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#461387 - 04/01/13 09:22 AM The process of dying
Marty Offline
from Wendy Auxillou, writing about the death of her father Ray last week....

It is considered taboo to talk about death and dying, but after watching my father slowly pass away, I wish I had had more information about what to expect. So I will share my experience here. It is the most surreal thing I have ever experienced, as I have never before in living memory watched a person die.

Some of it was shocking, some of it was unexpected, some of it I wished I had known about before so I could have done some things differently, not the least of which was making sure my father was as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

When I indicated to my father that I was on the way to Miami from Malta and would be relieving Silvia as his carerer, he responded with an email saying "change of deathbed chaperone". He already knew death was imminent. It is US that didn't know.

One week or so before his death, my father was admitted to the University of Miami Hospital. This was not his of his doing, he did this to appease US, his family members who were begging him to try something ... anything... to rid himself of the disease. By this time, I am sure he was already prepared for and expecting death. But, he agreed to it still because he loved us and saw that WE were suffering.

At the time he was admitted, he had not eaten or drunk anything of substance for several days, maybe even a week (hence the reason we urged him to go to the hospital). In hindsight, and after reading more literature in order to understand what all I witnessed, I came to understand that dying begins days or weeks before the actual event. One of the first signs is a severely diminished appetite and thirst. It is the beginning stages of the body shutting down. However, I did not know this. And I wish I had.

Since I was his chaperone, I was "admitted" to the hospital along with my father. I kept a 24 hour vigil on him as his carer during his entire internment there. I "slept" on a separate cot in his room (when I was able to sleep), and kept him company whenever he was awake. I was there for a total of 7 nights.

At the hospital, my father was put on IV electrolytes to hydrate him, probably in contravention of the already in-place dying process. As the dying person loses his appetite and thirst, the throat becomes dry and swallowing becomes more difficult. This is a natural part of the process. Not knowing this, we asked the hospital to insert a feeding tube so we could continue to nourish him. My father acceded to our request for this, as well as the hospital, but in the end, it served no useful purpose. The dying process was in full swing, and feeding tube or no feeding tube, my father continued to insist that he was not hungry and did not want to be fed. He did accept the electrolytes and the painkillers gracefully.

Since I did not know that he was in the dying process, I kept trying to "force" (strongly urge) him to eat, at a time when eating was furthest from his mind. I wish I knew then what I know now. It may not have changed a lot, but at least I would have been less traumatized and shocked by his passing. Had I known, I would not have insisted so forcefully that he put nutrients in his body, and would have encouraged him to eat the things that he enjoyed. Remember, he could not swallow, but he could take little bits of ice cream, for example, which he enjoyed.

At no time did my father lose his faculties or mental capacity. Whenever he was awake, he was lucid, confident and very much in control. Two days before his passing, my father was sitting on his hospital bed, laptop on his lap, teaching me his "proprietary trading method." He wanted to transfer the knowledge to someone before his passing. He was so clear and level-headed that I had no indication that the end was so near, even though he kept insisting to us that it was, and that "all parents die at some point."

Four or five hours before "the moment", my father's breathing pattern changed drastically. This happened from one moment to the next, like a light switch turning a flow of electricity on. His breathing became labored, he started to experience chills and shivering, his body began to become cold, a tingling sensation began in his feet and moved its way upwards in a slow process, then the breathing pattern changed again, changed later again, and then changed one final time.

Throughout it all, my father was very calm and dignified.

This post is not intended to frighten or spook anyone, but rather to teach about a process that very few of us know about. If, like me, you would like to make your loved one's passing that much easier, it's best to know what to expect.

The rest of the process is best explained in the link below.


#461388 - 04/01/13 09:24 AM Re: The process of dying [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Comment from a friend......


Thank you for sharing this very personal time which you spent with your father with the list members. It would have been my pleasure to share with you a better understanding of the process of death, so that you could have better understood what was happening with your father. Like yourself, I also witnessed my father's slow decline with his body slowly shutting down at the end, and I was with him at the time of his passing. My dad lived to 16 days of his 100th birthday.

