Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pain and Healing


This is a different sort of post I'm writing because I'm trying to sort through some very difficult feelings.

My mother in law is dying of cancer. There. I said it. It's obvious to those who see her that she is not getting any better, in fact, her energy seems to be waning daily, her pain increasing, her frustration growing, and she is mourning the idea of her own life ending. I feel helpless.

I give her Reiki, hoping to soothe her, hoping to relieve pain, hoping to do something, anything to help. And yes, I'm there each day doing whatever she needs from watering the plants to drying and styling her hair. But it isn't enough.


I am in pain watching my husband deal with his feelings surrounding seeing his mother this way and feeling equally helpless, despite all the many ways he is supporting and helping her.
I see my children concerned over her appearance and her obvious distress. They shower her with love.

And the critical voice in my head says, "It's not about YOU, Alice." But it is. This experience isn't only happening to my mother in law. It's happening to our family. We are watching, hoping to do something to fend off the reality of what is happening before our eyes. We are all affected, all in distress.


And also, as I'm often in the company of other energy workers, people give me suggestions. They tell me to get such-and-such a juice, because it's a miracle cure and it worked on their mother/father/friend. It's only $800 for a case of it, of which she'll need to drink a bottle each day. I feel vulnerable to the drive to do something...could THIS be it? Or something else? What about what we're already trying? If she weren't taking what she's taking, would she be even worse? Should we try something else that sounds promising and find a way to pay for some? Or should we accept what is happening, knowing that if we HAD tried something, the right thing, that maybe she would have a chance of getting a little (or a lot) better? Or not. The maybes are hard to deal with.

The doctor has given up and suggested palliative care. The world hospice is a give-up word to her, and a telling word to us. It hurts.


What's the Reiki doing, I ask myself. Am I receiving enough to stay in balance? Am I giving enough to make a difference? What else can I or should I be doing? I don't know.


I feel for my husband. He is dealing with so much. He is still looking for a job (although it is a blessing that he doesn't have one right now so he can also be there to help her, instead of being torn while at work, wishing he could be there for her when she needs him). He is caring for the kids while I teach Reiki and promote my local classes. He is taking care of many of the household chores. He has a lot on his plate. And he is (usually) gracious about it, although I know he feels overwhelmed. We believe we are in the right place at the right time, although this is a very hard time indeed.


I can only hope that the tools we have for coping will help us find balance and stay in a place of hope and healing in whatever way we can as things unfold. Please, angels, surround us all in love and comfort and carry us through this time.


Thanks for reading.

17 comments:

Amy Oscar said...

Oh dear. I feel with you, dear Alice - and my prayers are with you and your family tonight.

It is so hard - wretched and awful and sad - to sit with a loved one, or with anyone, who's suffering and to not feel compelled, even called, to do something - anything - to ease the pain, to cure the illness, to chase the shadows from the room.

It's especially hard to reconcile our inability to 'solve' this mystery when we are healers.

But this is the cycle. This is the truth of it. We all die. We all suffer. And that is a crushing discovery.

I've been watching my father slide, as he says, "down the slippery slope" for three years. As you know, this Christmas, my mother had open heart surgery. There was a month long period during her recovery when they were both in the same nursing home and my sisters and I would visit Mom in one building, Dad in the other.

And we would sit there and witness their suffering - and bring each other tea and take turns going outside and walking by the river.

It's all we could do. Sit, witness, bring tea.
My heart is with you.

Lynda Lippin said...

So sorry to hear Alice. Reiki always helps, no matter what. But everyone has to go through it her own way. I am sending you love and reiki.

singedwingangel said...

Oh sweetie Ijust want to reach out and hug you. We went through much the same thing with my MMIL as well. She also had cancer it was her 7 th time. Remember to take time for you as well. Care giving in a situation like this is very draining on everyone involved. Sending healing prayers and strength to you

DanielBrenton said...

Alice --

Having lost both of my parents, perhaps I've worked through that process a little more. Part of this, by necessity, is going to be "about us," because we haven't looked Death in the eye the same way. Yet.

I remember Ram Dass asking his guru about saving a particular person from dying, and the guru (something of a legend in that part of India as a healer) answered that sometimes he could change the path, and sometime he had to let the path play out.

Ultimately, we can only do what we can, and no one has any right to ask more of us than that,

-- Daniel

Alice Langholt said...

It is so good to have three loving and supportive comments arrive within minutes of me posting this blog entry. I am so grateful for all of you, and your empathetic insights and loving words.

Amy, I have been reading your journey, and I know you are in there with me, in your heart and experience. I am so glad to know I'm in good company with someone I admire so much who understands on a personal level, and cares enough to tell me so.

Lynda, thank you too. The Reiki energy is so appreciated, as is knowing you're here, reading and sending love and energy.

Singedwingangel, Thank you for the love and good reminders to care for myself too. I will pass that along to my family as well, especially my husband. He needs it.

Love u all.
Alice

Alice Langholt said...

