December 3, 2017

Heing, 1976-2017

I have mixed feeling since Heing passed away on November 26th. I am filled sadness, relief, emptiness, freedom.  She died at Foothills Medical Centre, in Calgary. She was supported by wonderful staff, family and friends. 

Cancer is a game of chess. Sometimes you don't know your move was the best. Other times, you are riding high.   We played this dance for over 4 years and had a good run. During her last days, she said she had a good life, grateful that we could travel, live near mountains, visit family and friends and see our puppy grow. Now, all she asked was to be in solitude with me.

I continued to swab her mouth with a sponge soaked in club soda , dropped ice pellets in her mouth to keep her moist, kept a cold cloth on her forehead to keep her cool, wiped her feet with a moist towel. I learned the pattern of steroid withdrawal but this time it was different. We stopped Tagrisso, a drug that worked so well for 14 months but also the last possible variable for the sudden platelet drop.  Cancer vs. body. Her soul was strong;  her mind rich in wisdom, awareness and gratitude but her vehicle weak.

The O2 air was dry and the winter air in Calgary didn't help. At times, she would wake up gasping for air, I would call the nurse and ask for a breakthrough of fentanyl. Heing would glance at me, lean over and rest her head on my chest.  No need for that now, as the IV of drugs would trickle in and  keep her comfortable. A fine balance of comfort vs. nausea,  hydration vs. fluid build up in her lungs.  There was no need for her to speak, my intuition was strong. Her body talked to me, I understood her.
I put her meditation music on repeat, sat cross legged and was present. I saw her breathing become more shallow as the night descended on us.  The nurses and I would reposition her quiet body to prevent discomfort. Her face grimaced and a rush of emotion came over me.  I became protective and short with the nurses only to ground myself with her words - everyone is trying their best. Her bent leg was straight, slouched chest opened, expression of comfort returned. I apologized and thanked them.

 She asked to be in comfort for her last days, in solitude with me there. The palliative doctors and nurses on Unit 47 of Foothills medical center were wonderful. Coaching us, ensuring an empowered, self determined girl remains so until the end. She heard her family express their love but she lay silent, free of pain. 

As the sun rose, the warm glow reflected off her. I whispered my gratitude, thanked her for journey,  asked for her forgiveness for the hurt I caused in this and past lifetimes and forgave her for the hurt she caused me. The door opened and Dr. D walked in. The universe new the support I needed when I needed it. Dr. D checked her vitals , nurse G double checked. Dr. D and I looked at each other. She didn't have to say anything. I knew, peace is upon her. She did everything she could with what she was given.

I end with these words of wisdom. 

Suffering makes you preset. 
Being present makes you aware. 
Awareness gives you gratitude. 
Heing had gratitude for the life she lived. 
Let us honor her for living authentically and believe her energy is still here, just in a different form. 

With gratitude,
her loving husband,