DINK #197 On Living And Dying Choices

Posted on : 03-10-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized



Several years ago I was part of a very special group of people who found each other because of where we worked and spent a good two-or-three years studying spirituality, psychic powers, various Native American and Celtic rituals and many things in-between and around those kind of subjects. I loved our group. One of us went on to become a really great mom of highly gifted children, others went on to create a world renowned animal communication and herbal consulting businesses and still another left a marriage and married the mate of their dreams while finding themselves kayaking on all kinds of rivers all over the world. During our time together, one of our members discovered that he was HIV positive. Of course we all rallied around him and stayed the course with him through the next two years of his life all the way until his death.

I remember when he told us that he was HIV positive having two initial thoughts. The first was that I wanted to run as far away from my friend and the pain that I knew was coming for him and for us in being his friend and the second thought was how could we help him right now and be there with him so that he felt completely and totally supported and loved. I will always be grateful to this particular friend for his willingness to share his life and death with our group. He really helped to take the booga-booga out of death and dying for me because of how he lived. It was also through this experience that I learned how someone chooses to live their lives and die is a very individual and personal choice no matter how close you are to them. The fact that our friend chose to take, what I thought, was a very traditional route to managing his eventual AIDS was a shock to me at first. I would have assumed with all the people that we knew (and were) that he would have definitely taken a more alternative approach to dying and tried whatever herbs and homeopathic remedies he could before taking the harsh drugs that were available at that time. But he chose the route he chose and we learned to put our opinions away and support him fully as best we could and give him our love with no strings attached.
At the very end, we all gathered around his hospital bed and put our hands on his body so that he could feel anchored by our love. He told a couple of people that they had, “beautiful corn eyes” as he went in and out of lucidity. Way back in the days when Austin was a sleepy little town and before MoPac Expressway, there was a couple of houses off of West Sixth Street that someone had painted all these huge corn stalks on with big human eyes. Evidently our friend had lived in one of these houses at some point in his life and this was what his memory was picking up and playing with at the end. I’ll be forever grateful to him for being a friend to all of us through his whole process even up to the very bitter end. And I am grateful that I was given the lesson that how someone chooses to live out their life until they die is their choice too.

Today I have another good friend who has had so many catastrophic illnesses and injuries over the past decade that it is amazing she is still alive. On Monday she will undergo chemotherapy for cancer they recently discovered in her lung and some of her lymph nodes. I can’t imagine how she is going to withstand the chemo in her already very weakened state, but she is determined and sounds as confident as is possible under these kind of circumstances. It doesn’t matter what my opinion is about what is the best course for her to take (unless she asks me for my opinion), the best thing I can do for her as a friend is honor her choices and be as good a friend as I can to help her see this through however it turns out.

And I can pray.

At some point in our lives we all come to a place where we may experience someone close to us who has to make some pretty important decisions about how they want to live out their lives and in some cases eventually pass on. May we be able to love that person as much as possible with respect for their choices no matter what our opinions.

Write a comment