After her second serious stroke Pat asked me to buy her a notebook so she could keep up her journal while in the hospital. The stroke distorted her sight and the only thing she wrote in it was: “I will wait to see again.” I think Pat kept her journal for me; particularly her last journal she started after we learned she was dying. It, on Wed. Now 16, 2016, begins: “To my great surprise, I am dying…. found cancer on my liver and pancreas …. Huge thud of astonishment – my family usually all die of heart disease! I haven’t really recovered – perhaps never will. To Eric it was a terrible blow. Maybe he’ll never recover either. I think for the first few hours, I was just picking myself off the floor, dazed and incredulous. This was clearly just impossible. It still feels impossible. How can I be dying? …. So much I will lose. The beauty of the Earth, of the skies, of colours. I see it all turning and turning to darkness. Please God, please, please, please. “
The true Pat came fully into being when she accepted that she was dying. It was then she entered into the Kingdom of Heaven, softening, opening, yielding, feeling God within – feeling God’s presence. Sunday November 27, 2016, she read at the Advent Carol Service, Fifth Lesson, Malachi 3 verses 1 – 7, at Holy Saviour and was very pleased with herself. Christmas Eve, celebrated with her sisters Dani and Bette, was her best day of her last two weeks – she knew the end was very near and seemed to just let the fear come up as she fell through to the other side. She was able to face her death with an open heart, serenely, utterly, trusting God. She died January 7, 2017. She really loved me, knew I really loved her and trusted both me and God. I hope I didn’t fail her. True Freedom is Love – Pat is free now in the arms of God. Death is NOT the end.
When we die all that is left is LOVE. Because God is Love and we are also Love. Love is our reality, and God preserves that Love forever. Pat has come home to the God within our oneness; she fills fully the space that surrounds my heart. Christ said, the Kingdom of Heaven is within us – so Pat is in the arms of Christ within me. Pat said it best in a poem to me:
In the country of my heart
One name is the Key to all things
In my heart’s society
Only one name is worth dropping
The seasons say it over
In their turn,
Even the rain
Drops your name.