It was March 11, 2010, just two days after arriving back home from our trip to the Burzynski Cancer Clinic in Houston, Tex. Houston is another story. But the significance of March 11 is our appointment with the oncologist, who had told us while we were still in Houston he'd do whatever he could to carry on the medications prescribed at the clinic. By this time, Kenny wasn't walking much. He had a Foley catheter and was on a zillion medications for just as many symptoms. I wheeled him into the patient room where we waited for the doctor. He came in with his assistant. Kenny had lost a lot of weight and was very weak. When the oncologist saw the actual line-by-line treatment plan, contradictory to the Burzynski Clinic protocol, he announced to us that in all good conscience, he could not administer these drugs for Kenny's condition. We asked what the alternative was, and gingerly he took this opportunity to mention Hospice -- again. (In July '09 we didn't give it a second thought. In December we interviewed the Hospice worker just to see what it was all about and refused to start because it meant no more blood transfusions and we knew we were headed for many more.)
But this time, Kenny jumped at the chance to say "That's what I want." I looked at him incredulously, my heart sank like a lead weight into my stomach, choking on a giant knot in my throat, hot tears making their way down my cheeks, I was speechless, heart-broken, and in shock. Fighting back the sobs I really wanted to let out, all I could say was "Really, Kenny, really?" After all these months of focusing every waking moment on Kenny's care, now we were to focus on his dying. This was so not in my plan, though it began to be evident way back in November, that there might be no turning back, that Kenny's body was headed for the "Well of Souls" as he coined it. But I had a way of stuffing these day-by-day awarenesses somewhere where I could hide them from myself. If we were deeply involved in treatment plans like the Gerson protocol or the Burzynski Clinic, how could I also embrace that he was dying. I couldn't.
So while I was reeling with this new era of preparing for him to die, I busied myself with all the Hospice arrangements there were to be made -- the hospital bed, the wheelchair, the oxygen machine, the nurse appointments, the calls from the chaplain and the social worker. Kenny on the other hand, was continuing, not his valiant battle against cancer, but his journey into the Soul Realm where every day, as he drew nearer to his final day, his peace and love and joy and gratitude brought him to levels of realizing himself as one with God that knew no boundaries. Every day he expounded another seminar about our precious spiritual teachings. Every day he would tell me what he was grateful for. He said, "I'm a happy man. I have everything I need, plus my loving family and friends and you." Every day I would say something like, "Kenny, you're my hero. My one and only love of my life." He would say back, "Carol you're the love of my life."
And for a while, while he still had some strength, the way he would get into bed was to put his arms around my neck while I swung him from sitting on the side of the bed to lying down. And that's how we'd get him up in the morning. Precious moments these embraces. They would be the last times he would hug me, though I could kiss him, hold his hand, and wash him, brush his hair, dress him, and feed him until the very end. These were all precious moments that remain as symbols of the depth of our love. They remind me of the oneness we both experienced in each other. Both of us headed in the same direction, both of us responding to his every need every moment of every day. One day we were lying close in bed and he managed to put his hand on my chest over my heart. Kenny had big, comforting hands with a healing touch. Even in his last days he was able to transmit that healing energy to me. I cried like a baby, no I cried like a wife who was losing her husband. Any day now he could be gone. Any day now the Well of Souls would claim him for the last time.
Where did I put all those images and signals that I was losing him? Stacked up somewhere in my consciousness, overshadowed by requiring myself to take Kenny's direction, after all this was his life, his dying, and his Soul's ascension. A celebration awaited him on the other side. I'll find the right words another time to describe how my consciousness worked with compartmentalizing the power of that experience when it becomes clearer to me.
I've documented other precious moments in these last days of Kenny's life in previous posts and I'm compelled to share as many as I can remember with you because of how tender and memorable they were. Somehow remembering them is comforting. In some ways like when we first fell in love -- coming home after a date floating in the euphoria of going over each moment in my mind's eye many times. There is new meaning now to the sentiment, "I only have my memories now." It's sometimes sad, but it also fills me with the experience of deep and abiding love. How divine that is.
Please feel free to comment either through the comment field or by e-mail directly to me at email@example.com. And pass this blog address to anyone who could benefit from what Kenny and I have and are still learning -- he as a Soul after consciously dying to this world and me as his devoted partner, making my way through the grief of losing him into the peace and loving that awaits my awareness. Little by little I experience myself lifting my Spirit and lightening up. God bless us all.
More about Kenny's and my story can be found at Huffington Post's Living section and www.kennethhjones.wordpress.com