On death and acceptance

A client of mine passed away this morning.

"It is a beautiful morning" is what I said when I first opened my eyes today. From the comfort of my own bed I could observe the bright blue sky and the trees that were standing in between, waiting for me to wake up. I went about my morning as I usually do, kissed my loved ones (husband and dog) and got ready to go to my yoga class. I left my home with my heart full and with the only intention to enjoy my day.

Shortly after I finished the class, I said to the instructor, “wow I feel alive”, it had been a challenging class, which the instructor referred to as a “fire class”, where you are meant to connect with the fire of your core, and feel exactly as I was feeling, fully alive. All my muscles were awake, my mind was alert.

As I arrived to my office I noticed I had a new text message. The message said “Olga, our friend Steve passed away this morning”. I read the text for about 2 minutes, put it away and began to contemplate the interesting contrasts of life. There I was feeling so alive, as one of my clients had taken his last breath. Interestingly enough, I did not feel sad. I felt a glimpse of fresh air running near me, and I had a mental image of a bird flying free on a blue sky. I knew, Steve was telling me that he was now free.

I thought the best way to honour his life was by meditating on our interactions, and the lessons learned. Steve had first come to see me 3 months ago, when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His personal trainer (also a friend of mine) had gifted him his first session with me. I realize now, that the gift was not just for Steve, it was also for me. And I am grateful for that.

During our first session, I asked Steve to tell me when had he agreed to this illness. I know this is a weird question to ask, but to Steve it made sense. He immediately told me that the day his father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer he said to himself ; “I am next”. This was the first of many conversations and realizations Steve and I had.

Two weeks ago, he was waiting for me in the waiting area of my office. I asked him, “how are you today?” and he said “not good”, I could tell his voice had broken down by his crying. I asked him to come into the room, where with much effort, he climbed on the massage bed and laid down for his Reiki treatment. He proceeded to tell me that just before he left to come see me, his doctor had call to let him know that there was nothing else they could do for him but to prescribe him medication to cope with the pain and the bleeding. 

Up to that day, I had been a source of optimism and positivism for Steve and I knew it. But given the circumstances that day I was beginning to feel that I was unable to provide this wonderful man a word of optimism. His sadness and the worry mixed with my own emotions, left me on a professional and mental "blank". I had no idea what to say or do, so  I asked my higher self to guide me. What can I possibly say that would make him feel optimistic and positive? Then, rushing through the air, this word came into my mind and mental vision;

ACCEPTANCE:

At that moment I understood that I was being asked to speak to Steve to accept his current condition and to stop fighting it. Before I had a chance to say anything, Steve said “I’m still fighting this thing, but I do not know what else to do”. I took that comment as sign that I was right in my feeling to speak to him about acceptance. (Trust me, this has been by far one of the most difficult conversations I have ever had.) I looked at Steve and told him to accept his illness and to stop fighting it, as the fight was further stressing his body. The conversation lasted about an hour. We talked about how he wanted to spend his last days, the conversations he was going to have with his children and wife later that day and, we even discussed the beauty of life. As the conversations developed, I noticed his tears stopped, and his breathing became longer and deeper. When the session was done, he made sure he scheduled me for his next appointment first thing the following week.

He came in the next Monday walking without much pain, climbed on the bed without major difficulties and had a calming energy that I had never perceived coming from him. I couldn’t help my curiosity and I asked him, what had changed since I last saw him. In the sweetest of voices Steve said to me “Well, you told me to accept it, and so I did”. As I positioned my hand over his body preparing for Reiki, I noticed a welcoming, warm and flowing energy, the kind of energy you sense on a child full of life. I knew I had asked him to accept his condition, but it surprised me to see how courageous and strong Steve had become. He told me he had discussed with his wife and children all the details of his funeral, his last wishes and so forth, there were no tears in his eyes but almost a shy smile on his face. I will forever be grateful to Steve for showing me how acceptance is actually felt. 

During his last days, we was hospitalized. On his way to the hospital he texted me to let me know he was on his way there. A day later, he called me at 6:40am to let me know he had had a horrible night and was in much pain, he said I did not have to go but that I was “more than welcome” to go visit him. In a strange way, I knew he was asking me to be there, because somehow we had developed that relationship of comfort with each other. So I did, I went to visit him two days ago. I did some Reiki and he told me he was having visions, he said he was seeing beautiful colourful silhouettes that were teasing him. We both laughed and when I asked, how was he with the acceptance thing, he energetically said “Oh I am ready”as he finished that sentence I knew this was the last time we were seeing each other. I held his hand and asked him to rest, to which he responded “yes ma’am”.

As I was coming home this morning thinking of him and that last visit, I remembered that in one of our conversations he had told me that if we could do it all over again, he would have "worked less, spend more time with his wife and children and would have paid more attention to the little things”. I felt his words were not just for me, but for the rest of the planet, so I decided to blog about our relationship in here.

I hope that if you read this, there is some learning in here for you.  I hope you find Steve’s strength and courage inspirational, and if there is anything in your life that you need to accept, I encourage you to do so. Life begins the moment we allow it to flow naturally through us.

 As for you Steve, thanks for the lessons, thanks for the laughs and tears you shared with me. Fly high, safe travels and we shall meet again.

 From my heart to yours, thanks for reading.

Olga

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