My friend J died on June 8th.
I’m not going to write about that as its not my story, but I am just going to write this.
All through his illness, and K and J are like family to me, I have been very scared about the ‘end’. Not because I am afraid of death itself, but I am afraid of the process and the manifold ways in which death can be truly horrible. Afraid for J , but also for K and their son that something horrible would be their last memory, and after all the struggles there would be more traumatic experiences.
I knew this was weighing on me, and that it was largely a personal thing. I did talk to a few people about it, but it feels both ridiculous and a bit presumptive to try and explain why it was so important to me (and after all I am not family, just a close friend) . I also knew it was yet another example of me trying to control something that I really could not , and agonising about something that might not happen (not exactly keeping it in the day !)
Until he died, and it was a perfect death, insofar as such a sad, sad thing can be ‘perfect’, I had not understood the concept of ‘handing it over’, I had never seriously thought about ‘trusting’ in a ‘higher power’ as a realistic option. As I have been exploring, my trust in ‘God’ to help me, has been non existent.
In the last 48 hours this has completely changed. I want to capture it here because I hope so much that this will stick.
It seems to me that a) I was granted the strength, time and opportunity to have the conversations I wanted to b) that amongst the myriad of terrible potential scenarios in my head, something, somewhere, led J to a peaceful, dignified, pain free death with his beloved wife by his side.
And if that’s not a higher power working so that all things ‘intermingle for good’ I really don’t know what is.
I can see how I have tortured myself needlessly, made myself ill with anxiety over something I had no control over (although of course part of the issue is that I did potentially have just a little control in that I know how to administer medication) . By ‘handing it over’ and trusting that it will be ok, I could have saved myself a lot of angst.
Much more significantly I feel that I have been granted an insight. That ‘it’ WILL BE Ok … ‘all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well’ in the words of the 14th century Christian mystic Julian of Norwich. That meddling fretting and agonising is not helpful, not productive and is unnecessary ….
That is the point of this post. I believe I have been given help, help to see a way forward to a calmer, more trusting future.
The picture is a beautiful fountain at the place J died.
May he Rest in Peace.