I finally figured out what I’m doing wrong. I figured out why I’ve been having so much trouble with Dad’s move into the nursing home, with his recent decline, and with his current fevered state. It’s not that I’m afraid of him dying, it’s that I don’t want him to be uncomfortable. I don’t want him to be without comfort – emotional, physical, spiritual…. I want to shield him from that. And that’s too much for one person to do. In fact it’s not possible for any one person to do. None of us has that kind of power. Not even a whole team of humans has that kind of power. Because we’re human and it’s not within the scope of any human being.
That’s the point. And I finally, finally got it. I haven’t been able to completely place my trust in the staff of the nursing home because they are human. Even the compassionate, empathic, intuitive ones have bad days. Even the perceptive, knowledgeable, skilled nurses have limits. And certainly I can’t be there 24 hours a day making sure everyone does everything right. (Yes, that’s what I’ve been trying to do – monitor his every position, his every expression, looking for a nuance of pain or discomfort, constantly trying to assess whether or not he is okay – physically, emotionally. It was exhausting. No wonder I have dark circles under my eyes. I’m trying to do the impossible – protect someone from all possible harm.)
I was lying in bed tonight, exhausted, sad, full of grief, feeling my love, my fears, my tears. Then I turned on the light and looked at the card I had selected for guidance from the angel card deck. It was titled “Family.” It said, “This situation is rooted in an emotional experience with a family member, which we can help you to understand and heal. In your mind and heart, surround this person, yourself, and the experience with calming blue light and many angels. Be open to the gifts within the situation, and allow yourself to feel peace.”
I was having trouble imagining the blue light. (I’m not always very good at guided visualization.) I just felt sad. I would encourage myself to try again to picture light, to send healing energy, and then it finally, finally occurred to me: I’ve been putting my faith in the wrong people. I’ve been putting my faith in people!
I realized I couldn’t completely trust the staff. (After all, I was the one who noticed the fever; I noticed when they didn’t have a pillow behind his head leaving his head tilted back in a too-short chair without any support; I noticed when he’d been overfed and food had been left, unswallowed and sitting in his mouth leaving him in danger of aspirating; I noticed when he was too hot or his feet were cold or there was something scratching his neck or cutting off the circulation in his arm.) They weren’t “bad” people. In fact most of them were wonderful people. But they were people, and thus fallible. So if I wasn’t able to trust the staff, could I at least learn to trust the Angels? Could I trust Jesus, the one whom my Dad so loved and honored? Could I trust God, the freakin’ Creator of the Universe???
This was my big test! The only way I would ever achieve any measure of peace was if I could learn to TRUST that a heavenly team was not only hearing my prayers, but willing and eager to do as I asked – i.e., keep Dad comfortable and give him peace.
That’s all I want. I’m not asking that he be kept alive indefinitely. I know there is divine wisdom in the cycle of life and death. I know that there is life after death. I’m not even asking that there be a miraculous cure to Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. All I want is for Dad to feel peace. And I think I can trust them to do that.
That’s my test. This is what I need to learn. I need to learn to trust the NON-human realm (and maybe a few angels in human disguise.) Once I learn this, I will find peace. And that is probably the other lesson for me: Can I allow myself to have peace?
Here is one more opportunity for me. In the face of both the kindness and capability I see as well as the fallibility, can I bless each nurse, aide, and administrator I see? Can I send blessings and love to the “good ones” and the kind ones as well as those who seem not quite as devoted or sensitive? Can I infuse the whole floor with love? And can I let them see my peace instead of my fear? Now THAT would be a very good thing.
Ahhh. So much to learn.
Peace to you.