If you have or you are currently sitting bedside of a loved one in hospice, you are probably struggling with accepting the thought and reality of letting your beloved go.  It is a psychological battle that starts by praying for a miracle of life and ends by praying for a miracle of death: “Please, God, end the suffering. ”

It is the most traumatic experience I have lived through.  It didn’t seem like I would at the time but I survived this roller coaster of emotions while supporting my dad through his hospice process.

As I write this article, I think of my dear friend and it brings back memories of my father and his end of life.  This past fall I brought you a story, Woman Loses Organs to Cancer, Still Reveals in Life. It was about a kind and warm spirited woman, Louella Gaines of Augusta Township in Michigan.  Over the past 11 years I have known her, she has taught me true perseverance.  Louella is someone who has been fully present in her life regardless of what she was facing.  She has endured a lifetime of cancer treatment, pushing forward through it knowing it would gift her more precious time with her family and loved ones.

“It has to be that way, my family needs me,”  she says. She is the most selfless person I know.  I have learned a great deal from my time visiting with her.

I am dedicating tonight’s words to my wonderful friend and to anyone who is hurting through the hospice process.  May you find the strength, love and courage to let go.

My friend, Louella, is currently transitioning into her next life, moving beyond the physical.

Anyone who has crossed paths with her is better because of it.  I’m sure of this!

With sincere love and by channeling my friend’s selfless way, I leave these closing words.  “Louella, I wish you a grand celestial entrance.  Please say hello to my Dad.  I am confident all of the loved ones you are departing will find comfort knowing you’re taking care of business and watching from your new residence.  Farewell my dear friend, grab those wings and fly high!”

Kathryn Williams 2011

Kathryn Williams Raths

I have always had creative threads of inspirations in my life. I can fall into an oil pastel drawing like the average person falls into a good book. It is a grounding process, allowing me to lose myself in my work, lose track of time and escape the pressures of everyday life. Unfortunately, I have not spent much of my life devoting time to my heart's desire; writing and exploring my creative impulses. I'm a single mom first and I've been a full-time employee in the business world for over the past 20 years. I’ve earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science. I live in the cornfields of Ypsilanti with my 2 sons, who are thirteen and fourteen, and my boyfriend, a wonderful man whom inspires and supports my dreams. During 2008, I had some life-altering experiences which have given me a new perspective and enabled me to reprioritize my responsibilities. I lost my father and my job, both of which I devoted much love and energy to and truly treasured. In the aftermath of my father's death, I reached deep within my core and wrote my book, What Can I Say When Words Escape Me, being present during times of sorrow. I can only hope these words of encouragement and nature photos touch your heart and up lift and hug your soul as they have for me. I currently write for the Examiner.com, Detroit market as a Healthy Living Reporter, http://www.examiner.com/x-27409-Detroit-Healthy-Living-Examiner. I'm grateful for my life's journey thus far and thankful for a nurturing, fulfilling future that enables me to reach out and help others struggling with hardship. http://still-waters-counseling.com/kathryn-raths-m-a-llpc/

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