|You cannot judge the value of a life by its quantity. It is by the joy that you are
feeling. The more joyful you are, the longer you live. Let yourself relax and
breathe and be free and be joyous, and romp. The optimum physical life
experience is to have plenty of things that stimulate you to desire, and an
awareness of the way you feel, so you’re reaching for thoughts that feel good
so you’re wide open, so you’re tuned in, tapped in, and turned on.
We promise you, the timing of your death is always chosen by you.
Chicago, IL — 9/7/02 — Abraham
Excerpted from the workshop in Chicago, IL on Saturday, 9/7/02, 2002 #423
Our Love, Jerry and Esther
Week of May 2, 2010
This message from Jerry and Esther resonated during the last week of April. We got past dad’s birthday, the first one since his death. It’s the first day we didn’t celebrate his birthday ever since I can remember. He would have been 92, and he did have a lot of joy in his life which he shared with us. He had a strong desire to live life to its fullest, even when it wasn’t so full and his world had become small, confined to the downstairs of my parent’s home, and he required help to get around, and couldn’t think too clearly anymore.
He still found a lot to be grateful for in daily living and always thanked us for the little things we did to help him out. He was so thankful and un-demanding that everyone wanted to help him. As he was tiptoeing towards death I recall how we tried to make him the perfect, soft scrambled egg so he could easily chew and swallow it without choking. When he was reduced to baby food, we would put it into a teacup so it could be presented nicely and he could forget what we were feeding him.
We watched a lot of TV in those final days since that seemed to keep us from facing our sorrow that we were losing dad. He did decide when he wanted to die, as he didn’t want to eat or drink one week before he died.
Mom and I had a nice phone call the Sunday after dad’s birthday, and she was strong enough to go to church. The key message at church that week was to love one another as God has loved you, and care for each other in the same vein. It’s really the essence of what keeps the human race going that we care for each other.
I had called mom on dad’s birthday, and she hadn’t brought it up so I suspected that she didn’t want to go there. However, on Sunday she mentioned that one of my brothers had called her on dad’s birthday so I figured she did want to talk about dad now. I suspected that all the talk about love at church probably reminded her of dad. It sure reminded me of him too. I was on my own at church, amongst a huge congregation in Richardson, TX as Rodgers was at the Cottonwood Art Festival selling his oil paintings. The warmth of the Texans was evidenced in how they engaged in worship, participating in the oral recitation of prayers in strong unison and the choir had some operatic and melodic voices.
I only shed a few tears at Mass, but I shed a few more as I listened to mom talk about the love she experienced from and with dad. They had so many romantic times together: one anniversary they had a dinner on a cruise along the Danube in Austria. They traveled so many places together including China the year they turned 80. As they grew older they had to travel on tours, and they would buy all the optional packages to see the most they could…that’s how they happened to be on the cruise on the Danube. She told me about another time when they were in Athens and had a romantic meal with the Parthenon in full view off in the distance.
So we are pulling ourselves through our grief by sharing stories, listening and prompting each other to share more. When dad first died, we just couldn’t talk about him that much. They dying process was too fresh and painful that we had witnessed, and we just needed to internalize a bit before we could talk about dad as he was before his steady two year decline in health.
I look forward to more happy talk about dad as we continue to grieve and bring our spirits back up again.