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Dancing With Angels
Jan Francis

The room is dimly lit
the giant fans blow
life force winds surround my body.

I am floating…
The music flows freely
expanding the room
weaving through the depths
of my physical and mental being.

I close my eyes and reach out
swaying to the smooth rhythm
feeling the hypnotic tones.
The heat of your breath massages
my glistening milky white shoulders.

I reach out to your flickering essence...
You arrive through my heart
jolting throughout my core
extending through my limbs
my hands and feet are tingling
the palms of my hands are pulsing with heat.

You surge within me
glowing throughout the room.
My cherub guides hold my fingertips
dancing with joy and celebration
my hands feel like wings
they lift and carry me to you.

I feel free with a sense of wonder
My whole body is exuding white light
I hunger for more...
You nourish my cravings with a pursed smile.
My body essence caresses the
momentum of tones.
My soul lifts in a bright ball of energy
before me.
You enter it relentlessly
yet lovingly.

You embrace my heart
reminding me of my wholeness.
I trust that this is heaven…
a place so beautiful --
unlike what I have known here.
You take my hand.
Your joy guides me through light passages
as we gaze at the universe
as time stands still...

The bellowing chants of the room
echo into eternity.
The little ones who are service to you
swirl around my moves with their touch
they feel like tiny glowing fairies
kissing my total being.
I stand in awe of your loving presence.

You point upward for me to see my colours.
As my eyes drink them in
I understand our magnificence.
As though on cue--
I suddenly feel compelled to open my eyes
and there you are...

I've been dancing with my angel

If you can't hear the music
download cresendo player HERE!

Jan Francis
Immediately upon learning of my daughter's death, I experienced stabbing physical pain with each inhalation, as if my lungs were encased in solid steel. Forced to breathe very shallowly in an effort to lessen the pain, I endured this unrelenting pain for six more weeks. I remember little else of that day except hearing her laughter in the hospital chaplain's office. Did the chaplain and my husband think I had lost my mind? But my daughter's distinctive laugh floated in the air before she said, "Hey, Mom, I'm fine." I heard her. I will never forget that experience. Thereafter it required tremendous energy to get out of bed each day. Once up, I sat or reclined, lacking the strength to remain upright for more than a few minutes at a time. Reportedly, many people came to our home; but I remember only a few. I remember the church, the sound of the glass harmonica, walking down the aisle supported on either side by my husband and my mom, hugging people after the service and crying, crying, crying. I remember the agony of driving to the cemetery and seeing the small hole to receive the urn bearing her ashes. I remember bending to kiss the urn before it was lowered; and I remember crying, crying, crying. I remember our table laden with food and my inability to eat anything at all while I watched others fill their plates, heard their talk, their laughter, and wondered why and how the world continued to revolve--and wondered, too, how I could ever rejoin this living world when I felt so dead. I longed to die myself, fearful that my daughter needed me yet recognizing at the same time the egoism inherent in such thoughts. I remember praying for the pain to stop, watching how slowly clock hands moved, and crying, crying, crying. When the physical pain ended and the intense emotional pain subsided, as other bereaved parents have found, I discovered occasions for laughter and joy, for thanksgiving and renewal, for service and peace. All my experiences since my daughter's death on 17 February 1983 have brought me new understanding about this thing we call life. Nothing profound, really --and it's only what most other bereaved parents have learned too, and what, if you are newly bereaved, you already know in your own heart: love never dies. Neither may our relationships die. Although we no longer enjoy daily physical and verbal interactions with our children who have died, the love we continue to share strengthens us. We may come to new understandings of our spiritual connectedness, experience deeper appreciation of all our relationships, including those with our deceased children, and open ourselves more fully to the challenges of all life's gifts. If you are newly bereaved, embrace your grief passionately and learn from it; for in conquering grief, the fruits of love are all the sweeter.

