Tag Archives: spirituality

For the Love of God, Our Hospices are Needed.

I was writing about my fathers terminal condition post diagnosis of Mesothelioma Cancer, writing about how facing my father’s terminal condition felt, how we as a family were pulling together.

‘Icon’ by Amanda McGregor

Then the day came for him to pass and I stopped writing. I became breathless in the complications that surrounded him passing and a need to re-find my centre. 

I stopped being in a creative process that expressed my feelings and thoughts around his death, I was being invaded by values that were not necessarily aligned to mine. I sought to reaffirm my sovereignty and the journey of my spiritual expression. A year passed and the anniversary for his death came round, a few of the milestones still remained standing, I started to reflect on the year and the end of his life.

There were parts of the story we were warned about by the Doctors at the hospice and parts that came as a shock and traumatic. I had worked as a carer with end of life for a few years, whilst I set up my business post university. I therefore thought I had experience in dealing with death, however cancer is complex, it moves in ways that are hard to keep track of, the drugs create mysterious elements that are often intangible or unpredictable.

My fathers diagnosis of Mesothelioma Cancer came a year before his death, it was found through pneumonia. This was a great respite as normally this kind of cancer is found when it first appears giving two weeks to two months of life left. Mesothelioma Cancer is related to exposure to asbestos, he had been exposed in his early twenties, he had taken a night shift for extra work so that he could go traveling, the environment was a factory that made asbestos piping.

Through the diagnosis we didn’t know what to expect, there was panic, then confusion, then an intense need to spend time with my Father. So every moment became magnified. My father was not a talker on an emotional or spiritual level but he was present, a quiet and generally peaceful presence.

The Last Christmas with Dad

The story started a year after diagnosis and the normal paths and phases of chemo and healthcare. My mother phoned me at about 7 am in the morning of the 3 January 2017, explaining that my father was very confused and that she thought we should take him to Accident and Emergency. I live 15-20 minutes away so came straight away. The morning was freezing, my mother had been defrosting the windscreen on my father’s car, I was throwing screen wash on my car from the litre bottle, then driving to their home.

I arrived, my mother doesn’t drive, so I got into their car and we drove to A and E. When we arrived we took him in to the hospital, I realised I hadn’t picked up the keys to his car which were on their kitchen table. It had a push button start, so now the car was stuck at one of two emergency parking spaces outside the very busy City Hospital emergency entrance. We registered him and got him to see the Dr, whilst I got a taxi back to the house to collect the key, (without him knowing, he would have gone crazy!) I got a lift from a neighbour back and resumed activities. That night we realised he had drunk a whole bottle of morph**e, the pain was so bad, he kept reaching for it and taking a gulp without realising he had made it through the bottle. He was high as a kite and flirting with the nurses! We had to leave him over night in a mixed ward and rather ashamedly backed away from the hospital to let the nurses and doctors take over. They tried to stabalise him and we were relieved they moved him to a male ward to try and settle his pain management with different pain killers!

Two weeks later he was still in the same male ward, the pain was attacking, he had five minutes warning in which to get an injection or he would writhe around the floor in agony. This would happen up to three times a day. It became time to move him to a hospice as he needed a Dr on hand to prescribe him pain killers or inject, by now his digestion system was struggling to cope with the side effects from the medication so he had even more pain through complications in bowel movements that were extreme.

He found joy in chocolate Cornetto ice cream, so I used to bring him one or two every day. I gave him an ice cream as the ambulance came to take him to Sue Ryder Hospice, the staff recommended him and patiently waited for him to enjoy every bite. I drove behind in the car with my mother to the home. Sue Ryder Hospice is a very special environment much loved by the community but it was a very hard day. There is a difference between a hospital in which you expect to come home and a hospice in which you know you are at a serious place with the end of your life. The beauty of being there strikes you in it’s privilege and the relief of being away from the hospital gives you a sense of peace, feeling the real sense of warmth from the nurses and the way they settle and welcome you, but wow it was hard. It was the first moment when you know its time to begin the process of walking to the gates of death. The fear of the unknown experience, of what happens now? How will this be? when will this be? are we ready? The answer is of course you don’t know, when is terminal terminal? All you can do is hang on to the moments, enjoy being present with each other, find ways to make the situation more comfortable. I went out and bought him a wash bag, with all the smart male personal hygiene elements contained. In the back of my mind I was thinking I could give him 100 presents for all the Christmases he will miss, what does it matter? I got him lounge wear, checked like Rupert the Bear, we used to dress him up in a cosy scarf and checked brushed cotton trousers. We started to settle into routines, around pain management and food. We realised we could heat the car and rush him off to the nearest hotel restaurant, we had two hours in between pain killers. So everything was specifically timed with ordering and explaining our aims to the chef.

