A farewell to my father

Posted on Apr 26, 2018 in Healing, Spiritual living

DadIt’s strange and wonderful the way the universe works; sometimes with a jet black comic sense that has me gasping. The ability to hold all things lightly and see the funny side is a definite divine quality, and a healing one, in my experience.

So it was that just as I’d applied to be a volunteer healer at a local hospice, my own Dad began his outward journey from the physical plane. It’s as if it was necessary for me to undergo this deeply personal initiation before I could begin to walk alongside others through their experience.

I’ve never been so thankful to be self-employed and to have full control over my work schedule. When I got the call from my Mum to say that Dad was in hospital for the second time in hardly more than a week, it was simple to clear a few days so that I could be with them. I had the urgent sense then that he wouldn’t be with us for much longer so this freedom was a blessing I’ll be eternally grateful for.

On top of the underlying serious issue of ITP he’d had for a few years, an MRI revealed that Dad had had a small stroke. Although he wasn’t speaking as much as normal and had lost a lot of weight due to not eating properly for a few weeks, he could still put sentences together, some more clearly and successfully than others, and understand most of what was said to him with a little patience. Those four days I spent going into hospital every day with Mum yielded so many unexpected joys.

Dad displayed these brilliant flashes of zany humour that I’d never seen with such clarity before. Mum commented that this was just what he was like when she first met him. As he hadn’t been eating well we kept trying to tempt him with delicacies, so I was peeling a tangerine and offering him one segment at a time. He always gave a delighted “Oooh!” as I presented it to him and then proceeded to deliberately miss the target, first on the left and then on the right, exaggerating the comic effect with cross-eyes, before finally popping it into his mouth. On another occasion Dad was shaving himself with his electric razor when much to his feigned surprise the razor apaprently took on a life of its own and would randomly skid off his cheek and into the air.

Then there was the newly uncensored language which left us in no doubt how he felt about things. On being asked if he wasn’t impressed with a hospital meal he’d pushed away, he stated with a dead pan face, “No. Balls!” Mum and I are were in stitches, and all of this so helped to lighten our overall sadness, weariness and worry.

For me, it was a gift to be able to show Dad how much I loved him. He’d never been a demonstrative man, but now he seemed to welcome and enjoy these attentions. The simple things brought so much pleasure to me – draping a jumper around his shoulders if he was cold, pouring him a drink if he was thirsty, or warming his chilled hands with my own.

Most beautiful of all, I channelled Reiki to him through touch. During these sessions I was able to connect with his Higher Self and hold the space for him to choose freely the path he wanted – that of healing or that of easing into transition. I reassured him that we were all ok, that we would be sad at his leaving of course but we would be fine, and that he could move on if he wanted to.

For my second visit only days later, we’d been informed Dad was dying and was now receiving palliative care. On his last day as I held him with Reiki, I saw the bright blue-white of Dad’s aura expanding out and upwards from his heart to well above his crown, and the energy felt so sparkly and vibrant. A few times he opened his eyes briefly and his mouth moved as if, it seemed to me, he was in conversation with someone – perhaps family members and friends who had preceded him, there to welcome him over as so many NDEs report. He was already on his way, and all I could do was support that process with love and compassion. I know from my spirit release work how important it is to give this permission to move on, and to reassure the dying person that everyone will be ok despite the pain of loss. If we don’t alleviate their natural concern, someone can overstay and endure more pain than is necessary while still in their body, or even get stuck on the astral plane when they leave due to a sense of responsibility for those they’ve left behind. I told Dad to call in his Higher Self to guide him when he was ready, and then just to let go (which I knew was not an easy thing for a man who liked to have things ordered and under control, and had an iron-willed stubborn streak).

We weren’t actually with him when he died and I have to admit at feeling some sadness that he was alone. But then I think he probably wanted it that way. So many nurses I know tell me stories of patients waiting for relatives to leave the room, even for just a second, before they take their last breath. I think for some in these last moments the strong pull that accompanies the presence of loved ones makes it harder for them to leave. Certainly Dad looked peaceful when we came to see him afterwards, his eyes slightly open and so bright, as if he’d just glimpsed something inviting. Even though Dad himself didn’t have a faith in life after death, I believe in that final moment he did see the truth of who he really was.

The morning after, the sun was shining hot and bright and after days in hospital the family decided to go out for a walk in the local town. I’m convinced Dad was with us and had fun dropping in a couple of small but marvellous signs of his love and gratitude, especially for Mum’s extraordinary devotion. In an antique shop I was browsing a stuffed rail of vintage clothing when my eye was caught by a 1950’s shift dress in my favourite turquoise colour. When I managed to extract it from the packed rack, the price label curiously also had my Mum’s name written on it! Then when we sat down to eat in the restaurant, I pointed out that my Mum was sitting directly under a piece of artwork around the words “You are the gin to my tonic”. Well guess what my Dad’s favourite drink was? He always did like having the last word and I have no doubt he’ll have plenty of advice and support to offer in my hospice work.

I’m leaving the last words to the eloquent Mary Oliver, from her poem Blackwater Woods:

“To live in this world
you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.”

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Semele Xerri

© Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive guide, healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.

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