What you have just described is the fact that your father's conscious behavior was taken control of by his higher soul or self. This resides in the Twelfth Chakra which is about 10 Inches above his head. In the case of most deaths, as your father's, from a disease such as cancer, it is a normal part of the dying process for the Soul to be very involved in the process of extraction of the energy fields and bodies from the physical body. It is obvious from what you have described that Ray without telling you, fully understood what was taking place and was probably being guided subconsciously. In Sanskrit this is called Maha Samadhi or extraction of the soul from the physical body and reuniting with its higher source it's perfect self or perfect soul. Great Spiritual Masters will not just merge with their higher self (SOUL) but also with the Divine SOUL or the I Am Presence. This takes many incarnations of walking on a spiritual path for this to happen. This is what the Catholic Church terms resurrection. In reality each of us have the opportunity to do this. It is not the exclusive domain of Jesus the Christ. The Church blocks and Twists Christ's teachings, for He did share with the world that others would come after Him and do greater things than He had done. The intention of these words was to clearly indicate that He did not have exclusivity over the process of SOUL growth, healing and resurrection.

Only those who are very attached to the physical realm and carnal world do not understand energy and spirit and they mostly really do fear death. In reality there is no such thing as death, but simply the shifting of consciousness from a physical body into an energy body of light. The soul is immortal. It cannot be drowned or burned or killed. The twisted teachings of the Catholic Church would have you believe that we only incarnate into a physical body once, but the truth is very simply that the physical body is nothing more than a vehicle which allows the soul, which is SPIRIT, to have a worldly experience. This experience is really the opportunity for the soul to grow, as in reality being in this physical realm is nothing more than than being in school. Each soul comes into a physical vehicle hundred or thousands of times depending on the maturity of the soul.

Your father was a good man and so all you need to really know is that he had learned his lessons well and lived a life of non-injury to his fellow man/woman. It is very important between two souls that they work out any serious differences which they may have between themselves before leaving this incarnation, as in the next incarnation they will come back at the same time and both will have to work out unresolved issues.

Your dad lived a very full life, and as much as you will miss his physical presence, know that he is not dead. He is very much alive and has been relieved of the pain of the human body and also the physical confines of the human body. He is now free to travel the planets, the stars, the galaxies and the universes. Listen for him and call to him and he may even appear during waking conscious dreams. After all each of us leave our physical body every night when we are in REM or deep sleep. The only difference between this and what happened with your father, is that we come back consciously into the body when we awaken and he will not until his next incarnation.

I hope that this small esoteric explanation/teaching will give you some comfort as you adjust to the new reality of him not being with you anymore in the physical realm.

With Blessings of Light and Love,

PS: Please convey my best wishes to all your sisters for me. I did not know his other children, but I am sure that you have all come to appreciate and love each other if even from different mothers.

#461389 - 04/01/13 09:26 AM Re: The process of dying [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
from a friend....

Personally I believe that the American culture is becoming more open about the dying process. I think that Hospice has had a big influence in regards to this. I also was with both my father and mother during their dying.

My Dad (1984) in a hospital and my Mom here at home with me(2004). The difference in the attitude towards the end of life was very changed. In my group of friends there is quite a divide between those that know the heartache that has happened in the death of their parents and then the innocent ones that have not yet experienced the death of a parent.

Last year on my annual Doctor visit I requested a DNR. The only dispute was that she thought I was pretty young to be wanting a DNR. We had a pretty lengthy end of life discussion and I have in place the appropriate legal documents to hopefully insure that the end of my life might follow some of my wishes. Over the years of following friends and family with their end of life the dying person is usually more than prepared to die but
the rest of the people involved are not ready to let go. You factor in the medical field which is going to do anything in their power to keep anyone alive and the struggle begins.

Never ever second guess the decisions you make while someone is dying. There is no right or wrong. You just do the best you can under the circumstances. Don't listen to anyone who says "you should have done this or that". They were not there.