Sue Ryder Hospice, Nettlebed

He developed a taste for tartare sauce, his taste buds were a bit warped post chemo, so his interest in food was hard to predict. Eventually we found an Italian restaurant run by a sweet and understanding family man, Jean Lucas whom cooked us exactly what we wanted. This was 15 mins drive from the hospice with a disabled parking space directly outside and a rail to get up up the steps, we would all support him being rushed in for an hour of fun in a restaurant, this went on for 6 weeks!

Only once did we manage to get him home, he was at home for an hour. Then it was time to take him back to the hospice, because of pain management. We warmed the car, put his coat on. I turned my back for maybe 3 mins and he was on the floor, he had fallen. He cursed himself at how stupid he was, I saw him vulnerable for the first real time, it broke my heart. I was trying to help him get up but it was so hard, eventually my care work memory kicked in. We gave him a break, by wrapping a duvet round him so he could rest, then I asked him to turn to his side and get up on all fours, he crawled towards the stairs and pulled himself up using the banister. Phew, but he was shaking all over. I knew it was bad, a simple fall was enough to completely ruin him he was so fragile. We again got him to the car and back to Sue Ryder. His temperature rose, they were worried he had an infection and wanted to take him to hospital. He was admitted and put on a mixed ward with a mixture of people all very complicated and loud and aggressive. He was given antibiotics. There was a feeling that he was in a dangerous place with so many people, with so many complex problems and it was so hard for him to sleep. I phoned a very kind neighbour whom was a nurse and begged her to help us get him out of there, back to the hospice. We forced our way through the administration and she drove him in her car back to the home. I arrived to him at the hospice, he looked so pleased to see me and grateful for saving him from the fate of another day at the hospital, it created a special understanding between us, the staff at the hospice welcomed him back with open arms.

The feeling of the terminal days were mixed with a hope of enjoying spring, we were getting to the end of February. The idea of seeing the bright yellow daffodils bring the joy of blossom and bloom, gave us hope. The Dr. had a try at helping him with his pain and had booked him in for an operation at a hospital in Portsmouth, to block his nerves around the cancer, the operation was booked for 28 February. The operation also gave us hope, especially that he could come home. The idea of him having home comforts seemed much better than dying with so much complication around pain and pain management. However three days before the operation, I received a phone call from him at 9pm, he was very confused and a bit scared. I was out at a meeting and in a very complex position in getting to him. I had already backed my car in to a post from the stress of living through the terminal situation. I felt helpless in being able to get to him as there were people dominating my activities and I felt lost emotionally.

Eventually the next day my brother got to him in the morning, my father had settled a bit, my brother went to get a pizza for my mother and father to share. On his return my fathers lungs had begun to fill with fluid. The Doctor then asked us to all come in, she took us aside and explained this was the first sign of heart failure, the journey to the end was beginning. I asked if it would be sudden? She said maybe, I said how will it be? She couldn’t answer, but it was imminent, tears can’t explain that feeling of knowing the time has come. My mother and I were asked to stay at the hospice family apartment so we could be with him. They said the next 24 hours would be crucial. We stayed there, in the morning he seemed bright and stable, it was a grey frosty sky, he looked out and said how nice the sun looked through the grey clouds. My mother and I looked out at the grey mono tone morning, we jested fun at him, but his journey was beginning. My brothers arrived, we spent the day together talking helping with the pain, it was extreme and seemed to be causing him confusion as to how or what was going on. He was still able to walk and talk, he was just very uncomfortable. He wanted to reconsider going home, but the Dr had to be brave and told him the best he could do was to be with his family. What matters when you are about to leave everything?

Dad’s Last Day 28 February 2017

What happened next took me a long time to recover from. It wasn’t until about 5 pm that the fluid started to revisit his lungs and build up, it seemed to bubble through this breath, he became breathless and seemed to be drowning. Very distressing to watch, all we could do is be there with him, the nurses put a driver on to try to help. His whole body started to ache in pain, this carried on building up through the evening in to the night. We waited until the pain became unbearable and my father was once again writhing around in his bed from it, we were scared for him. The nurses said they could ease it, but they would have to put another butterfly in for the injection. The nurse looked at me, we knew that with this tranquilliser he would pass out. We were apprehensive, we didn’t fully understand that there would be no coming back. I naively thought that the tranquilliser would wear off for one final good bye. I hurried the nurse to help, my mother held the butterfly ready for the injection. I asked my father are you sure you are ready, he said yes yes, the injection was pumped in and he shot back in to his pillow in to a deep sleep. Goodbye Daddy….it was time to let go. My mother and I stayed with him through the night, in time the tranquilliser did start wearing off, his arms started to move around and the gurgling became stronger. We didn’t know what to do. The Dr. had gone home and the nurses couldn’t administer any more prescriptions with out consent from the Dr. Eventually, the nurses decided to turn him in case that helped. My mother and I took the opportunity to go to the bathroom. Within minutes, at 2 am in the morning we were called back, he was having his final breath.

