Say Yes to Happiness Newsletter
Caregiving, life lessons, what will it be today?
This week my husband began his recovery from coronary bypass surgery. He is doing well, determined and focused. He is very gifted this way and I admire him so much.
As I began to write about the caregivers role in supporting a loved one in illness and recovery, I received a message on my computer screen that a dear friend had, fifteen minutes earlier, completed his life and passed on to whatever is next. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 22 days before, which was already very advanced.
Once I read that message, my fingers began typing a new post. That’s what I’m going to share with you here.
A dear friend has passed.
A man who shared himself with thousands of people, from a place of calm and caring.
A physician, for many years a deliverer of new life, and then as a supporter of healthy aging and well-being.
A friend who would be present with you as you spoke, to share laughter and joy; a man who knew how to hold space and listen.
A model of positive thought. A person who always had a smile, who’s calm presence reassured and soothed.
Damnit I will miss him! I don’t want him to go. And yet, I know that we each walk this life toward the next, and on a schedule determined by some other measure, nothing of this earth and human life.
And so here it is as always, the invitation to let go with grace, and with love.
Here too is the invitation to look toward the lessons this man left for us to learn; his modeling of calm, of deep listening, and being truly present.
Happiness skills all.
So I turn to my computer to write, which is a happiness skill for me, expressing what’s inside.
I let the tears flow of their own accord, and as they pass through me, I clear my vision to write some more.
This is how we manage life. We allow the feelings to have their moments, and as they move through us, the next moment comes filled with something new.
For me in this moment, it’s writing about Bill, it’s choosing to feel the way it always was to be around him, which was calm.
In keeping with his life, Bill had a calm passing and leaves that incredible gift to us.
The gift of calm.
What a gift.
I was going to write this newsletter today about It how good it is to lay down and let go. I was thinking of laying on the ground in the sunshine, or on the sofa for a restful nap; a self-care practice for the caregiver.
As it turns out, I was writing that sentence as Bill was passing; completing this life, letting go, and embracing what’s next.
Bill was steadfast in continuing to learn about and deliver to his patients all that is impactful for healthy aging. It was a lifestyle for him, to continue to learn, grow, and share.
I take this direction from his life now. Another gift. More happiness skills.
With that guidance I recommit to sharing happiness skills and practices with anyone who wants to know more. For me, that is living on purpose and with intention. That’s what we learn in MIND 4 and 5 in Say Yes to Happiness, a Handbook for Life.
Let me finish this writing where it began.
My husband came home from the hospital three days ago, and my role shifted from in hospital care and support to the, “yes I’ve got this, I can do home care,” person.
And I can, and he’s doing really well, and yep this is a project. Post CABG surgery recovery is not for the faint of heart, pun acknowledged. It’s a great opportunity to stay present when I hear, “Jane can you please _________ (fill in the blank),” and my mind is a tumble of what I thought I’d do next while trying to stay focused on caregiving first and foremost.
I laid down in the sun today for just a few minutes, and that’s all I needed. It felt so good to lay down and let go. The deep sense of rest is irreplaceable anytime, and especially right now.
I felt what it might have been like for Bill, as he let go completely, and trusted what was to come.
With great gratitude for his ever-present care, and modeling of calm and commitment, thank you Dr. William H. Lee, ever a brother and a friend.
My wish for you is a life learning and growing. When we are learning, we are truly alive.
PS – Would a few minutes of lying on the grass, or on the earth, be helpful to you today, handing all your cares over and letting go? Want to give it a try? That can be fun!