Gone.. ?

On 19th October 2015 my lovely nephew Keith passed away. 13 months after realising he had a tumour on his right temple and getting emergency surgery, through many long months of chemotherapy & radiotherapy, through many gallons of tears and words of hope his bravery & tolerance was tested to the limits. His beautiful little daughter often climbed up onto his bed to 'snuggle' up to him, sometimes saying he needed a 'Power-Hug'. Through hundreds of hospital tests & visits, clinic's and therapeutic courses we all took a part in this young mans journey. Often the sadness & tears inside me got pretty close to drowning me in emotional trauma.
Just over a month ago I sat with his little girl as we watched millions of stars twinkle in a black night sky, her daddy was being bathed by two wonderful carers. We tried, with lots of laughter, to count all of the stars before our gaze. Almost in an adult calm voice she said, "Grandma is a big shiny~star, just over there near the very top of the sky near heaven." I watched her gorgeous hazel eyes scanning the stars, wondering just how much she actually knew about her fathers situation and inevitable passing. Just before we came back indoors her face glanced back up at the stars and she said quietly "Night-night Nanny Lorraine, save a cosy space next to you for daddy!"

Two weeks ago my wife and I went for an almost ritualistic visit to the hospice to see Keith. The earlier visit just 20 hours previous had shown he was beginning to sleep more and begin to loose control of many of his bodily functions, an undignified trauma indeed. We walked steadily but calmly towards his bed, he lay cushioned amongst many pillows and patterned shawls & bedrugs. His bloated face soon began to light with a smile, he recognized us there, I sat close by his head and spoke quietly to him. My words were personal, to him alone, I saw his eyes twinkle and a slight smile briefly went across his face. He mumbled very slowly but clearly, "It was good mostly, my girl is my treasure, the love you have given is my reward, I love you unk." He went into a sleep. We waited a while and just watched his calmness as he slept. Each of us allowed a few tears to escape and roll down saddened cheeks. After about 25 minutes Keith woke and smiled, he moved his head very slightly, he whispered quietly to me "Stars, beautiful can you see, there's a space there!"

My old body was wracked with a grief I haven't known in many a long year. October 19th at 6:35am my wonderful nephew slipped away, in his dads arms and with just one slight gasp. I will see that star, it will shine ever brighter and more amazing than any other... except slightly less than it's mother!

One moment, one life, all too soon gone, never take your days for granted, they are just borrowed.

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36 thoughts on “Gone.. ?”

  1. We know that our loved ones are never truly gone, in our hearts & minds they will always live. The spirits visit us regularly, all quite happy, some mischievous, some just calling in to see how we are. We recognise them in different ways and we are quite happy that they still choose to be here.

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  2. Patrick, you led to tears. I have lost a colleague yesterday for the same reason. He was 37 and had the same problem, although it seemed to be recovered. He felt ill at work one week ago and finally died yesterday.
    So, what can I say? I wish the best and strength to you.
    We never say "goodbye" , in fact is just a "see you later…"

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    • It is so heart breaking to see a life end like this. It is only a pause, they visit us as spirits until we can join with them again.
      Because I am getting older I cry more, not for those who have left us, but for those still here who don't have happiness in life. To have hatred that some have is a waste of human life. To share love & kindness is what we should all do. A much happier existence still waits for us my friend. Thank you.

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  3. Sorry to hear about this but you have written a beautiful account of these sad events. My mother lost her own battle against her second stroke and pneumonia on 20th so I was "filling up" as I read. There is nothing I can write to make this better but I would like to send you my best wishes anyway.

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    • Thank you, I can understand how you are feeling right now. I take comfort knowing that the spirit of my nephew, (& many that went before him) is still with us. Certainly in my very fibre, almost equally certainly he has a spiritual presence too, he has arrived on that level of awareness that all our past loved ones attain.

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  4. We both thank everyone of you so much for your kindness. We are in a difficult time with our emotions, but I know that here in 'the Naktiv site' I at least have a kind of 'release valve' where I can ease myself by perhaps re-directing my thoughts onto another plane temporarily.
    From Rosemarie & myself to each one of you, many thanks !

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  5. Always sad to hear of developments like this for the family. Presumably your nephew is smiling upon all of you. My hope is that your hearts will heal quickly and all of your memories of him will be good ones.

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  6. Thanks for sharing Patrick. That's an utterly stunning portrayal of a deeply personal experience.

    You know by now that I'm a profoundly deep thinker. I can't even let a joke go by without contemplating it's deeper meaning 😉

    What has been dawning on me very slowly over time via careful consideration, is that each of us think of ourselves these individual isolated conscious entities that flicker into existence for the briefest time, then flicker out just as fast wondering where our place is. What's more where do "we" go? Where does all that laughter, tears, thoughts and ideas go when our physical existence ceases?

    I suspect that we have a perspective that is completely incorrect. The person I am today wouldn't exist if not for all the experiences and interactions with those around me. I often think back to much earlier in my life and how incredibly grateful I am to my mother's youngest brother who spent so much time with me. Took me on holiday as a teenager with his partner because my mum couldn't afford to take us anywhere.

    When I was very young he used to chase and tickle all the kids. It was fun and terrifying at the same time. I can remember running as fast as I can to get away but feeling like I was standing still. Without any real thought about it, as our kids have grown I tickle them often. They love it and hate it much the same way I did.

    None of us really understand that we are as much everyone else, as they are us. It's a difficult concept to really appreciate, but do you know what I mean? We create a lasting legacy in people we influence and make an impression on. In much the same way parents pass their genetic heritage onwards through time, evolving and changing with each generation and lifetime experience, so our consciousness is inherited by everyone around us. When people are close, they exchange identies. They pass little pieces of themselves on, so in that way they always exist in others. People often think of this in figurative terms. You always carry a piece of someone in your heart. It's far more literal and profound than that. Keith exists in everyone he knew and influenced. What's more Keith wasn't an island. As his life changed and became more dramatic he changed and those around him changed. He'll have taken on all the love and caring he received and radiated that back out to others changing them forever. Do you understand?

    We aren't one fixed thing never changing. We don't actually exist the way we think we do. You can understand this reflecting on your own self and life over many years. You're not the person you were at 10,20,30,40,50 etc. You're not even the person you were on October 18,19 or 20. You are only ever the person you are in this fleeting moment. The difference you make in the world is now. You pass on a legacy that changes others with every thought expressed, every piece of info you take on board.

    I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I hope in some small way you understand that Keith exists within you and everyone who knew him. Everyone he encountered took one small aspect of Keith with them, and for better or worse, they were changed one way or another. We are a collective whether we comprehend that fully or not.

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