Never give up, no matter what anyone says, no matter what lies you have been told by others or lies you have told yourself. You are awesome!
How can you tell it is the first rainy day in about a month? Carrie has watched a bunch of inspirational videos and is passing them along to you! Soul Pancake has become one of my favorite video makers. What they say usually makes a lot of sense.
They say that the secret to happiness is gratitude and I have found that to be true in my life. I have been down at times and thought, “What the hell do I have to be thankful for?” But there is always something. I have not exactly been on a the fast track to success lately or jumping with joy. Many of the things I thought would bring me happiness have eluded me. Like the post I did this morning about Gillian Bennett, the woman who chose to take her own life instead of slowly die with Dementia and had her husband of 57 years there holding her hand. I will never get to experience that kind of love, not 57 years of it any way and that kinda makes me sad. The longest relationship I’ve had was 10 years and it was abusive. If I were to dwell on it I could make myself quite sad and depressed over it but I don’t dwell on it; it is a fact in my life. One aspect of my life.
I have a son who I am immensely proud of, who loves his momma and called me this weekend to see what I thought of a decision he was making. I doubt my opinion would have changed his mind one way or the other but he needed verification he wasn’t “F’n crazy” (to quote him) and I told him he was asking the wrong person. How does crazy know what crazy looks like, I thought it was a great idea to buy a 40′ yacht and live on board in False Creek Vancouver. I say if you got the means and you’ve got the desire you do what makes you happy and personally I love the ocean and what better place to live? What better place for me to visit? I thank God for my son every single day.
Every morning I have gratitude for where I live and it didn’t sell this summer so that gives me another winter in the cabin and another year to figure out a way to buy it. But it didn’t sell because it is over priced and there are nicer, cheaper ones in here for sale so who knows, maybe it is not supposed to be this one. I have faith that what is meant to happen will happen when it is time for it to happen.
I have gone months living on $610 a month, an impossibility; but I have made it through by painting things, selling some things and the odd donation. Almost daily I wonder how I will make it through but somehow I do and for that I am filled with gratitude.
In this video they ask the people who had the most influential person has been in their life. I thought of my son but you know who the most influential person has been, who had the most positive effect on my life; James. Not that it was his intention to be a positive anything in my life, not that he encouraged me to be the best I could be or gave me an example of the kind of person I want to be. But he was the person who made me look at myself honestly. He stripped me down to nothing and I had to put myself back together and ultimately it was the most transforming experience, the biggest growth experience and the greatest learning experience I have ever had. It set me on a totally different life course, took me to a place where my natural abilities and passion to help others are utilized and helping others. It’s really hard to be thankful for that kind of hurt but I am glad I am where I am and I don’t know how I would have gotten here any other way.
In the video they have to call the person they have gratitude for but have no fear I will not be calling James to thank him because like I said it’s not like he did it for my benefit, it was just a lucky byproduct of him trying to destroy me. It could have gone the other way, the way he planned it go to; me dying either by his hand or mine. But none the less, he was the catalyst that brought me here.
Check out the video here.
I never knew Gillian Bennett, but I have cried buckets the past two weeks thinking about her life and mostly her death and the love that surrounded her death.
I don’t feel sorry for her or her family, don’t get me wrong; I am sorry for their loss but I admire and, yes, envy what she had.
For those of you who don’t know who Gillian Bennett is, she chose to take her own life after being diagnosed with Dementia.
You can read her story at http://www.deadatnoon.com
i am sorry for anyone that gets Dementia, I watched both my grandmothers slowly slip away mentally, it is a painful process for the person afflicted but even more so for the family that loves them. Gillian did not want her family to go through that; she wanted to die with dignity and her family loved her enough to respect and honor her wishes.
I am not saying everyone with Dementia should kill themselves, I am saying I can totally understand why she did it and I agree with her decision. I listened today to CBC radio interview her son and husband of 57 years. The love in their voices is so evident. I have sobbed every time I listen to them being interviewed or read their story and to be honest I don’t know if I am crying for their loss or because I am feeling sorry for myself.
Isn’t THAT insane? to envy a woman who chose to kill herself because she had dementia?
When I read about her life, (she wrote a 4 page letter that her son posted after her death at her request) I can’t help but admire the life she led. She raised two children who love her dearly, was married 57 years to a man she loved dearly and who loved her just as much. They lived in various countries and retired to Bowen Island off the coast of Vancouver in 1996. She was a stay at home mom who went back to school to become a psychologist because she wanted to have a career to sustain her in case her husband died before her.
When the time came she called her two children and asked them to come for the weekend because on Monday she would be dead by noon. This didn’t come as a surprise to her children because she had discussed it often throughout the years, she had made it very clear she did not want to be a burden to anyone or to slowly become incapacitated. She had no fear of dying but to be a shell of the person she once was did scare her.
Her children came to their parents home on Bowen and spent the weekend walking and talking, saying their final goodbyes knowing the next day their mom would die. On the Monday she woke up with her husband, they had their usual breakfast and went for a walk to her favorite cliff and then they went back to the house and she dragged a foam mattress out to the place she had chosen to die. (she didn’t want her husband to help because she didn’t want him to assist her in anyway)
She had a mild whiskey that she drank after taking whatever the barbiturate was that would kill her; her husband held her hand and she went to sleep. Within 3 minutes she was asleep and within 1/2 an hour there was no sign of life.
I think about the love her and her husband shared, how hard it must have been for him but he loved her enough to be there and hold her hand, to help her die the way she wanted to die. They had 57 years of love and raised a family together with mutual respect and love.
That is what love is all about.
By contrast, what James and I had was a pitiful joke. He encouraged me to kill myself and left me to die alone, and had I not been as good a driver as I was he would have been responsible for my death. When I look back I am embarrassed that I ever considered what he and I had to be love. Not everyone has a love like Gillian and her husband, but to me it is the ultimate, it is what every couple should aspire to.
An excerpt from the CBC article and Gillian’s blog:
“Bennett told her family of her plans but did not allow them to take part. It is a crime in Canada to assist in a suicide.
In her final hours, she wouldn’t allow her husband to drag a mattress to the spot she had chosen to die, worried even that could cause him trouble.
“That pretty much broke his heart, that he couldn’t help her with that. She was pretty frail herself,” Fox said. (Gillian’s daughter)
In her letter, Bennett lamented the law.
“This is all much tougher than it need be on Jonathan, and I wish he did not have to be alone with his wife’s corpse,” she wrote.
“Today, now, I go cheerfully and so thankfully into that good night. Jonathan, the courageous, the faithful, the true and the gentle, surrounds me with company. I need no more.”
“Each of us is born uniquely and dies uniquely. I think of dying as a final adventure with a predictably abrupt end. I know when it’s time to leave and I do not find it scary.”