« contact Sandy »
My father was initially diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 11 months before his passing. Since the doctors were not able to confirm the diagnosis for more than 6 months, they were not able to start any treatments. This was a curse (allowing the disease to grow) and a blessing (giving our family the gift of time with the awareness of what the future held). That time allowed all of my siblings to come back and spend more time with my parents and things that needed to be done and said, were. A true gift, that not all families get.
The process of a cancer diagnosis is an intense journey through the emotions of disbelief, anger, sadness, and finally acceptance. Through the entire process Attunement helped my dad, myself, and my family. In the beginning, I worked hands-on directly with my dad when I was at his house and then by long distance when I came back home. The Attunement treatments gave my dad some pain relief and peace. For my family, emotions were running wild and caused a lot of chaos. Working with my family was as important as working with my dad. Even if it was temporary, the family attunements brought a sense of calm and helped rein in the fear of what was next. The Attunement helped for short times to keep everyone in the present moment and to allow each of us to try to enjoy the time we had together, although this was a constant challenge. Along the way, I found the importance of working with myself a couple times a day to help maintain the place of calm (I’m not saying there weren’t times where I couldn’t hold it together!). My wonderful husband, Gary, was a great support assisting me to try to maintain my presence. I know I would not have been able to be in service for my family without Gary’s help!
Gary worked long distance with my dad, family, and myself multiple times a day. When the Long-Distance Healing Team joined in working with my dad, his tumor actually began to shrink. This lasted for about 5 months, before the cancer became more aggressive. As my dad became sicker and weaker, I learned that I could only work on him long distance. I felt that when I worked on him with hands on, it interfered with his pain medication and he would become agitated. So, I would just work on him from my room at his house and my mom would say he would just relax and sleep if I did that. Morning attunements when he was first up and before bed seemed to be the most helpful. My father was under hospice care for the last month and a half of his life. Hospice workers are angels on Earth. Their knowledge about the physical death process and being able to articulate it in a way for everyone to understand is incredibly comforting. They took a lot of weight off me by filling that role. Their true blessing was being able to listen and help my family start to accept the process of death. For 3 weeks, hospice told us that my dad would not make it through the weekend. He did for the first 2.
As he approached his impending death, his energy was becoming lighter and finer. I could no longer feel any of his energy in his lower extremities. I really feel that even though he was ready to go, he stayed until each of my siblings and Mom were ready to let him go and knew he had to go. I continued working with my dad’s energy for a couple of days after he left his body to release any of his remaining energy. Then I changed my focus to my mom, so that she could start figuring out what she wanted her new life to look like. That is still a process.
As I reflect back on the entire process of my dad’s end of life journey, I am so thankful for my Attunement training and my Attunement family. Knowing and understanding the process of death and dying has allowed me to be there for my family and have some very meaningful conversations. The previous experiences I had were with deaths in Gary’s family. With each experience of death, you learn a lot and each one is different. Death is not an end.
Below are 5 things I learned and recommend for anyone going through this process:
- Be gentle on yourself. The process is different for everyone and it depends on your relationship with the person. The closer the relationship, the more challenging it is to stay in right alignment and not let your personal emotions or those around you to pull you out of that flow.
- Give yourself the grace to be able to step away and rebalance yourself. Sometimes that may mean you need to approach the situation differently. (Like when I realized, I needed to only do long distance with my dad or when I would go take a 10 minute break from everyone to reset a couple of times a day.) Listen to your intuition.
- Reach out to our Attunement family to help keep you in that sacred place when you are dealing with an intense situation. Just by asking in your mind for their enfoldment, it will instantly lift you up!
- Enfold the person going through the situation AND their family. Fear of letting go can slow the process and make it more difficult. Also, family members holding on or wanting to keep a person in form, will do the same. By giving assurance and being the calm in the storm, you can assist all in finding peace with the process.
- Repeat over and over to yourself, “All is well” until you know that, deep within. Knowing all is well, no matter what comes up. The power in knowing/feeling “All is Well” is the most calming and reassuring thing in this process.
Paraphrasing what Martin said, dying is not the end, it is the coming forth of an angel! I truly felt this with my dad’s end of life journey.
Sandy, I too am most appreciative of having the 5 actions you shared — much more than what we might call “coping mechanisms” — thank you. And I agree also with Andrew in giving great thanks and ongoing gratitude for what I think of as the Heartland Attunement Family, now and through the many years. A crucial provision indeed. Thank you each one.
Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your experience with such honestly, openness and grace. The dying process is truly a sacred time. I also appreciate your listing of the 5 actions to take when going through that process (or any other intense situations) with family and friends. What a blessing you provide!
I love what you have shared with all of us, Sandy. There are so many beautiful elements conveyed. The one I wish to honor is the presence of the Attunement Community there in Kansas City. The friendships shared amongst you and enfoldment not only of one another but of the many who request care and specific connection from all over the world. What a crucial provision in our world. Thank you for sharing your heart.
Sandy, your sharing of your experience is both enlightening and empowering. I can personally attest to having the attunement community support you when experiencing a time of great distress. I had surgery last November to have a third of my pancreas and all of my spleen removed due to a cancerous tumor in my pancreas. I felt the support and it gave me strength to get through it. I still get checked regularly to see if it returns and still hold my breath at times but being part of the attunement community is something I wish for everyone to experience. Your words are inspiring and comforting.
Sandy how gracious of you to share your journey and experience with all of us. It was beautifully expressed and while reading, I almost felt like I was with you. May you always find comfort in the memories of this time.
Thank you, Sandy, for the beautiful, heartfelt description of your experience. I had not yet learned about Attunement when my parents passed, but I was able to use my Attunement experience when another family member passed, and that was comforting.
Thank you so much for sharing your perspective on this. It really touches my heart and mirrors much of my own experiences. I thought it was beautifully expressed and very nicely articulated. Through your article, I can see that the process of transitioning is just that – a process. And, when supported through Attunement, it is a process that can soften the edges of our grief and smooth the way for the transition itself. I know your entire family is thankful for the gift of Attunement.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your insights.
Thank you, Sandy — I can feel the power and depth of your service through your beautiful description.