An excerpt from Christopher’s “Til Death Do Us Part?” book, available on Kindle or the Store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com.
There was the stomach cancer diagnosis of 1997. I was devastated. I could not believe that it was possible that my own mother could have cancer, and both Dolores and I spent time with Marie talking about the possible results of the surgery her doctors were recommending. I recall some nights at home feeling lost, hopeless, realizing Marie could die from the surgery alone. After all, she was nearly 80 years old. I’m sure Marie was fretful, feeling a sort of terror, frightened, hopeful though that something could be done. Frank, my dad, her husband, was quiet, perhaps uncertain of what to do, and probably somewhat unable….
She eventually had the surgery. Marie told me one day after she had the surgery – actually, it was more of a question -- something to the effect that she thought I knew a lot about herbs, and she was suggesting that I should know “the cure” or “the answer” to her cancer. It made me sad. What could I say? I wanted to see her healthy and vibrant, and still do, but even taking herbs is akin to taking pills if you are only removing a symptom. So I had no answers. No “miracle cures” anyway, and I suppose I wish I did. I would have given it to her.
August 1, 1998
Marie was now in hospice, at a rest home. She had gone into a coma state. When I arrived, I put my hand on Marie’s head. She was hooked up to oxygen, and her eyes were fixed ahead. She was alive, but not responsive, though I felt she could hear me, and I talked to her. My eyes closed, I began to see pictures, which I assumed were her pictures. Childhood -- seeing the front of her farm house in Chardon, Ohio. I could sense that Marie was “waiting” -- maybe confused, waiting for us, her children, to come around and to say goodbye. I asked her how she was, and she “responded” “What now?” I tried to look at the pictures with her, tried to mentally look at her pictures with her, whatever it was that she wanted to see.
I saw my childhood, the Cub Scout activities at home that Marie organized, counting pennies and dimes, having tantrums on the kitchen floor, her work, her fears, her doubts, and the many interests and activities that she tried to pursue with me, such as learning Spanish, practicing karate, wild foods. I saw her focus on Virgin Mary and the League of Mary activities at the church, the desire to save the world by alerting people to change their lives.
I called a priest at St. Andrews, and a Father Gonzalez showed up within 15 or 20 minutes, and gave the Last Rites. Brother Richard was there by now, and Frank cried when the priest said his prayers.
I asked to myself: Is that all there is? I knew the answer, but I had to ask. Life is not the mundanity of everyday things, but it is the value -- our Conscious Light -- that we put into what we do, who we are.
Marie is waiting now. I close my eyes, my hands on her. I am breathing deeply, somewhat akin to the Drain I would do at the Survival Training class, and I felt my breath as a circuit through one hand, through Marie’s body, and out the other hand.
I could “see” a pulsating opening, the so-called tunnel that we have often heard about. It was right there, and she was ready. Marie was right at the tunnel, waiting, ready to go on, only waiting for us, to allow us to say goodbyes. So she is done with the world. There is only the body, which is now a distant pain, a body that no longer works. She is free She is very close to those of us who are here. She is accepting.
Frank is sad. I know this took him hard, that it will be hard on him. They were together so long -- married 56 years. Frank came in each day to sit with Marie. He mentioned to me that sometimes he mixes up days, not sure if it is Thursday or Tuesday, the days blend together, each day a repeat of visiting Marie. Now it is almost over. I know this has been tough on my father.
I told Marie, I’ll never forget you. You will be with me always. We are conversing now, silently, and I told her we could talk by sending pictures to one other’s mind. She asks me, Will you continue my work? She is referring to her Virgin Mary work and League of Mary church work. I am silent for awhile. I tell her that I cannot continue her work, but that I will continue my work. She is silent, and I can tell she is thinking about it. She is considering the ultimate goal of her work, and the ultimate goal of my work. She then smiled, and she said -- That is OK, that is good. It is noon.
In my mental communication, Marie is smiling. She said “please don’t worry for me. Why worry for me, she smiles. I am ready to go on. I am done.” She tells me though that she is concerned for Frank, and that we should watch over him.
After a while, I take Frank back home, and I come back to the rest home. The condition of Marie’s body seems the same. I put my hand on her hand, and the other hand on her forehead. I tell her that she need not worry about dying on Dolores’ and my Anniversary, that it really is OK. Yes, it was August 1, the same day Dolores and I married many years earlier….
I tell Marie, this time whispering to her, that I loved her dearly, and that I wished I could have done so much more, but that I was so glad to have at least done what I did with her, especially since the surgery…
I told her that I would like to see her again. I felt that I would. I tried to explain some of the after-death states, whispering that she would experience peace and heaven, and that she would also get to review her entire life, and that there would be judgement. I told her I would be with her, mentally, psychically, as much as possible, and I told her that she could come to me if she needed. She said that I could talk to her whenever I wanted, and that I shouldn’t be unhappy or sad, that she would always listen.
Her close friends Jean Marie and Mary Sue Takeuchi came when I was just sitting there, breathing with her, holding her hands, and I talked with them. At about 3:45 or so, Marie stopped breathing. It was over. I embraced mother and told her again I loved her, that I was glad the pain was over, that I would miss her always.
Jean Marie and Mary Sue were obviously very close to Marie -- they had come quite regularly to the rest home, and I could see they were now filled with personal loss but there was also a sort of joy that Marie’s pain is over, that the final hours were filled with closeness with Marie’s loved ones.
A man from Cabot’s mortuary came, and I helped David wrap Marie and put her on the gurney, and I gave her a final hug and goodbye, and then she was gone.
I drove away feeling very empty but also fulfilled in the sense that I could be there for those final moments. It made the seeming pointlessness of life very meaningful in this final moment, and it made me feel now that part of Marie lives on in my work, and in whomever embraced Marie’s dream of sacrifice and prayer and long-suffering so the world could be a better place.
So I went home, and I took the bulk of the next 85 hours to be there with Marie for the first phase of her after-death processes. This is a Returning Science procedure which I had been taught years earlier, and had worked with others when their spouses had died. Now it was my turn to do it with Marie. [The full details of this procedure are in the book].