On Facing Death

5 11 2007

Death, it’s not by any means something anyone want to think or talk about. Most of the time what we want to do is completely forget about it, but how useful could it be to live with our death in mind.

Those of you who come here frequently knows that my mother was diagnose with a Lymphoma on 2005, it was a hard hit for all of us, especially her. It was one of the illnesses she feared the most since she saw one of her best friend die of breast cancer years ago. She saw Josefina’s fight, struggle and deterioration as the cancer consumed her, now it was her turn. She started her chemo last week and three days later she felt awful; body aches down to her bones. She had to stay in bed for couple of days and couldn’t stand anything over her shoulder because it hurt her. It hurts me I can’t be there with her. I’m thankful that on her 71st birthday, September 27 she was feeling good and had the time to spend with her sisters to celebrate it.

Today I scan the news on Yahoo! and a video of professor Randy Pausch flashed on the screen. I watched it and I cried. I’ve know that people in these kind of situations are the ones who teach us what life is all about, I wrote it on my book “Simplicity – Richness of Life” . On chapter 4 titled What’s Holding You Back I wrote: “Sick and terminally ill people tend to look at life under a brighter light than we do. What amazes me the most is how some of them give thanks to God for their sickness because their prognosis made them stop, look around and see things in a way they’d never seen or appreciated before. All of a sudden, life holds meaning, and every minute is treasured like a precious jewel dug from their own “plot of land.” When I wrote this I had no idea I will be dealing with death so closely and yet God in some way was preparing me with the possibility. The reality is that we are all going to die one day, we are terminally ill, but most of us have no idea when that time is going to come.

I wanted to share with you Randy’s first part of his Last Lecture just in case you haven’t seen it. If you want to see what else he has spoken about you can find a list here. I know some of you are dealing with difficult times in your life -we all do sooner or later- but one thing I don’t want you to forget is to look for the good in everything that comes your way. Don’t forget that we are equipped with whatever we need to face the challenges in our life just be open to the possibilities and don’t close yourself up to others who want to help you. Watch the video and tell me what you think about life and death.

Comments: (from another blog)


Thursday October 4, 2007 – 07:33am (CDT)
Lynne… My previous blog, “Remembering Her” is much like what you are talking about. Hugz. You need them…both of you.

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 08:16am (PDT)
Angel… your right…we put the thought of death aside, because we dont want to lose our loved ones…and sure we dont want to give up our own life.
I have benn thinking about this subject now fro a while…it is always painful to lose a loved person..and if we know our life is coming to a end
its very hard to deal with.I know what it feels like to lose a loved person.My brotherinlaw passt away some years ago…at first I thought why him? a such good person and was mad at evryone and evrything…i also almost lost my faith in god…but as i grew older ..i know know..evrything that happens in our lives has a reason…its our paths to walk and learn……..even if it hurts so much..

I wish the best for you and your mom….love , hugs and kisses

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 09:20am (PDT)
Angel… How will I know?

Distances over mountains so high, are difficult for me to climb.
Sky’s so wide and never-ending are impossible for me to fly.
Fields so far I can’t walk to be with you.
Forests so dark and great are hard to pass.
Oceans so deep and blue never to swim are keeping good friends apart.
If I cant climb the mountains so high,
Fly the sky’s so wide, walk the fields so far,
Pass the forests and swim the oceans so deep.
My friend how will I know?
If our messages stop climbing the mountains so high,
Flying the never ending sky’s,
Walking the fields so far,
Passing the forest so dark and
Swimming the oceans so deep and blue.
My friend how will I know?
I will never know, because the mountains are too high for me to reach.
I will never know, because I lost my wings and can’t fly.
I will never know, because my feet will bleed.
I will never know, because the forests are to dark for me to see through.
I will never know, because I am a fallen Angel and can’t swim.
Distances keeping friends apart.
Dear mother god, make me taller then the highest mountains so I can step over them,
Lend me your wings and let me fly the never ending sky’s,
Borrow me your walking shoes so my feet won’t bleed when I walk the fields so far,
Let your light guide me through the darkest and greatest forests,
As I pass them,
Change me in to a mermaid so I can swim the oceans deep and blue
If not Dear Mother God, I will never know when I lose my Best friend.


Thursday October 4, 2007 – 09:23am (PDT)
GG – … I wrote this not knowing that my mom is in the hospital today. She has very strong stomach pain. Please pray that they find out the reason this is happening to her.

