The Final Phase
My Mother-In-Law began hospice care yesterday. Needless to say there is much sadness in my family right now.
I’ve been no stranger to death in my life and the pain and sadness that comes along with it…and the grieving that follows.
I’m by no means an expert in what to do or how to behave, but I have worked on finding comfort and peace with it – because death in life is inevitable and I accept this.
I found this article on the stages of death.
This article has helped me view this time as a necessary process – needed to experience – so we can move on to what is next if you are lucky enough to live your life to this point.
Yes, if you’re wondering, I do believe there is a next. I’m not going to get into my religious beliefs now, but I share this thought of a next as a strong belief from my spiritual self.
I also believe that while this final phase of life can be a very, very sad time, it can also be a very peaceful and accepting time and can be proceeded through with dignity and grace.
While thinking about this time of life, I’ve also spent some time contemplating the phases of my life as they relate to where I feel I’m at and in relation to the resolutions and changes I’d like to personally make in the new year. I’ve been using the imagery of “putting down the rock” to signify what we seem to carry with us through these phases of life and choosing the time when we can finally put these rocks down.
As an example, I think as teenagers we pick up certain “rocks” (or rather boulders) signifying how we should look, act, what we should have, acquire and become. To some degree, we carry pieces of these rocks with us throughout our lives – though hopefully the rocks get smaller and smaller as we get older.
Hopefully, we realize as we get older, that while looking nice and having and acquiring nice things can feel good, it can feel just as nice, if not better, living the life of a good person and giving away of ourselves. Lightening our load as it were.
I’ve also applied this carrying around of rocks to include the “stories” we create in our lives. Sometimes carrying around our “stories” can be a heavier burden than any rock would ever be and it can feel so wonderful to just simply put them down.
We all do it, I know I definitely do, and I now try to name these stories and to actually visualize putting them down. It can be so freeing.
At this phase, in my mother-in-law’s life, she’s been all she will be here on earth and in this life. She’s been the wonderful mother, the caring friend, the comforting spouse, the sweetest Grandmother and Great-Grandmother and, for me, the most darling mother-in-law I could ask for. She will always be remembered as the most beautiful and perfect Southern woman in my mind and I’m sure in many others.
I hope she feels she can put down any rocks she still carries and take the time to be selfish – letting herself feel the peace that she is surely due.
Our souls are forever connected with hers.
I send her prayers of comfort, peace and everlasting love.