Living is dying; and 'dying' is living through transition. Be prepared to expand your beliefs, and don't be afraid to embrace new possibilities and probabilities;or to challenge the so called, assumed/accepted thinking of your 'religious' community/experience. Be of open heart and mind. Own your path, your choices and the process of your departure from this incarnation. Know you may not have to die at this time - regardless of expectation/diagnosis. (You will not die before you are ready to). When you know you are give yourself permission to die. Try to recognize and come to terms with feelings of unfullfillment; or you are abandoning anyone or leaving too soon with 'unfinished business'. Protect yourself from and anticipate temptations of feeling guilt or shame. Neither are appropriate. Try not to be shy about any of this, including how you might or do wish to be remembered. If there will be a 'memorial', how would you like to be involved? You can choose the location, the music, and even leave something to be read or sung. You could arrange a life-celebration party for your family/friends. You can even participate via audio/video tape in a 'religious-type' ceremony, burial or cremation. Think about and decide what you want done with your body and clearly make it known. Eliminate any final regrets.

Have people know what your needs are right now and what you anticipate they may become and most importantly how you wish these needs attended to and/or met. Know you have the right to be kept free from pain and to 'die' - as you wish: in peace and with dignity.

Be sure your caregivers know your likes and dislikes, for example if you are especially fond of certain sounds or atmosphere; also those you abhor. And if you find things like hourly beeping watches offensive, or your hair messed with. Don't "suffer in silence " or suppress expressing your needs and/or emotions, to protect your caregivers (if doing so is motivated by feelings of guilt or shame). Don't assume things will no longer matter. They may not, but it ought to be realized as ones world 'shrinks' many things may become more magnified, like sensitivities, irritants etceteras. Physical and emotional. Think about all of this and be specific.

Tell people what you believe, also what you hope. Prepare people for the worse scenario that is in the nature of your disease, to help minimize the transference of their traumas onto you. Understand, accept and inform or discuss your anxieties, depression, anger, fears, personality changes and discomforts (physical and emotional). It is important for your visitors and caregivers to realize how your world is smaller. Don't be afraid or ashamed of changes in your appearance or how you might look to others. Becoming more with angels, and indeed one, you will be letting go of this body and incarnation.

Think about what you want to be exposed to by your visitors and caregivers. Have people know (maybe by showing them this) that you have enough to contend with without their 'stuff' onto, around or near your life. It would be a very great service indeed if people would learn and exercise to check their 'baggage' 'at the door' - outside your world, to not put onto you their issues and problems et al. Not that you don't care but have sufficient of your own to deal with. It would be better for you to be surrounded more by positives than negatives beyond your control. Considering this, visitors, family, and friends could spare you bad-news tidings and world-tragedy reports which are quite beyond your control. Peace and harmony and love and understanding in copious amounts would indeed benefit you far more.

Exercise being a good patient and express gratitude - both empower, and encourage and bring joy towards you. We draw near what we put out.

Instruct your caregivers and healthcare providers precisely on the extent of life support to which you agree to have administered should the need arise. Appoint a medical as well as a general Power-of-attorney and be specific for them. If you are uncertain, express that. Do likewise about your spiritual/religious rites-of-passage. Burden yourself as little as possible. What is not important becomes more and more evident and relevant than what we were accustomed to feel was.

Encourage people to become more informed about considered 'facts' concerning the process of transition (dying). For example it is considered a much more frightening experience to witness than experience. It is also important to know we apparently can hear well even when comatose. Have people make responsible choices deciding what 'visiting-over-you' is good and enjoyable for you and what may not be. Again, share this paper if it is too delicate a subject for you to broach. It is the greater habit in our society to tend towards sharing/reporting negative news.

With your world smaller let it be known what surroundings you prefer - from music or TV to facial tissues. A moist face-cloth frequently turned, can be appreciatively soothing upon the forehead. As can back rubs, foot massage, sponge bathes, and gentle touch. It is also very nice to have your mouth kept clean and fresh and most importantly, moist. The atmosphere should be gentle-kindness. Bathed in love, understanding and forgiveness.

Dying is not a sad event. It is mostly for those being left behind, otherwise it is a positive passage of our spirits choosing. Own it and embrace it as a welcome 'birthdate'. Life is the process of letting go. You will not 'die' before you are ready to go. Look forward to the arrival of your angels and "The Light" Embrace the process. Be very most loving to yourself. Invite the spirits of those loved and gone before you. Know tears are human liquid prayers. Recognize the hero you have been in this life/incarnation. Peace be with you.


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