The Passing of Doug
We don’t often think of death as being part of life, until we have to look at it. I had taken him to the doctor because he had bronchitis, but when the doctor came in the room, he said that he didn’t like his coloring. From there we went to cat scans, tumors and stage four cancer, in one afternoon. The local doctor gave him three to six months, but when we got to Duke, they said they felt sure they could give him two more years. Instead, he fought for three. It hurt so badly to see his physical body deteriorate but was so beautiful watching his soul glowing on the inside. He would say, “I am not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to leave you”. One day he asked if I thought one could feel people’s prayers. I told him I had never thought about that and he said, “I can”. I asked how it felt and he said that it felt like his whole body was filled with love. How beautiful was that? The last visit to Duke was in early January, 2008. The doctors came in together and told us that the chemo was no longer working and there was nothing else to try. The nurse practitioner said she would get in touch with Hospice, but Doug told her he did not want to die at home. She asked why and he said, “It would be too hard on Toni”. He passed away in the hospital two weeks later on the 28th very peacefully.
Eight months later, I got to experience the love he was talking about. It was very late one night, I was in bed praying and grieving with my eyes closed when I realized that the room was lit up. I opened my eyes and to my right were the brightest lights… like the end of a sparkler. With it was a warmth and a feeling of love like I’ve never experienced. It felt like it was saying to me… you are never alone. What a beautiful, beautiful gift! I’ve always believed that we are not alone, but I guess I just needed a reminder and what a way to receive it!
Toni True-Wills, Ph.D.