His breathing changed, to deep breaths that were natural and long lasting. He was in a place of transition and departure from his body. Around his head a huge bright light shone, I could see it was time for his passing. We said our goodbyes all in our individual ways, all very different but very direct. I then meditated on his journey, praying for him and attuning to his spiritual presence giving him healing energy so his soul could remain strong. My brothers and my mother dealt with it in their ways. He took one last breath and released his life. We sat with him for another hour, with his warm body, feeling the gateways had opened, time had stood still and our sense of reality changed forever, we were in the presence of the divine.

The silence and emptiness in the hours that follow is hard to distinguish, it was so hard to watch him die like that, yet it was his journey. What would we have done without the hospice? How can we care more for those on the journey. Should more attention go to end of life care and your own personal exit strategy? Should holistic care be more widely supported to help with spiritual physical and psychological needs? Without knowing the whole story of death one cannot answer these questions. As a hypnotherapist and spiritual healer, I get asked a lot to help people with their passing, making sure the person that passes is delivered to God. I did this for my father, I visited my hypnotherapist and made sure he was in the right place, through hypnotherapy I conversed with him, around moving through time frames and helped him embrace the light and love of God and Heaven. I get asked to implement all sorts of plans for end of life, through hypnotherapy, intuitive readings, clearing corrupting forces, enabling healing and insuring deliverance to God. Everyone carries a different story and although the support in spiritual deliverance often comes primarily from the Vicar or Priest, sometimes it is good to insure these elements are taken care of and to feel the personal connection and communication with the one that has passed through a deep level of meditation or hypnotherapy.

The hospice helps with all these elements, they are an important construct to our community as each and every person that is reading this has an unknown terminal time frame, each one of us will die and we will need to be ‘taken care of’ in those moments of intense vulnerability, be prepared and please keep supporting your local hospice. A lot of people do not understand the complications around needs in end of life care, so can be casual about the management or support of those dying or family members facing a relation with a fatal condition. A year after my fathers death the Nettlebed Sue Ryder Hospice has announced it’s sale, this is very disappointing. Are we moving still moving forwards in end of life development plans?

Tunnel of Death by Amanda McGregor

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Let the Ceremony Begin

Perceiving life changing situations such as trauma, in the positive

If we look at our challenges and trauma as a moment of sacred ceremony we start to step in to the phenomena of the experience. The trauma of death, in which time stands still, awakens our sense of parallel lives and multiple sense of reality. Giving us an opportunity to let go of the parts of our own identity that no longer relate in significance, to that person. Although painful we are given the space and opportunity to step in to an expanded state of awareness. Through the trauma of assault, we bow down to how small we are and how vast the universe is, yet how wise and resourceful we can be, unlocking the subconscious and doors to our genius. The profoundness of a major accident can close the doors in our life that we may not have realised were not serving our spirit;  teaching us about forgiveness and boundaries; leading us onto a path more suited to the depth of our design. The let downs of the system that enable us to see the concepts that we serve society in and the gaps that can create vacuums and voids to seek out intrepid voyages of the soul in finding solace with God and peace with the spirit, enabling a more seamless experience of connection and communication. The journey of radical doubt in questioning our reality and all those aspects that appear false or inappropriate or challenging, takes us back to the solid and real experience of nature, to the call of our vocation and to examine whom we are on the most deepest and profound level of experience.

In all this the one thing that helps us to survive is living for the gentleness and care of love and in receiving love from those whom can meet us in our path and daily experience of life. All these aspects at times teach us what truly feeds us and brings a wealth of experience in which we can find the gentleness of care and nurture, to bring in the riches of energetic freedom, in growth, illumination and expanded presence. Enabling the economics of our experiences to start moving in to a state of positive money and security in which we find custom in our environment and true design.

