Acceptance of death

In the acceptance of death there is a calm that can not be comprehended or adequately described.

I would like to share a brief story.  About three months ago I went down to Melbourne to potentially have radiation to the areas of disease with the idea of stopping the cancer where it was.  In chasing this option I was really grasping at the last glimmer of hope that modern medicine could offer me.

In preparation for the radiation I had a staging scan.  This scan looked for areas of disease in great detail so that they could all be zapped accurately.  After the scan I spent a week at the beach, meditating and juicing and being a little bit excited about the prospect of stopping the cancers that I could see rapidly advancing.

I was in communication with my oncologist during this time discussing the possibility of including hyperthermia with my radiation as I had read some articles indicating this could improve the results.  However after my scan her tone changed, and I knew something was up.  She suggested coming in so we could discuss things, never a good sign.  I went in and during our first meeting found that in the three weeks since my last scan the cancer had spread again.  This time deeper into my pelvis to an area that could not be reached by the radiation.  It was no longer an option.

I went across Fitzroy park with Amelia and sat on the grass and looked at the trees and the yellow gold leaves shivering in the breeze.  The day was warm for the middle of Autumn.  The trees were gently shrugging off their summer coats and getting ready to ride out the winter that was coming.  And I knew in that instant that I was dying.  There was no point in fighting, in struggling.   That would only cause pain and anguish.  I accepted death as a logical end to life.  The only progression that was possible.

I cried, gently weeping with my head rested on Amelia’s shoulder.  Thoughts of all the things I would like to do gently floated through my head.  I was peaceful and happy. There was a letting go in that moment that was both profound and beautiful.

strangely although I accepted death it was not necessarily the death that the oncologists were sure I would have.  I still had every intention of trying to beat the cancer.  But I glimpsed in that moment the inevitability of death.  The fragility of life, and the wonder that it can contain.

But all things change.  I went back into the hospital.  The mood was lost amongst the white coats and sympathetic looks.  I started struggling again.  Mind racing, body scared.  Desperate to find something to help me.

And now I find myself once again at that point.  I am slowly stopping the struggle, toning down the fear.  Looking at life as fragile and beautiful once more.  Once again I have not given up, but once again I can see life for what it is.  A gift to be savored.  Not a possession to be hoarded and coveted.  We are each given time on this earth and to spend it railing against an unknown future is futile.  To spend it struggling against forces much greater than ourselves will only lead to pain.

Accept life, accept circumstances, accept death.  And in that moment of acceptance comes a peace and calm that will fill you with joy in a way no material possession ever could.


About jeromepink

I am slightly taller than average, have brown hair, enjoy rock climbing, and got told I would be dead within 5 years in 2010. I have chosen to disregard this :P
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6 Responses to Acceptance of death

  1. Sabdha says:

    I want to say something about how amazing you are to be able to find any place of peace and calm in this. But I don’t know how to say it without sounding like an idiot. So I will just say, again, how powerfully and beautifully you write.

    • jeromepink says:

      Haha, thanks S. Don’t worry about sounding like an idiot, I’m sure I do all the time. Thank you for your kind words. It is nice to know that the writing is good, especially as writing is not something I have done much of before.

  2. Debbie Kukathas says:

    For me death is sometimes fear of the unknown, my younger sister told me she was going to die, I was always so careful not to engage in conversation with her about that possibility, she was only ten. She told me she had got tired of the white coats and injections, she had spent so much time in hospital it was like her second home and for her there was nothing worse than waking each day to find another empty bed. I couldn’t believe that someone so young was so strong and determined, she even came out of her coma to speak with my mother and tell her that she would be OK, my mother did not want to say goodbye, none of us did.

    This was my first brush with death, although recently I spent the last few hours of my father’s life sharing a little time with him and occasionally engaging in some cryptic conversation about his life and about his passing. He too had faced death many times before, having survived three wars and being incarcerated as a prisoner of war, his mind was sharp and strong, he was careful never to allow anyone to ever influence his mind he felt brainwashing was a form of power exerted over the prisoners to try and break them down and to him I think he found religion the same. While incarcerated he spent much time engaged in working on math problems and writing in a tiny diary which someone smuggled to him. He was defiant in the face of death and finding the diary would probably have meant a very serious punishment such more time in solitary confinement. I smile gently to myself as I hear his slightly slurring of words to say: ” they offered me a Catholic priest,” I caught my breath slightly what was my father trying to say? I went strangely cold and silent was this man going to tell me after all this time he did believe in God or was he asking me to get him a priest, I reluctantly but gently asked: ” do you want a protestant priest”, for it was hard for him to talk now, he smiled a wry smile and moved his head a little as if saying ‘no’, I replied ‘that is good, I thought you had changed your religion!’ The eyes told me everything, he was still my father.

    Keep writing, you express yourself which touches us. Take care. Debbie

    • jeromepink says:

      Thanks for sharing that Debbie, it is great to hear others experiences. It must have been very hard going through that with your sister with both of you being so young. Wrote about meeting Ling in my latest blog, she seems very genuine and very good. I will wait and see how much it helps me.

  3. Debbie Kukathas says:

    I am pleased that you saw Ling and glad that she and her brother took good care of you. I found her visits a comfort strangely, given I was a child that almost fainted when I saw needles. She made me laugh, probably not a good idea when you have moxa burning!

    Give her our best wishes..

    • jeromepink says:

      haha, the burning moxa can certainly be a hazard. But she is lovely and certainly looking after me. I also find my visits there very comforting.
      hope you are well

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