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 12:59pm (EDT)
Photo… GG…this blog of yours and watching the video took me back a few years and brought me back to where I am today with my life. I’ll try to keep this short.
First of all, I want to say, I think of your Mom often and I know it’s hard for you too. We are all a bridge here for you. Stand on this bridge, look out into the valley of wildflowers, embrace their fragrance and let God kiss your cheeks with the warmth of his sunrays.
Life to me is a continuing struggle of a learning process; I say struggle because, like he says in the video there has to be the basics of learning before we step into the game and become overwhelmed with pride of ourselves. Forgetting that the tools we have the gifts God gives us to share with others on a daily basis.
Every one of us has a gift, my gift is Photography, not knowing one day I would be addicted to writing poems and that within my poems being another hidden gift I did not know I had, the poem being an image of my thoughts a photograph put into writing. I still don’t know where my poems come from but they are there and it is a “Reflection of my soul” just like my photography.
Where am I going with this, I’m not sure “Laughing out loud” we all have dreams and dreams I think is a way God prepares us for death. All parts of our walk in life is 360 processes from birth through what ever age we are at the present, up until the time of our death.
It’s not how many years we live or what we accomplish in a full year, day one to the last day to reach another year, another year older. It’s what we do with our time he gives us. Within our daily walk through out the year until he brings us home, we grow like the rings in the trunk of a tree, showing us how old they are when in reality they are only rings of seasons. Producing fruits with our gifts he gives us.
One night closing our eyes, waking up looking into Gods eyes and hearing him say Clary, Job well done! Faithful one.
Don’t know if this makes sense…But at this time in my life this is my answer to your blog…Great Blog.


Thursday October 4, 2007 – 10:02am (PDT)
DOC (… Clary… I’ll watch the video later, (cant at work) but right now, I wanted to share with you… My Mom dies of cancer 2-1/2 years ago. My brother, sister and I were not all together with her for about 19 years… but we were able to do it about 5 days before she passed. We all thought about it and came to the conclusion she held out til we were able to! It was a special time we will never forget… even if it was for just a half hour or so… HUGS to you, yes, you WILL remember all the good, feel all the good… and take from it… all the good! Luv ya my friend!

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 01:40pm (EDT)
GG – … Thanks for your words of comfort Art, Angelsky and Doc. Doc, I’m glad you had that time with your mom. I’ll treasure the four months I spent with my mom while she lived with me. I’m always thinking of the good times.

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 01:58pm (EDT)
Ray Z Strange how a couple of days ago I put in my Blast “I have decided to live forever – or die trying. . .” and now your blog brings me to the same topic I have been dealing with (luckily) longer then I expected to.

Before I wrote the above, I had in there “Death is Fatal”. For the past four years I have had major health problems to where two years ago my family practitioner told me to “Make peace with God”. I figured my life was pretty much coming to an end.

Last year my doctors performed a “Hail Mary” “Shot in the dark” procedure in an attempt to slow a very aggressive coronary disease.

I pretty much figured it was over and I should just sit back and go peacefully. My coronary arteries were closing up at an alarming rate. I never made it past eight months without intervention, and at times as short as one month. Well this “Shot in the dark” got me past the eight month mark, and I smelled a bit of hope in the air. An entire year goes by and it dawns on me that I basically wasted 12 months just waiting to die. So I picked myself up and started doing projects at home and it felt great. A total of 14 months after the “Hail Mary” I end up with the worse blockage I have ever experienced. (And I had some really bad ones).

This was just three weeks ago. They put in the 16th Stent (holds the artery wall open) and had to reopen two others.

So I am faced with the choice of crawling back into a hole and wait for the dirt to be filled in, or just continue to live life as it was meant to be – enjoying what you have and not worry about death, until after it comes.

I hope for the best for your mother. Both of you will be in my thoughts.

Peace . . .

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 11:39am (PDT)
GG – … Ray, I’m sorry you are going through so much. Health problems force us to make a little bit of changes in what we used to do regularly but never crawl into a hole and wait for death to come, it’s not here yet and in the meantime live it as much as you can. Peace and blessings.

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 03:03pm (EDT)
Steve… First, I understand what you’re going through with your mother…my father had lymphoma and I witnessed how devastating not only the illness is, but also how the ‘cure’ can challenging as well. I wish you well in this process of patience and understanding. Spend as much time with her as you can.

I think each of us should live everyday as if it were our last. More forgiveness, more kindness, more observing of God’s beauty in creation. And, most importantly, live a life without fear.

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 03:04pm (CDT)
Photo… GG.I had to come back here. Been thinking about your blog all morning and afternoon and thinking of Mom. Gang, GG’s Mom is not my Mom. I just call her Mom.

I just finished another poem that was inspired by my thoughts of you blog. Just wanted to share it here with you and everyone. Love all you guys.

“Life and all its glory “

One step closer to God
Breathing life
Into us as a gift to another
Born into the arms of a mother
Nourished by the love of her soul
Mother and child
Bonding together
Like a rose rising high
Above her garden
Petals of color
Vibrantly showing
Fragrance of
Another universe
A universe nourished
By the love of God
Through the gift and love
Mother Nature
What has come into existence?
The pearl of life
The bridge we stand on
Looking upon the valley of love
Fields of wildflower
Swaying in Gods wind
He moves in all directions
What bridge
Will we be standing on?
When we meet him
Will he show himself?
Through the gifts, he bestows upon us
Will I manage his fruits?
In a tasteful manner
Or will I cause him to shed a tear

©Arthur Henn

Lord I’m throwing in a prayer here for GG (Clary’s)Mom. You know what she is dealing with and and if its you will, I’m asking a favor of you that you take a little time, extra time out of you busy schedule and give them both the strength they need to cope with this hurdle, struggle in their lives. Be with her Mom daily embrace her with your love and heal her if its your will. In your sons holy name…Amen

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 02:35pm (PDT)
Initi… I have seen near death and deterioration for much too long. I could go on with regards to it. But I will give you an example. The men that go through the most in battle (for example WW2 veterans)…the ones that saw too much reframe from going there as they don’t aspire to remember or recall they wish to place it in a area that is not stops them within life.
Sometimes and most often silence is the key in this area for me. Not saying I have went through more than any other….I just know what is best for me in the moment. BTW thank you for the reminder writing Clary you are an angel!

