I have learned many things in my life but who would have thought on that dreadful day in May 2014 when Seth and I were thrust unceremoniously into a world of palliative and end of life care, that the biggest lessons in my relatively short life would be learned over the following month.
When Seth died I knew that the worst thing that could ever happen to me had happened; I knew that nothing in the future could hurt so much, nothing would or could ever break my heart again. I knew it was forever broken and unrepairable. I also had this deep sense of knowing; a consciousness that I had never experienced before, an expansive feeling that something so momentous had happened and that it would shape my life forever.
When Seth received his diagnosis, he was alone, there was no one he knew there to support him, to comfort him, to love him. I had left at 4pm at the end of afternoon visiting to go home, to collect some things, have something to eat and get back for evening visiting at 6pm. When I arrived and walked into the room, I just sensed that there was something very very wrong. Seth calmly told me that the consultant had been to see him and had told Seth that he suspected pancreatic cancer. That although he thought the cancer was advanced and had probably spread to other organs; he could not confirm this diagnosis 100%. More tests were needed; he told Seth that time was very short that his prognosis was probably day’s maybe weeks to live…….
The consultant was right it was only days and weeks; so few in fact that it barely made the month.
At first Seth was determined to have palliative chemotherapy; it offered him the hope of an extra eight weeks, if it all worked as expected. However, pancreatic cancer had other well thought out plans and Seth became, so poorly, so weak, so quickly that chemo was not an option.
In the days that slipped by, as time began to run out, I saw Seth let go of the things that had been so important to him, his interest waned, he let go of the future, of his future, of our future. It was no longer important only the present moment was important.
He withdrew slightly each day, but then from nowhere “my Seth” would reappear for just a few seconds with a smile, a joke, singing an out of tune song and always telling me how much he loved me. But then the jokes, the songs, the smiles disappeared and it seemed like his love faded too….. they all faded into stillness. This was the time that I knew what used to be important was no longer important and that my role now was to guide my adorable and beloved Seth out of this physical world. However, Seth and I both knew that his letting go was a loving and generous gift, given to me in the knowledge that he was selflessly preparing me for life without him.
As death approached over the coming hours, I saw Seth surrender to the physical decay that came with this dreadful disease and he surrendered spiritually too. I saw him give up the past, his past, our past, as well as the future. I knew this was the time, the present, the last few moments when Seth needed me the most and I had to help him make the transition. It was no longer about me and about what Seth meant to me, no now was the time that I would find the strength to be his trustworthy guide into a different place; a different consciousness.
Seth surrendered to the mystery of death on 14th June 2014 and I guided him through that last heart breaking journey.
As you will know I describe Homeward Bound as Seth’s compassionate legacy because it is. Death and dying are meant to evoke compassion and they did; but the most compassionate person throughout our journey to the mystery of death, was Seth. He saw my suffering and he did all that he could to relieve it. These selfless acts of love and compassion combined with a deep connection to a different consciousness have taught me so much about life and what’s important.
So today whilst I am so sad that’s it’s the fourth anniversary of Seth’s death I am also so happy that Seth’s death taught me so much about life. It was an expansive experience and Seth I will love you with all of my heart forever.