A Time When I was Stronger than I Thought I Could Be

Greetings my friends!

I missed you and was eager to jump on the computer and tell you all about my trip to Ontario.  As I found out my grandfather was very ill and in palliative care, I was encouraged by a good friend to take the step to go to a place I actually don't consider home anymore – Sudbury, Ontario.  I prayed to God that this was the right decision and wanted a sign or something to tell me that I could really take this on.  I contacted my cousin in Toronto and it so happens that her mother passed away the Thursday before and she was headed to Sudbury to arrange for the funeral and she would be returning to Toronto the same day that I planned for my flight back to British Columbia.  We were really there for each other and not having seen her since I was 7 made it all that more interesting.  I met with old friends and enjoyed myself and visited my grandfather the day after that I arrived.  He could barely talk but I really surprised him as he did not know I was not coming and the look in his eyes shone with sheer happiness.  We hugged and told each other we loved each other.  I saw him for 3 more days after that and each time he was weaker and weaker…it was so difficult to watch.  In the end he could not talk and slept the day and night away and he went to sleep forever on the weekend.

Fear has always pervaded me when I think of death-the death of a friend, loved one and mostly my own fate that I am unable to escape when the last hours arrive.  I still feel I am a hypochondriac and this causes me great anxiety and stress as it does for countless others.  In this experience of visiting my grandfather I learned that not everything is about 'me', this was all about him, and I put my worries and fears aside to make the trip just to make him smile for his last days.  I told my friend the other day with tears in my eyes that I actually felt somewhat proud of myself.  I have been suffering with my illness and I managed a one week trip to the other side of the country.  As for my fear of death, it has strangely been eased a little by being so close to someone who is dying and suffering brought me closer to the reality that I may have to be there for my parents, siblings, friends and others that I love.  This was my first experience and I have no doubt that I can now conjure up the strength to do it again because there is no doubt that I will have to do so as I age.  I certainly feel that I got as much out of my visit with Gramps as he did with me.  I love you Gramps and know you have definitely shown me that I was stronger than I thought I was and thank you so much for that, it has not only changed my life, but brought me hope that I can do anything.  🙂