The Picturing Death Project Journal Entries from 1999-2003

The simple but effective structure for the Picturing Death Project, a cast glass table, four chairs, and journals, provide a structure for journal writing with 4 questions that help participants examine how we will choose to live with the knowledge that death is inevitable. Currently, the project table, chairs and journals reside at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan in Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Journal Entry 667


I feel I will be free - free like the wind - I will rise up through many layers of beautiful things - a beautiful flower garden, filled with wild flowers and their sweet smells. I will pass by a tingling brook stop ??? do feel the calmness it brings - the calmness that continues to grow, the farther I ascend up to heavenly father - When I confront my heavenly father I suddenly realize there is no more pain, suffering, crying - just serenity, peace and love.


I lost both parents within 14 months of each other-. Mother's was expected - kidney disease which eventually ravaged her heart, bones, which led to kidney dialysis. She became thin unable to eat just scraps of food which led to her decision to stop dialysis. I flew to Mass to be with her, taking care of her with the help of hospice. Once the coma came, it was a calm and quiet death. Me reading poems to her with soft music in the background.

My father's was unexpected - age of 71 looking 55. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia/. Found out in late Sept, died the following Feb. This was very hard on me no a pleasant quiet death - again I took care of him thru hospice but the dynamics were quite different. I felt I had failed him because he suffered so and I promised him that he wouldn't. But circumstances arouse that caused him to struggle until his last breath.


I want all my family around me with loving not sad faces. I want the room filled with honesty so if something needed to be said, now would be the time. I would hope there would be no tears of sadness but of joy knowing that the end was near and there would be no more pain or suffering. I would love my family to be reminiscing over joyous times we all had together and I would be lying there with my eyes closed listening either consciously or unconsciously to stories, smiling on the outside or inside. My only fear would be to die alone - maybe one of the strongest reasons I went into hospice volunteering, so I could be there for that one person that might be dying alone.

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