“Goodbyes are never easy. Saying farewell to a loved one who’s dying can be one of the toughest things you’ll experience in this lifetime. No matter how ready you think you are, it’s never easy when the time actually comes. If you’re dealing with this at the moment, my heart goes out to you.
When my mom went into long-term palliative care, I received a small booklet by Hank Dunn called Hard Choices for Loving People. It prepared me to cope with one of the most emotional and arduous times in my life! I share the following excerpt in the hope that you’ll find some comfort in the words now or in the future:
There are two ways to hold on. We can grasp tightly as we would a coin in our fist. We fear we will lose it, so we hold it tight. Indeed, if we open our hand palm down the coin falls from our possession, and we feel cheated. The other way to hold on is by opening our hand palm up. The coin may sit there, or it could be blown away or shaken out of our possession. But while it is there, we are privileged to have it. We hold on with an open hand. Our hand is relaxed and we experience freedom.
This small passage gave me comfort and bolstered my strength so I could get through those last months of my mom’s life. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with her. As I perched beside her bedside, we laughed, cried, and shared stories and special memories.
With a sense of openness and acceptance, we chatted about the end of her life, the Other-Side, and what to expect. I told her how those who have gone on before her would be there to welcome her home, so she wouldn’t be alone on her journey. We talked about the signs she would send me, which to this day have been beautiful and heartfelt.
I’m not going to pretend that it was easy, but my mom lived the last part of her life with grace, peace, and dignity. She brought me into this world and held me with loving arms; in return, I held her in mine as she exited this world. I have no regrets because we said and did everything we needed to say and do.
I’m sharing one of the most personal moments in my life to get across what I believe is an important message, namely: It’s possible to accept an imminent passing with love and acceptance.
I was able to enjoy my time with my mom while she was here instead of holding on tightly and refusing to let her go at the end. Please say what you have to say to the people that are in your life now, so that you never have to say “I should have, could have, or would have . . .” or, “If only I had . . .”
Try to live your life with an open hand, and enjoy and appreciate each and every moment you have with your loved ones and friends.”
From “Soul Inspirations” with John Holland