Passing On

Live It Up eNews!

April 2009

1. The Grace of Death
2. Health Tip: Easy Chocolate Fudge

Dear Reader

Well, it’s been quite a month! So much so, that this will become the topic for this column.

My Father has been growing steadily unwell over the last year or so, with heart problems that led to lung problems, short-term memory a little foggy, poor appetite and so on. Last year I made sure I flew to Mackay and visited him several times and the year before that too, because one just never knows, does one?

And this year, I flew up in February and was shocked by how much he had deteriorated and resolved to get up there again sooner rather than later. I flew up again in mid-March and was not just shocked but horrified by how much weight he had lost, how little he was communicating and faced the very likely prospect that he would not be around much longer.

Read on below….

Until next month, Live Life 2 The Max!  Narelle

1. The Grace of Death

© Narelle Stratford 2009

And I was right, it turned out to be my last time spent with him, I cried a lot and kept reminding myself to remember him with love and laughter. When it came time to say good-bye to fly back to Brisbane, I told him how much I loved him, what a wonderful father he was, and to look out for my Mum on the other side, that she would help him across. He gave me the biggest hugs and I could feel the strength of his love through those hugs.

Three days later, my father had another small heart attack, and was heavily doped up on morphine and other drugs, and was incapable of speaking or communicating from that point on. That beautiful man subsequently died at 4.05am on Monday 30th March, 2009 aged 88 years young, and only a week after I had last seen him.

I even feel that I helped him across, because on the night before he died at around midnight, I visualised helping him out of his body and taking him flying! I wanted him to know that his body was only a skinbag and that he could be free of it, and we soared over hills and valleys together.

Then, in the early hours he slipped across to the other side, where I am sure my Mum was waiting for him. In a meditation the next morning, I saw them together, so happy and at peace.

I am so fortunate that I got to say goodbye, to tell him that I loved him, that he had been a wonderful father, because I took the opportunity. You need to follow your heart in these things. And strangely, or not, probably because I did my grieving that last weekend I saw him, I haven’t needed to shed too many tears since. And I have been remembering him with love and laughter. Although as I write this I am feeling choked up which is only natural.

Often, people find it hard to let go, whether that is in the death of a  person, or the death of a relationship, or the death of a business…

I know of no-one who wants you to keep on crying after they have gone. Would you want your partner or friends or family to continuously grieve and weep when you have passed on? I certainly wouldn’t and I don’t think you would either.

Sometimes, the image of someone you have lost fills your mind’s eye and it is so large and overwhelming, so just take that image and shrink it down small to postcard size and then file it in the photo album at the back of your mind.

This will help you immensely to remember (from the distance that it gives you), him or her with love and laughter and to keep your perspective on life and death as they are merely cycles.

Dad’s wife wasn’t able to let go of him in life or death and laughed as she said that my mum was in the jar in the shed… I chose to ignore her while I said goodbye to Dad and focussed all my attention on my beautiful father.

Later that afternoon, she left a message on my phone chastising me for speaking to my father in the past tense…

Dad’s wife did the best she could with the knowledge and internal resources and habits that she had, and that’s all anyone can do, so I forgive her and let her go.

Life is a journey to be relished, not a destination and so is death similarly a journey to be enjoyed and not a destination…

I’d love to know if this has been helpful for you…

Master’s Wisdom!

“Take the time to just be….

and you’ll be amazed at what you see”

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2. Health Tip: Easy Chocolate Fudge

(makes 16 x 2″ squares)

16 oz. (450 g) chocolate chips

4 Tbs. (57 g) butter

14 oz. (396 g) can sweetened condensed milk

Combine the three ingredients in a saucepan over a double-boiler so you don’t burn the chocolate.

Melt ingredients over gentle steam and stir occasionally until fully mixed.

Pour into 8 x 8” dish lined with non-stick paper.  Make sure you leave enough paper length over the edges so you can grip the ends and lift the paper and fudge right out of the dish when it has set, so it is easy to cut into squares.

Chill fudge in the fridge for two hours to set and then remove to cut.

Thanks to Michael Chu