Saying goodbye to someone we love is never easy. Swept away; a vortex of sadness and grief leaves us numb; seeking answers. Anger, fear, sadness, confusion, despair, trauma, grief, compassion, helplessness and acceptance all have their place, as we desperately search for serenity.
Afraid to Die
by Dr. Ann M. Ragobar
My days are numbered; this I know for sure.
The pain within my body is teeth-grinding.
There is no medication that can relieve the pain within my heart;
Afraid to die.
My days are spent in deep reflection.
I think upon the life that I have lived.
I think upon the afterlife of which I know nothing;
Afraid to die.
I was taught that there's a hell.
I was taught that there is nothing beyond this life.
I was taught that God punishes badness.
Before I take my last breath, can someone please, please tell me
If there is life beyond this one?
I am so afraid to die.
I reflect upon my family.
What happens to my house? What happens to my car?
We've worked hard for what we've had.
I did not plan with death in mind.
I did not make a will.
My eyes will close for the last time.
I worry about that family of mine.
I was always their rock. I was always their strength.
Who will see them through this very sad time?
Can someone please, spare me some time?
I am afraid to die.
"These are some of the thoughts people experience during their last stages of life," reflects Dr. Ann M. Ragobar, MBA, BSc. Ph.D., Minister, Lecturer and Author, knowing firsthand what it means to lose a loved one. "Four years ago I lost my husband; soulmate to cancer. It was difficult to go through this process. I was searching for information, yet there was never anything right at my fingertips."
Married for 18 years, Ann speaks of her wonderful life shared with Wayne. "We did everything together; laundry; grocery shopping. Never sick a day in his life, he was diagnosed in January, and gone in March. My life did a complete 180 degree spin. I'd taken a week off work. Returning to my corporate job monday morning, I was fired for being away. It was a blessing. It put me on the road to what I'm doing now; helping others with this process. If I can alleviate one ounce of fear that families and their loved ones undergo, my soul purpose will be accomplished."
by Dr. Ann M. Rogabar
At times we feel the loneliness. At times we feel sad.
At times we think that no one cares. We are never alone.
At night when darkness surrounds us; at night when sleep is thus denied; we are never alone.
Our ever-present friends are our angels and our guides.
They quell our fears. They soothe our restless soul.
Their presence can be felt in various ways. We are never alone.
Our angels and our guides walk with us, each and every day.
They help us in every way.
They guide our thoughts. They guide our steps.
They teach us life-lessons. They keep us safe from harm.
We are never alone.
So when darkness falls and the night surrounds us,
our angels and our guides will abide with us, if only for a while.
They will even sing us a lullaby if we would only ask.
May we always remember that we are never alone.
May we always be thankful to our angels and our guides.
For they will make sure that we will not face life and its challenges alone.
"That was one of the messages Wayne drummed into my head before passing," recalls Ann. "He said, 'No matter what Ann, you will never be alone.' I understood we have our guides and our angels. Yet they're not exactly phsycially here to get a hug from. The physicality is what we, as human beings, miss when the person passes on."
Pets, Ann tells us, share our expressions of grief. "I didn't realize this until my husband passed away. Our cat would just sit there, motionless. I had someone come to fix the computer, sitting at the same desk Wayne would have sat at. Hearing the gentleman's voice and mistaking him for Wayne, Ferbie ran to the desk. It was heartbreaking. Pets also go through the process. They feel it the same way we do."
"Pets cross over to spirit form; similar to that of humans", concedes Ann. "I have seen them. Our pets, on the other side, are most often with loved ones; a grandmother or great-grandmother. They are usually all together."
To many, pets are like children, yet nothing compares to the loss of a child. "It's perfectly acceptable to grieve that loss. That parent has lost a part of themselves. Their heart is breaking. They need to be able to vocalize; talk about the little one and their dreams for them. After two months, no one should judge, saying 'It's time to get over it.' Everybody goes through this process at their own pace; in their own time. Much patience is involved in helping loved ones through the process of losing someone; particularily a child."
Children need help coming to terms with the death of a parent. "If you are the person speaking to the child, make sure your emotions are in check. Be fully engaged with the child; very plain and simple in explaining what is happening to mom or dad. Let the child know their feelings, like everyone's, will be taken into account. Ask if they have any input. Maybe they'd like to say some words at the funeral? Maybe there's a special song they'd like played? Take all their thoughts and whatever concerns they may have into consideration."
"Open communication is vital. If there's a riff in the family, please don't wait until someone's at the end of their life for that rift to end. There is not always opportunity to say to the person (to their face, while they're still breathing), 'I'm so sorry, please forgive me.' Every case is different. I encourage the families to talk to their loved one; say everything they need to say. As long as the patient is of sound mind, their input is necessary. Come together on a common ground."
Meditation is Ann's first step in helping someone cross over. "I meditate before entering the room. With my right hand I make a physical, energy connection by holding their hand or touching them in some way. With my left hand raised to the higher power; the divine source, I connect with the patient's higher self and guides to make that transition a little bit easier."
"Never give up, and never say 'die'."
"Not too long ago, I heard of a woman in England who was in palliative care; diagnosed with cancer. She had hours to live. Gathered around, the family heard the doctor say 'It's time to say goodbye.' This lady is still alive today. She had a miracle. All of her cancer is gone from her body. Until they draw their last breath, anything is possible."
"There are a lot of miracles out there...just waiting to happen!"
Serenity of Hope is dedicated to the patient as well as family caregivers, providing them the emotional and spiritual support that is necessary when dealing with advanced illness, death and bereavement.
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