One of the challenges we all face is the death of a loved one, a friend, or our self. One of the major benefits of spiritualism is that we know that only our body “dies”. Our soul continues forever, with the personality intact and often available as a spirit guide to those left behind. This page is going to have several Spiritual Poems and articles that may be useful in helping accept this passing with love, compassion, and a knowing that the journey continues for all of us.
Leaving on His Own Terms
The picture for this page is of my Mom and Dad holding hands. The occasion was the day that Dad chose to pass. He had gotten pneumonia, which compromised his heart and gradually led to his organs failing. The medical staff came to inform him that there was nothing more they could do. The doctor asked Dad, “Mr. Hetzer, what do you want to do?” He responded, “I want to go today.”
There was another physician witnessing this exchange. The primary physician said to the witness, “Mr. Hetzer is lucid and he has asked that all intervention be withdrawn.” The witness agreed. The doctor told us what would then happen. All of the IV and medical devices were disconnected, including his oxygen mask. One IV remained. Morphine would be administered for pain, but no more morphine could be given until a spasm occurred that indicated he was in pain.
The hospital chaplain and my brother’s minister held a service. A nurse appeared to remove the devices, and she administered the morphine. When Dad was given the morphine, he removed his oxygen mask for the last time and waved goodbye to everyone. He then closed his eyes, and Dad and Mom held hands. The room was silent, with the only sound being his shallow breathing.
After about five minutes, Dad opened his eyes and looked around in apparent surprise that he was “still here.” He closed his eyes again and didn’t open them after that. We moved Mom into the waiting area and we sat with Dad as he continued to slowly breathe. The nurse checked in every few minutes. Dad began to have spasms and the nurse administered the morphine to stop the spasms. His breathing slowed and his breath was shallower. We brought Mom back to the room and waited until he was gone.
Dad passed on his own terms. He was unafraid. He was peaceful. He lived a good life and he led by example. Mom was unhappy that Dad went before her, but that is another story.
The passing of someone that has been a close relative or friend leaves an emptiness that is not easily filled. It helps to know that the departed one’s soul continues to exist, and that the connection remains between this world and their new spirit home. I had that relationship with my Dad. I’d call every day to see how he and Mom were doing.
It is hard to find the words
to somehow lessen the loss
that we feel when a loved one passes
beyond this earth and our presence.
We know that they are in a better place,
but that does not fill the void we feel;
the silence where there was a voice;
the space of their being, now empty.
We also know that they are not really gone.
They are with us and around us
even though we speak now with love
and memories instead of words.
If we listen with our hearts,
We will hear their words of comfort.
Those who pass over send their condolences
to those of us that remain behind.
© Copyright 2006
Rev. Jim Hetzer
Our pets are examples of unconditional love. When they grow old, it takes our unconditional love to help them pass when their lives become painful. When I asked my veterinarian when I should have Maple put down, she replied, “Whenever you are ready.” Maple had multiple strokes and finally fell down the carpeted basement steps. Then, it was time for her to go.
The attached picture is of another pet, Ava, that was a faithful friend until she was diagnosed with cancer. She also “had to go”. One of the sad facts of our society is that we cannot make the choice for ourselves that we can for our pets to end our own suffering, with the exception of Oregon, California, Colorado, Washington, DC, and Vermont.
It was an act of love
that had us help you
separate your soul
from your crippled body.
We had hoped that
you would pass on your own,
but your heart was strong
and your will was great.
You were so full of life
until age stalked you,
caught you, and maimed
with a vicious stroke.
We held you and mourned
that we were involved
with extinguishing your life.
You will live with us for as long as we are.
© Copyright 2004
March 3, 2004