However this exploration of personal custom; philosophy, design, value, vocation and environmental catalyst can be hard to co-exist with the limits of the customs and expectations of government and community. Sometimes a complete new experience of community, culture and environment has to be drawn up; to be able to enable the person to emerge without limit from those whom seek to govern, restrict, project and complicate. Often a balance is found in finding economic enterprise that gently grows and develops in a direction of cultural value that aspires to free thinking, economic flow, freedom of speech and identity. However how do we deal with those corrupting forces that are abstract to our awareness, brought through from wounds that we haven’t dealt with?

We are always given the resources and information we need, as and when we need it. If we have patterns and corruption working against us the undermined, illusion, passing off, domineering, governmental. We have to look deep and find inspiration and information to help us bring change and clarity. The subconscious is the key in to this information as we are always amongst the universal consciousness that knows all and shares all. The journey of growth is therefore in aspiring to resolve oneself the guidance on a deeper plane of recovery, enabling the foundations of security to bring stability and alignment to ones best talents and achievements in a natural and organic movement towards lighter living and conscious response to find direction and emerge in ones talents and purpose.

Often the problems one holds is as simple as low self esteem, fear, over protection. Other times, our programming enables us to tap in to information from ‘parallel’ or ‘past lives’ stored in our consciousness in which we bring forward lifetimes of learning, that speed up the process of arriving in to our state of full resolution. These architectures of information enhance human technology to inspire direction, vision, and confidence, building on already established skill sets and the wealth of talent we carry through as children of the universe.

We are never without the skills or access to information we need, however communicating with the subconscious for some can be a challenging process due to the ego and the insecurities or anxieties of the mind. Here our communications can sabotage our ability to expand in to universal presence and inspired vision, we can limit and restrict by belittling our very own dreams and design.

Through self belief in that which we value in achievement, we can start designing a pathway and step in to our destiny, the dreams of ‘ I would love to have a house like…’, ‘run a school like… ‘, ‘live in an environment with…’. ‘bring people…’ ‘create…’; these are all in our pockets as long as we can step in to positioning ourself with trust and economic flow amongst the environment or concept. The elements that hold us back are not normally to do with acquired skills, although talent should be nurtured. The elements are normally more to do with economic slavery, debt, undermining from a governing force or person, an abstract unknown force, expectations in society in payments for mortgage, rent, business ownership, tax, an unconscious relationship with a vacuous relationships, narcism, belittlement from a friend or family member, an attraction to an abusive relationship. The overall elements are insecurity, fear or pain.

The journey in unravelling these elements can happen successfully through a developed relationship with the subconscious; through intuition, meditation, creative writing, vision boards and hypnotherapy.

By expressing the elements in our shadows that hold us back, we bring those elements in to light so we can move through them. For some this seems like a never ending journey that is forever bringing up challenge and confrontation, for others simple and effective processes create fast and lasting results.

However, the journey once committed to, does tend to lead in to more buoyant and successful findings in happiness, lifestyle, relationship and business. The answers are always out there, it is just a question of asking the conscious universe the right questions. Have you stepped in to your phenomena? Let the ceremony begin….

Amanda McGregor is author of ‘A Life of Bliss’ available on Amazon or through  www.belovedlight.com

Image and text Amanda McGregor – Appointments available on Skype, London, Oxfordshire.

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Standing at the Gate

When you hold a man in Death
You hold his soul in Life
Presenting an open heart
Is the secret to an eternal life.

Adapting to the changes
The forecast was never bright,
Yet ‘Dad’ illuminates the mountains
And calms the sea at night.

A counter part to peace
A lullaby in trust
With twinkling eyes
That mirror the stars;
He bought his own compass
To the adventures of the heart

We are in company
Some of us strangers
But we give truth to life.
So pick up the banner and call from the fields
For your home is amongst us;
In the heart of the living.
‘He’ lives on in Creation,
Amongst the flowers and leaves,
The mountains and trees.

We remember our fortunes,
Our times of fun, life carries on,
And gathers a speed, a momentum in time
To allow us to heal and encourage a new will.
That of the Creator, whom is with us now,
And reminds us of the potential, of our own free will.

In a moments throw, the penny drops,
As you ascend to Creation,
You see with eyes of love,
Nothing gets past you, as you shine from above.
And here the truth lies, for there is no doubt in anyone’s eyes
That you care for all,
Whom dwell under your gaze.
Your adventures of heart, shine so bright,
You illuminate the Moon and the Stars.

So it is with a loving heart,
That I bid you peace,
When you look upon this world
Sing with glee at the magic
That remains in all of our hearts.

By Amanda McGregor for Douglas McGregor whom died March 1 2017, please acknowledge author but feel free to share.

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