Wendy your Dad would be proud of all of you kids for dealing with his illness..

#461392 - 04/01/13 09:36 AM Re: The process of dying [Re: Marty]
Laguna Punta Offline
Thank you, Wendy (Marty) for this thread. My condolence goes out to you, Wendy...while I never met your father, I knew of him and his valued contribution to Caye Cauker and Cayo.
Gone fishing!!

#461403 - 04/01/13 10:48 AM Re: The process of dying [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Hospice care is invaluable for dignified end of life care for patients and family. Pls support Belize Palliative Care; look at their FB page. Patients should have more control and be given the right to decide when they have had enough and end their suffering when they are ready. Condolences Wendy. Its a gift to walk someone you love from life to death and will help you with the process of mourning
Belize based travel specialist

#461425 - 04/01/13 03:07 PM Re: The process of dying [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
I had to battle with my fathers doctor to get a gerontologist involved. The MD had been lying to the family for years. One visit with the gerontologist he told Mom and Dad the truth. My Mom fell apart and Dad resisted Hospice.
During the initial interview Dad sat stony faced and not listening. Abruptly he interrupted and asked if she had been the woman who helped a neighbor. When she answered 'yes' his whole attitude changed and he put himself totally in her care.
I arranged for some spiritual counseling (not the church he hated and feared)as he was certain he was going to hell. Of course you hang on to life if you think that is going to happen. He always was afraid dying would be very painful. Between the two counselors they explained exactly the process (much like Wendy did).
When my mom called me and told me what he planned she asked me to come back. I had spent two weeks there setting everything up and told her that he and I had said our goodbyes.
Within a week he made the decision to stop taking all the medicine and the next day (with his 5 children - all except me) he had them sit on his bed and turn off the oxygen.

Four of my siblings said it was a very peaceful passing. My ultra 'born-again' sister went a little nuts and for years kept saying "We killed Dad."

Thank you Wendy for having the courage to write about this delicate subject they we all need to deal more directly with. I think these island need some assisted living accommodations. I understand that the Belizean's do a great job of taking care of their elders; however there are a lot of Expats here who do not have that love and could use it.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#461433 - 04/01/13 04:24 PM Re: The process of dying [Re: Marty]
ragman Offline
Hospice is great. They assisted me with both my farther and a few months later my mother. Understanding what is going on is very important.

On a side note by coincidence I was reading a home town newspaper on line this morning and a new business has been born in this area. I think this shows that more people are accepting and preparing for death as just another part of the cycle of life. This could be a good way to ease the pain, if done correctly of the ones you leave behind. Here is the article:

You can have the last word in this life. In fact, you can have the last word played on a continuous loop.

And your last word can live forever, long after you have not.

Preston Alexander can keep your words in this world for eternity by posting them on his website.

He also has helped increase attendance at the high tea for the Historical Society.

Alexander is the owner, operator and work force at Rock Street Studio on Rock Street, a company he began three years ago in a former ophthalmologist office across the street from the former District Court.

Each time those videos are played at board meetings or fundraising events, he gets more calls, Alexander said.

Some of those have been by individuals asking for videos to commemorate their wedding. Others said they wanted to leave something personal to friends and family when they go.

Those questions lead to Heritage Memorial Films, which Alexander launched this year.

Alexander produced videos that are intended to be shown at a memorial service after a person dies. Usually, the videos are shown on a screen in the funeral home at a wake. They incorporate music, quotations, pictures from a person’s life and testimonials from family and friends, if that is wanted. The video can run on a continuous loop through the wake.

Alexander takes old photographs, retouches them in Photoshop, assembles the video and then burns everything, including the retouched photos, onto a DVD for the client.

As a marketing tool, Alexander produced a Memorial Tribute to himself — actually he created a fictional twin brother — so he could use his own childhood and early-adult pictures in the tribute. He also filmed himself giving a tribute to his fictional twin brother, signing off, “So long, Bro.”
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