doesn’t want to go to the funeral. He says he wants to remember his grandma as she was when she was alive and kicking, and he’s relieved now she’s with his grandpa. So yeah, a sweet death somehow…
    Much love to you and your family.

  7. Julie, hugs to you and your family. Phyllis is blessed to have you, as you have been blessed having her in your life. My mom passed away very suddenly four years ago. I’m convinced that she chose the moment to have a fatal heart attack (even though she had no symptoms of heart disease). I have been aware, from that moment, that she made the choice that was best for her. I feel her presence daily and have physical reminders of that around my house. A plant that she gave me, that continues to grow, photos, and my own voice (a voice that sounds very much like hers did). Thank you for sharing your story as it touches so beautifully into all of our lives.

  8. This is such a gift you are sharing. As our culture hides away from death and for many it’s something that happens behind closed doors, sharing your thoughts, impressions and learning is so helpful to many.

    People just don’t know how to behave around death. It’s part of the circle of life and we need to bring people back in touch with our rhythms and flows.

    Beautiful! Thank you.

  9. Thanks Julie for sharing this story – a bit sad and at the same time full of love. I envy you in a good way for your relationships with your mother-in-law. It’s precious.

    I’ve had an experience watching my mum passed away when I was 20, it was very hard, I think I became a responsible adult overnight and I was devastated and life seemed unfair, the only “compensation” for me was that at that time I was pregnant and could get salvation in expecting my first baby.

    Now, I treat death as a natural part of life, even though it’s sad to say good-buys to our loved ones. Though when people pass away unexpectedly while being very young it’s still hard to cope.

  10. Oh, blessings to you and your family in your time of loss. But I’m glad you were able to treat death as natural and not demonize it – our culture can have such an unhealthy attitude around it. I’ve got some issues going on with my grandpa right now and this story makes me feel a lot better, and gives me some ideas for how to handle/process these things going on.

  11. Julie, I can so relate to what you’re going through. Death is a profound experience and yet one we all will go through one day. To accept it and honor it when the time draws near, to be there for your loved ones is a profound gift to them. Blessing to you and your family during this time.

  12. Oh, wow — this one hit really close to home because my mom-in-law is also a loving gardener. She got it from her mom, and in fact my husband still gently tends to an offshoot of one of his grandmother’s plants. Plus, being a yoga dork, I love the reference to detachment and acceptance that all things (including this life and body) are temporary. Wishing your whole family peace and comfort….

  13. Blessings of love to you, your family and beautiful Phyllis. It is tender when the time comes for goodbyes. May you all feel wrapped in the lifetime of love you share.

  14. Julie, this made me cry. Such a lovely post and tribute to your mother-in-law. Death is so hard to deal with at any age, so the part about your son Marcus really broke me. I also loved this tidbit: And remember, if you hear, see or feel it three times pay attention it means the Universe is speaking to you.
    I have not ever heard that before but this is something I’m going to be aware of now.
    Thank you for sharing. Phyllis was lucky to have you too.

  15. Julie, my deepest sympathies to you and your beautiful family. Your sharing of this blog post was deeply touching. You helped me see how death can look like and should… this was beautiful. Blessings to Phyllis and her spirit for shining through here for all of us to see and learn from. xo

  16. What a beautiful post about your mother-in-law and the relationships in your family. I didn’t realize they gave such guidance in hospice and it seems like such a gift to give you…to help you know what to do in this situation. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  17. Thanks for a sweet post. My father passed away 3weeks ago and I was glad to be able to spend his last days with him.

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