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 03:01pm (PDT)
Wilma… I’m catholic and in some ways an ortodox catholic, that’s why I think dead is just going back HOME to our Father in Heaven. I also think that people terminally ill are in a process to purify themselves, a last chance to re-think their lifes and repent if they have to. I actually consider a sudden death one of the most unfair things in this world, not that I can say what’s fair or not, but to me, when our body suffers we are able to separate ourselves from this vehicle that makes so easy for us to sin and see ourseles as the immortal souls we really are. Is not that I want people to suffer, is not that at all, I just consider it’s a gift to have a period of time to prepare yourself and prepare the ones you love for your physical absence. After all, we don’t die, we just move from house into Another.

Thursday October 4, 2007 – 10:28pm (ADT)
Jayrene death has been on my mind for some time now… although i dont want to die yet, am not prepared, and will fight it as long as my body can… i have been imagining myself dying… you know if this thought comes often to your mind, you’ll realize there are a lot more to it than leaving loved ones behind. i have read a lot of books about people having near death experiences, their story is something that one would look forward to. i have a blog story about a couple, the wife knows she’s dying, well you can read about it. their is a story of courage and faith.

Friday October 5, 2007 – 02:28am (PDT)
melvy… I don’t care what other people say.. but facing death is facing the unknown… death means the demise of something vibrant and alive…death means losing your identity… losing what you have been all these years. it means losing who you are and were… death means losing your friends and loved ones… I have faced death before and I tell you it is UGLY… Nobody wants to die willingly… except those who want to sacrifice themselves for a cause bigger than themselves.

Friday October 5, 2007 – 03:28pm (EDT)
Ray Z Melvy –

When a person dies, they do face the unknown, but there is the absolute “Known” of what is left behind – That can be many things. For one, family, and the memories you left with them, the same for your friends, and the memory you left with them also. In that way, you have not perished.

If you were blessed with children, your life continues through theirs. The only time a person truly dies, is when no one knew they ever existed. . . and if that was happening during their lives, to me, it meant they never truly lived.

Your life will last as long as the memory you left in the hearts of others remain, and this includes your offspring. It is why we should always pay attention to what we do and say that affects others . . . it is up to them, to carry on your life, in the light or darkness you leave behind. . .

Peace . . .

Friday October 5, 2007 – 12:59pm (PDT)
M.K–… I hope my achievements in life shall be these –That I will have fought for what was right and fair,That I will have risked for that which mattered,That I will have given help to those who were in need…That I will have left the earth a better place for what I’ve done and who I’ve been.i think about death sometimes and i wrote as i want to be remembered after death.Your moms is in my prayers and God bless you all.Best wishes

Friday October 5, 2007 – 07:33pm (CDT)
Tony H Blessings and prayers for you Clary!

Saturday October 6, 2007 – 08:03pm (MST)
El Di… Hi clary I hope and pray that your Mom gets better,But I also want you to prepare yourself for the future when she leaves you.I lost both my parents within the last 5 years,My Dad died unexpectedly from Cancer back in 2002 and My Mom fought it for a little while before she to felt to Lung Cancer.I missed them both very much,I knew the time would come sooner or later but just like we are born we will surely die.
I have thought about death alot since I lost them and I ask myseld when will my time come,I really never expected to make it this long but like one dicho says”Yerba mala nunca muere” I know I will surely die also and I’m not so afraid as I thought I would be,I guess sometimes I really want to see what is on the other side.What really preocupies me is what the future holds for my love ones,you know my kids and their kids.will the world get better for them or will it get worst.everything else is irrelevant to me.What is DEATH but another portal we must go thru soone or later.

Sunday October 7, 2007 – 08:19pm (CDT)
GG – … I don’t runaway from the reality that this is not our home, according to my faith there is a better place but it’s hard not to think of separation. I thank you for your provoking thoughts and reflections on this topic, they help me more than you know.

Tuesday October 9, 2007 – 08:34am (EDT)



2 responses

5 11 2007
www.cellulitediary.info » On Facing Death

[…] clary created an interesting post today on On Facing Death.Here’s a short outline:She started her chemo last week and three days later she felt awful; body aches down to her bones. She had to stay in bed for couple of days and couldn’t stand anything over her shoulder because it hurt her. It hurts me I can’t be there … […]

25 07 2008
Randy Pausch dies at 47 « Moonlit Walks

[…] I wrote a blog entry a few months back when I learned about this professor story who moved millions to listen to his message. You can read it here: On Facing Death. […]

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