Friday, 19 August 2011

The Melanoma Journey (part 4- the good bye)

In our area  there is a health care support network for patients who are out of the hospital. Community Care Access Centre ( CCAC ) provides whatever is needed from nursing care to family support. The nurses advised us on what to expect as Charlie came to the end of his life and helped us to be prepared for this to happen at home (as was his choice). The time came that the nurse told us to call anyone else that may need to see him, as we had only hours left.

In an interval between wiping his face and bringing him sips of water, Charlie closed his eyes and relaxed.  The peace that came to his body was amazing for us to see. After all these months of bravado and pain, seeing him so relaxed was such a catharsis. Family was close by. I opened the window fully wide to see the greens of the trees, grass and fields; the breeze was so refreshing.  Peaceful, healing and calm.

We sat with him and had a drink to toast his life,  his victory over his challenges.


We chose to have a celebration of Charlie's life at home.  I found a beautiful wooden cremation box online (this was the strangest online purchase I have ever made). It was perfect since he loved animals and the moon. Chairs were set in place in our yard, flowers bought, friends brought food.
Friends and family sat in our open yard, next to a corn field and shared stories about Charlie's life, we sang "Imagine" by John Lennon, little white butterflies floated freely around us. We honoured the lessons that his life provided - to live life without letting any of its challenges slow you down. He did not stop living life as these challenges came his way but rather looked for how he could still  make life happen in spite of them.

Thank you Charlie. You were always there for me, as I for you - brother and sister.


Part 1 - The Journey
Part  2 - The Man
Part 3 - The Gift

2 comments :

  1. Linda, Thanks for sharing so much of your time with Charlie. What a wonderful choice of box. Between Charlie's and my Nephew's, they are the two most unique cremation urns ever.

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear about all you and your brother and family have been coping with...what a year! Looks like you created a lovely tribute/ritual to celebrate his life.
    Take good care of yourself.

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