Nancy Gosse ~ Journey of Truth

Under continuous evolution as I learn more ...

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hike for Hospice- a walking meditation

In only two weeks, I will be walking a 5km Hike for Hospice in Lindsay. When I think about the journey it took to get me here, I am humbled. Life has a way of guiding you to exactly where you need to be, even if you're not aware of it with the steps immediately in front of you. I first started to feel drawn to the idea of volunteering with Hospice a number of years ago when I started to realize the power of embracing the idea of death instead of fearing it. My first experience of death came when I was six years old. My paternal grandfather had died of cancer. I didn't learn this fact until years later when I was old enough to understand it. I remember walking into the church holding my dad's hand. When I saw the casket at the front of the church with the lifeless body I got scared and didn't want to go any closer. My dad picked me up in his arms to reassure me. He got me laughing about my grandfather's funny nose and joking with me about how my grandfather would tickle me if I made fun of his nose. I suddenly didn't feel scared and could see my grandfather instead of a lifeless body. My next experience with death came in my twenties with my maternal grandfather. I was with my aunt visiting him at the hospital one night. When it came time to say goodnight, he was confused and thought I was someone else. I had always been a little intimidated by my grandfather and so when he didn't recognize me, I somehow felt that I didn't want to face him. Instead of giving him a kiss goodnight, I opted to instead just let him sleep. Little did I know that only hours later I would receive a call to tell me had passed on. I wished so much that I had kissed him goodnight! Several years had gone by when his spirit paid me a visit. He held out his hand to me as I was apologizing for not saying a proper goodbye. He assured me that all is well. For months I could still feel his presence, especially when the breeze blew through the leaves of the tree outside my window. I gained a new understanding of what passing on means. One day I was chatting with my grandmother about how much she missed my grandfather. I felt his spirit direct me to reach out to her. I took her hand and shared with her my experience of walking with my grandfather's spirit. I told her what he told me; that all is well. When I looked into her eyes, I saw first a flicker of relief and then such confusion and fear. She turned away and couldn't face it. The conversation ended. Over the course of the next several years, my grandmother faced numerous hospital admissions and there was always the anticipation that perhaps she would choose to take her departure. The question of her death lingered, especially since I had been told in a number of different card readings and psychic consultations that she would pass over soon. However, each hospital stay saw her bounce back stronger than ever. I visited her a couple of years ago and saw how much more frail she had become. As with all of us, death will come at some point. Now that I've gotten over the fear of it, I want to be present for it so that I can hold a space of love and light and peaceful passing so that any fears might be dispelled. What a gift and an honor it would be to share in that space of pure light with those ready to take the journey, but so many people still carry tremendous fear around the whole prospect of death!My desire to explore volunteering for Hospice care hovered close in mind. When I was in my mid-thirties, my uncle was dying from cancer. Since I was in Alberta and not able to fly home to Newfoundland to see him, I instead visited him in a distance Reiki healing session. He asked me to help him pass on because he knew that I understood that it was a release into life eternal. He asked me to reach out to the family left behind because they didn't fully understand and would have a difficult time getting over it. I felt so honored that he had chosen to share this moment with me. I think that was the moment when I didn't fear death anymore and realized the desire to be able to serve as a witness for others as they make the transition. My dad passed away two years ago after a battle with cancer. Part of me really wanted to be there with him at the moment of his death so that I could be a loving witness for him. I could sense from him that he had a great deal of fear. One day when I was sitting with him in his hospital room, his eyes glazed over and he stared off into space. I have no doubt whatsoever that he was having a moment with Spirit, coming to terms with what was facing him. His eyes were wide with fear! I immediately opened my heart wide and poured light and love into the space between us. I asked Spirit for reassurance for him to lessen his fear. He instantly relaxed, and I saw his eyes come back into focus. He looked over at me and for an instant, our eyes met in wordless acknowledgement. It was a small part to play and I was not there in his final moments, but I am thankful that despite years of distance and lack of relationship between us, I was able to be there in that precise moment. My sister was with him when he passed on, and she described such a beautiful moment of utter peace. I knew that all is well. My dad's passing gave the courage I needed to finally sign up to volunteer with Hospice. Although I am only starting to dip my toes into the process, I know what a valuable service Hospice Kawartha Lakes and other Hospice Services are providing to people the world over. The caregivers, volunteers, staff, and supporters of Hospice that I've met are extraordinary people making a real difference in helping people celebrate the beauty of their lives. I am deeply humbled on a daily basis by the depth of appreciation for life that is demonstrated through those who face death daily. So, on May 5th, 2013, when I am walking each step of my journey in Hike for Hospice, I pay tribute to those in my life who have honored me by helping me face the fears and embrace a deeper truth of life. Your small donation goes a long way. You are also most welcome to join me in the walk.


snapshots of my recent journey

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