Saturday, February 23, 2013

The illusion and the journey

I received a call last evening that my first cousin, who has been struggling with the worst type of brain tumor for six years, is unresponsive and not expected to live through the weekend.  Evidently the glioblastoma is causing severe edema on the brain.  He has outlived the statistics for this deadly tumor by several years.

He and I grew up together in Virginia, living next door and sharing many adventures. He is three years older than I so he was the one who I followed as a child to learn about the woods and making forts.  We remained close over the years, and he is my closest living relative.

His wife has cared for him since diagnosis.  She has eschewed the prognosis of doctors and embraced spiritual healing for both of them.  In the beginning when she would tell me about the crystals, the invasion of his body by his deceased mother who had many issues of her own, and how the healers were working to rid his body of his mother's tentacles, I thought that she needed the padded room.   But as I listened to her, I respected that she had every right to believe what she did.  Who was I to tell her what to believe or judge her for those beliefs?  

Last night, she told me that he will have a shamanic death in which he will decide to die and not return,  or will die and come back healed.  She spoke of the illusion that she had of his getting well.  Now she has let go of the illusion but keeps her belief that he has to have his journey.  She was calm and accepting.  I listened and asked a few questions to determine whether he was responsive or not.  She doesn't want any family to be there.  I would like to tell him good bye but will do that from afar.

I know that he has received so much love from her.  She has sacrificed herself to give him strength, trying to love him well.  I hope that the transition comes soon and that she is able to have a life for herself without him.  

I cured with the power that came through me. Of course, it was not I who cured, it was the power from the Outer World, the visions and the ceremonies had only made me like a hole through which the power could come to the two-leggeds.  If I thought that I was doing it myself, the hole would close up and no power could come through. Then everything I could do would be foolish. ~Black Elk - Oglala Sioux


  1. i am glad for him in that he has had her....her sacrifical love ...nice...i am sorry for the loss wifes college room mate passed away after a long battle with cancer this week as well...

  2. Well, as you say, he outlived the statistics...
    Every person and every body and every mind and every soul is different. What seems completely insane to one person may be The Answer for another. This is the way of the human.
    I am sorry, though. Another loss. At our ages, these are coming too frequently, aren't they?
    May there be peace.

  3. Oh, Syd, It seems like you are plagued with so much illness and suffering and you are accepting it so well. I'm glad you have the good memories of your cousin and know that he was well loved and cared for, albeit not as you or I would have done it probably. I hope that he will be out of his misery soon and that the months ahead will bring some peace to you and yours.

  4. Syd, It sounds like the two of you have been so close. May your memories of happier times with your cousin shore you up. So sad
    that people suffer in this way.


  5. Just seems like there is a lot of sadness right now in so many lives. Take care of yourself and be at peace that your cousin has the love of so many.

  6. I wish I could petition God and say that you have had enough grief and sadness for a while. All I can say is I am so sorry.

  7. I'm sorry to hear about your cousin.

    This post really touched me in the way you've expressed your acceptance of your cousin's unusual beliefs.

  8. I am sorry about your cousin Syd. His wife sounds like in her own unique ways she has loved him to the absolute best of her ability...what more can anyone ask for, but to be well loved. Bless her heart.

  9. I lost a dear, dear friend to GBM last year. It's a terrible thing. I'm so sorry and I hope you can find some peace in this awful time.

  10. Im sorry Syd. God bless them both :(

  11. Such a time of loss and grief for you Syd.

  12. Seems to me that you can call a trouble time out anytime you can get ref's attention to blow the whistle.

    For your cousins wife though. She is not warped, taking the path less traveled certainly but her beliefs go back to the days well before medicine became a business and an assembly line, before the days of doctors that would make a house call, days well before the industrialization of the world.

    His will and hers as an aid as you said gave him many more years than the educated professionals would have with their poisons. Man i saw my mom go through 13 rounds of 3 treatments each of different chemo's. She listened to doctors and I left her to her choices never giving my opinion until 5 days before she passed and was still able to understand it. I just said Mom it's been enough. She agreed and a week later no more of that.

    But like your cousins wife I had been doing things in my own way to prepare to ease her path. I was awake at 3:12 Am chanting. I was 30 miles away but waited for the phone call I knew was coming. I sat with her spirit for a moment and then let her go to those ancestors who woke to take her spirit to that place of temporary rest.

    I do not think with the "traditional" beliefs of my siblings Syd I would have been alone and at peace enough to have had that opportunity. Which I believe is the ONLY reason his wife asks for no family right now, she wants to ease the transition as she is able and others who disagree with her methods would be more of a distraction and hindrance then is needed at this moment.

    But you are ABSOLUTELY correct you can say good bye, you can drop all you know or think you know and be completely still and walk through the darkness and find him, no matter his human condition. Do not fear the quietness of that place and you will know when you have found him.

    Be Well Syd.


  13. I am so sorry Syd. I can respect her wishes except for excluding you. You will be in my prayers, you seem to be heavily burdened now, but you are walking through it with grace.

  14. Your cousin has been blessed to have the love of his wife, and your love and concern.
    May his passing be peaceful, and may his wife, and you, find comfort in your Higher Power's care.

  15. My sympathy for your loss, Syd.

    Joy will come again.

  16. Thank you for demonstrating the blessing of recovery: acceptance--acceptance of people and their belief systems, acceptance of life on life's terms, acceptance of the inevitability of death. Your quote about the power of the Outer World captures the acceptance and surrender. I'm so sorry for your loss, Syd.

  17. It is nice to read your cousin had someone to journey into his life. Thanks for sharing this story.


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