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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Your prayers and kind thoughts are helping my dying dad in so many ways, so thank you all so much

Thanks for your kind thoughts towards my dad. I showed him your comments and he was warmly appreciative in the way that only a dying person can be. It was a very beautiful and touching thing to see his appreciation. Dying is such a bullshit-free zone, I absolutely love it. What a wonderful process to be a part of. Another AA member told me a while ago that she considered it a 'privilege' to be part of the dying process and I keep hearing her words ringing in my ears when I think about the process. Its so ?? ...real, or something. Bullshit just sounds really 'wrong' in the orbit of a dying person. It just 'clangs' awkwardly in the space. There are members of the family who are completely oblivious to the human condition, and they just speak clumsily and 'clangy' in their presence but cannot tune in to the dying person, so tend to drain him. I have noticed that my dad is super-sensitive to the energy and intentions of people round him. He knows when we are about to leave the hospice for the evening for instance and can become agitated and feel isolated. Like he can read our minds. He is starting to talk of a journey and of 'foothills' and long highway. Perfect! This is my language :) so I love it. I feel the closeness of the other ? realms and of benevolent forces and intent so I feel that now we have more in common than ever. I love this so much. Its like he really understands what I am about and knows that I am someone who understands the stuff about emotions and dying. Finally we are on the same page :) There is still some awkwardness around communication as I wasn't sure what to say when he got angry and agitated, but now that I have spoken to other AA's I have a script for how to address his mental and emotional anxiety without getting intimidated or caught off guard by his flashes of frustration. There is so much I could write about this, and I will explain more later as I have found it a wonderfully educational process in many ways, but I must be on my way back to the hospice. Not sure how long. A week? Who knows.

Mainly I want to thank you for your kind thoughts because your prayers have helped like you have no idea. We thought he would die a week or so ago, but the time didn't feel right because I feel he still has stuff left to resolve in his mind, and (thank god) he is still lucid so can re-think his life and his relationships before he dies. He is a stubborn 'scientific' man, who was used to being looked up to, so being unable to get to the bathroom and therefore having to accept being changed in bed instead of using the bathroom is a ! massive ! adjustment for him. He is in a lot of pain and has pretty much stopped eating, but I have seen amazing changes in his attitude in the week or so since he had that downturn and we all thought he was going to die that day, so you will be pleased to hear that he is REALLY making great use of this extra time he has been given, and so much healing seems to be taking place. Its an awesome thing to be part of. A bittersweet process. Very beautiful. So what I mean is, that your prayers and kind thoughts appear to be morphing him into a completely different person inside his failing body and that is an amazing thing. So thank you kind bloggers :) And I hope I can do the same for you when you need it :) Its a bright and warm day here and everything is green and fragrant. High summer :)

8 comments:

Syd said...

Yes, I suspect that dying attenuates living like few things can. I imagine your dad and I would have a lot to talk about. I never expected to be looked up to and felt uncomfortable when I was. I like the low key approach and to be approachable. I have heard though that people were afraid of my intellect and straight no BS approach. That has made me see that I must be patient and compassionate now.

Let Go, Let God said...

My friend, prayers are definitely with you, and my soul flies in knowing your gift to be present. "I love you" seems the right thing to say in any situation, sincerely, authentically, real. Love and gratitude at a life who gave you life and all that that you've shared must be the greatest of all to have. Peace.

NOS said...

Once again, IFOB, I am so sorry to hear that your father is sick. But I'm glad you have this opportunity to bond with him and that he has had the opportunity to heal some emotional wounds. He and you are still in my thoughts.

Wishing you well,
NOS

Mike L. said...

I'm glad you have been gifted with being with your dad at this time in his life. I have been blessed to have been with two people who died while I was holding their hands: my grandmother (maybe twenthy years ago) and my grandsponsor Dr. Earle (eight years ago when I was 14 months sober).

What was amazing with being there with Earle as he died is that he'd gotten sober 2 days before I was born (June 15, 1953). He'd been sober my entire life and within a very short period of time, blessed me with tremendous insights not only into recovery, but life itself. Everything I needed to learn, I learned in those first 14 months of recovery due to him. That I was there with him at the moment of his death is a blessing that simply can't be adequately described here or anywhere.

I often say that I have three sponsors, two of them are alive and I talk to the dead one more than the other two combined. I don't say it as a joke, it's the truth.

I feel as connected to Earle now as I did when he was alive. Truly, the only thing I miss is holding his gnarly arthritic old hands. Those hands had reached out to grab countless other suffering alcoholics during his 49 years of sobriety. There was a power in them that I've never felt elsewhere.

Again, I'm glad you're there for your dad, that you are facing it full face without hiding in bullshit banalities so often used because we've become disconnected in our societies from the fullness of human life, which naturally includes the fact of death. I'm grateful for death, because without it, I truly don't think life would be able to mean all that it can mean. The fact of our temporal nature is the basis for all that is good and valuable in life.

Take care!

Mike L.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

wow thank you for your lovely comments. They really help me to appreciate and make the most of this time. I love how being in AA exposes me to lifetimes of wisdom and experience other than my own. I love when I go to meetings and people say 'How's your Dad?' like they mean it and they care. AA and the 12 step family of recovery is the very best extended family I could ask for, and at times like these, I feel more grateful than ever for the support available. We are so lucky to have this. Nearly dying of alcoholism was a high price to pay in order to get it, but it was abso-f***ng-lutely worth it :)

Mary said...

Wow...awesome post....The Holy Spirit is alive in your father working to bring your dad to Him...all those prayers are like the "wind beneath his wings" :) My prayer group was fortunate to pray at the bedside of our friend last May as she was preparing to pass on, & it was one of the most sacred times of my whole life..the love & grace was so pure, it felt as though God were right there beside us. We are closest to God both when we enter & leave this world...& the dying teach us best how to really LIVE! God bless you & your family on this difficult, but sacred journey...peace!

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

Thanks Mary :)
Thank you for sharing your experience :) I'm sure you would have much of interest to read about if you had a blog of your own :)

Mary said...

You can read my blog at
maryjsnustad.wordpress.com
Its called: Caregiving with Grace: Finding God in Alcohol Dementia
I write about my journey of caring for my mom & my ACA recovery journey :)
I havent figured out how to get more readers yet...any suggestions...the blogging world seems so overwhelming!