Wednesday, 17 November 2021
Finding Comfort in Dying
At the moment, this is still a work in progress. Today, it will go to my quilter, Deanna Gaudaur ( quintestudios.com ).
Soon it will come home and go through a regular cycle in the washing machine. It will fray and soften. Then, this quilt will tell the story that I want it to tell.
In early January, I was diagnosed with Liver Cancer. At the time, the prognosis was pretty bleak because of my age, and talk centred around treatment to keep me comfortable and to extend my life for as long as possible. Generally, the expectation was two to five years.
My head and my heart went to some interesting places during the weeks that I ‘lived’ with this diagnosis. My emotions were wild, but my head and my heart calmed me and brought me comfort.
I have crammed a lot into my seventy-one years.
For the most part it has all been good.
I have loved and been loved. Generously.
I have cared, and nurtured, and been kind and giving.
I have experienced that same goodness from others.
In my life my focus has been on creating positive energy.
And positive people have surrounded me.
I have laughed lots. And I have made others laugh.
I smile whenever I can. And many folks smile back.
I have lived a happy life and I think I’ve made others happy.
There are folks who will remember me.
They’ll smile as they tell my story.
My quilts will trigger memories for a very long time.
I will be remembered.
I will live on.
I will be ‘eternal’.
And I am comfortable with dying.
Now … my prognosis changed drastically once I met a Doctor who convinced the transplant team that while I may be over 70 chronologically, I am significantly younger physiologically. That got me onto the National Transplant List.
And my fabulous daughter, Kate, stepped forward and became my liver donor.
My prognosis now is twenty years. And I am so grateful for those extra years.
But I’m also thankful for the few weeks when I was able to find comfort in thoughts about my own death. Because of those weeks and that process, I look at life and how I need to live it … differently.
It’s all good.