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During my angel child's treatment, I experienced anticipatory grief. It was very, very difficult and at times "ugly". When I say "ugly" - I mean emotional, full-blown snot cries and tearful. I know that I will experience grief again - but I don't want to experience that kind of "treatment road" ever again. I watched my child waste away. (Waste is a nice way of describing it.) As a mother, I experienced all kinds of personalities and others who "cared" for my child. It is excruciatingly difficult to watch other people "medically care" for your child, knowing that as their mother, you can't "cure" them. I wanted to trade places. I wanted to jump in the bed and take all - and I do mean all of the pain. It tore me down and it wore me down. My heart ached in a suffocating and paralyzing way. I felt as though my skin was being peeled away and acid was sprayed on my soul. The six weeks leading up to my child's death were the most trying. I knew my angel was leaving Earth and I was trying to come to terms with it while also denying their transition. (So complicated and confusing.) As a way of calming my nerves, I would walk the floor. This was my way of clearing my mind or reseting myself. One night (1am) I walked upon the nurse's station to hear the nurse and one of the techs talking about how I was "crazy". (I was around the corner and I couldn't be seen or heard.) They even used my name in the conversation, unaware that I was around the corner. These are people I respected, liked and even loved. I entrusted them with my child's life. As you can imagine, I was devastated. A couple of days later, again more conversation about my "craziness" in the nurses break room with the door open while I was in the Family Kitchen (directly across from the break room) gathering a small snack for myself. Again, devastation. Hearing those who are charged with caring for my child - calling me crazy - I felt helpless and isolated. I have many, many other examples of surgeons, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff (in 2 different states) who acted and said things in a manner that lacked compassion, bed-side manner and feeling. The nurses and tech situation detailed above was by far the most harmful to me personally. As I prayed and listened in my angel's last hours, I was able to understand that the nurse/tech actions and gossip were due to many things: 1) lack of life experiences 2) they were new to the profession 3) their own stuff. People are not malicious, they just don't know. They don't know how to cope. They don't know what to do. Watching another being (human, pet, creature) suffer and die is tough - no matter who you are or what you do. I came to understand the nurse/techs didn't have a way, time or manner to grieve. Sooo ... I insisted our child's service be near the hospital and at a time that would allow for all of the staff to mourn our angel. I felt it was the right thing to do. That's what my angel child whispered to my heart. (Yes, you can also think I'm crazy. I'm okay with it now.) Our angel's memorial service was full of the people who cared for them during their treatment. Every single one of them spoke a heartfelt thank you for including them in our goodbye. (Yes, the nurses and techs attended who "crazied" me.) I share all of the above because I (along with other families) have a meeting with hospital administration to share our experiences. I have not, nor will I ever name the staff. It is unfair and does not remedy the situation. I have spent a great deal of time praying, listening and talking to doctors I know and respect. The most important outcome for me - I want to be heard. I want future families to have different experiences. I want future families, future mothers to know they have what they need in a treatment situation - not medically - my child was more than taken care of. I want future families to never hear the words "crazy" connected to their name. I want future families to experience support, love and a "present" medical staff. I know this is a new part of my path. I can feel my child whisper, "This is it mom! You need to tell them. They need to know. There is more to do here, mom." I don't have all of the answers. I get pieces of a puzzle. I get pixels of a picture. But I feel it. Since the day my child was diagnosed, when I cry - I know it's it right. I know it's right because it's pure. I know it's right because it's Truth. I have begun a list of experiences and points I want to make. My prayer, I can share without breaking down. I plan on breathing and pausing when I require it. I will have tissue in hand. Thank you for reading. I welcome ideas, suggestions, thoughts ---- and always prayers. Peace & Many Blessings.
A Place Between Three Trees I began going to the woods several weeks after Chloe died. I would lay on the earth and sometimes weep and sometimes feel energy and healing being drawn into my being. I began talking to her. In one of the first conversations I said, "So WHAT, It’s just just over?! After nurturing and growing the deepest of connections, it’s just done?!” I knew that Chloe was physically gone but I didn't believe for one minute that the connection of our spirits and hearts was done. Just because the answer for death as I knew it had always been, "she's happy and you'll get to see her again when you die." There was no way I was waiting that long! And yet, I knew that maybe it wasn't up to me. Still, I was unable and unwilling to accept the only answer that had ever been offered to me. I asked Chloe if it was over. I heard her say immediately, "our relationship is not over, but the language will change." I knew at that point that she was right there and I could pursue my quest to find her and understand what life and death really are. I didn't know what she meant by ""the language will change." I began to study, meditate, pray and feel. Shortly after the message from Chloe, I was reading a book and it mentioned the same idea, that it was possible to continue contact but you had to learn the language of your loved one. And so I gave myself to silence, listening, feeling and being. My senses began to grow and become fine-tuned. I was finding that I could now ask Chloe questions and receive answers. She began showing up in my life. Going to that place in the woods was a necessary place to finding that connection. It allowed me to cry, be at total peace, communicate with Chloe and just sit in silence with her.
I responded to a post under "2 hard days in a row" and was writing about how I hear my father talking to me, and it is not a repetition of things he said to me when he was alive-it really is new comments. I just wonder if this is something that others have experienced and what that is like for them. Any comments?
It was about three weeks since Lily’s death and we were in Wanaka, visiting my brother and his partner, leaving my sister back in Auckland. One night while I was there, I woke up after having a dream of Lily. In the dream Lily simply said, “Tell Lou I’m sorry I wasn’t there”. So not thinking much of it, I was prompted to call my sister, Louise. I asked her how she was and she said she was fine, although she said she had been to a funeral the previous day. She had managed to get through the service with dry eyes until the end when someone got up and read the very same poem that she, my sister, had read for Lily at her funeral, three weeks earlier. At this point she lost it and could hold back the tears no longer. Lily had obviously been with her at this funeral, trying to let her know that she was still there with her. Lots of love, Erica The poem read: “Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room I am I and you are you, whatever we were to each other That we are still, call me by my old familiar name Speak to me in the easy way you always used Put no difference into your tone Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow Laugh as we always laughed At the little jokes we always enjoyed together Play, smile, think of me, pray for me Let my name be ever the household word that it always was Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow in it Life means all that it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was There is absolute unbroken continuity What is death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you for an interval somewhere very near Just around the corner, All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost One brief moment and all will be as it was before How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!” by Canon Henry Scott-Holland