Daniel,

Thank you for the down to earth comment. Thank you for your wise words too. Truth rings from the story, and it's something for me to ponder and share. You're special to me. Love, Alice

Anonymous said...

I too feel such empathy and compassion for the family dynamics of watching a loved family member die. I often have wondered, with the recent passing of my dad if it is true that that there is a time and purpose for everything. The Turn Turn Turn..song ..a time to be born a time to die. Maybe we have not right to intervene or prolong. Maybe our purpose is just to be there in love and support and teach our kids through life's tougher moments.Maybe people do chose their exiting time from life as a part of the myterious plan we come here to fufill. Much we don't understand. She is lucky and so is your family to have reiki as I am sure it helps. You are lucky to have each other. You will become closer in love through this time together. I know everyone had this ultimate to desire to do everything to change the outcome..but maybe that really is not our purpose. Rejoice in the time you have left. comfort each other often. Know you have many people thinking ofyou and sending your family love prayers and reiki.

Hugs Mari

♥Piper♥ said...

Alice,
I hurt for you also, this is a very difficult situation. I know what it feels like to have those you care for dying, and not being able to seemingly do a thing about it. As you were mentioning in the way of natural remedies, you should try some for her, seriously. You do not have to spend a fortune either, and it does not hurt to try. She needs some blood purifier, and one combination of herbs specifically for cancer is in the Essiak (sometimes spelled Essiac) blend of herbs, along with powerful antioxidant fruits, such as blueberry, cherry, pomegranate, and acai berry. Red clover is usually in the Essiak blend of herbs and even taken alone is very beneficial for cancer, it is a strong blood purifier, and there have been people cured from using this. It would not hurt to also take an anti-fungal supplement as well, this should not cost too much either. There have been some recent studies that cancer is actually fungal, and people are taking anti-fungals with great results. Several years back there was a boy, at the time he was 16 years of age, it was all over the news, he was dying of cancer. The boy wanted to try natural cures because of some books he read. When his parents decided to grant his wishes and take him off of the chemo (which did not help him at all), the courts decided to intercede, and put their two cents in, that being that if they took the boy off of the chemo, they would go to prison on serious charges because of the boy being only 16. Well, they fought it, and won, they were able to take him off of the chemo, and start the natural cures, before this he was given a very grave diagnosis, that he would not live, and that he would die soon and very soon. Once on the natural cures, the boy started to feel good again, in fact he got better, was tested for cancer again, and there was none left. Through prayer, proper treatment, and love, nothing is impossible.
I would like to say this too in response to what you said when mentioning that it was not about YOU, but that is actually is, and that it is happening to all of you.
We are all connected through the web of life, and when one is broken, we are all unmended. Though we may not think we feel it right away, we are all effected from anyone's passing. The collective conscious is very powerful indeed.
I am going to pray for you, and your entire family, and send lots of Reiki. If you need to talk, you know my email. I have not been online as often, but when I am, I always check my email, and my email is open to any friend in need.
Sat Nam, **(-_-)**
Piper

Anders Cohen, brooklyn, NY said...

Being with the one you love in a dying stage is so painful and I commend you for being so strong despite of everything. Let us leave everything to God (if you believe in him) and this too shall pass.

Patricia Singleton said...

Sending Reiki and prayers to you and your family.

Naomi said...

I'm all about accepting what is. I think that the moment I divorce myself from that is when I feel pain, but that's just me. My heart goes out to you guys as I can feel your pain, just reading this.

For some reason I feel I should tell you that I drink green smoothies made with tons of parsley which is an excellent antioxidant and works against cervical and colon cancer especially. I make them with organic apple juice and green leaves and herbs. Not expensive and they taste good. Take it or leave it :)

I am going to send you some reiki now that you can call in whenever you want.

Huge hugs to you Alice. Love you, Naomi x

Reiki Master said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mother in law. Alternative healing such as Reiki can be an amazing way for the case like this. I hope and pray may your mother in law gets better soon.

Alice Langholt said...

As an update, before I post my next blog...

My mother-in-law passed on Saturday. The funeral was Tuesday and we received friends and family until yesterday.

I will be posting soon about the experience of sharing her last few days with her as a family.

Thanks and love to all who offered support and kindness.

Love,
Alice

♥Piper♥ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
♥Piper♥ said...

Alice,
I'm so, so sorry that this happened. I will as always keep you and your's in my prayer and Reiki sending. I wish there were something I could do other than that, but the only answer now is time. I would like to share with you this ecard image I created for a friend of mine who lost her mother. It's not the best card but it says something meaningful. If you need to talk, you can email me anytime of course. Hugs
http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j127/X_XPiperX_X/Page_images_I_created/e665b6b5.gif
Sat Nam, **(-_-)**
Piper

Edit: I had to delete and repost this message due to the full link to the image was not showing up. You will have to copy and paste the link into the browser to view it.

Edwin said...

An article on chronic pain in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that chronic pain is expensive, mainly because of the resulting disability and absence from work

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