Henk’s Last Day…….
It was a Monday…March 3rd 2014…we were in what was Henk’s last full day on this planet although I did not know that in the moment.
I went into our bedroom to check on him as I had always done in the past month or two since he spent more and more time there as the cancer got worse. Upon this particular evening when I went in, he was looking all around the room.
I asked him “Are there angels here with you?”
He looked at me and said “yes” and then began to point them out to me.
So with my heart in my throat and tears in my eyes I asked “Does that mean you have to leave tonight?
Turning his head to look at me he said “No, tomorrow.”
“So you will stay with me tonight then?” I asked, trying not to choke on the lump in my throat.
He looked me straight in the eye and said “of course.”
So we lay together all through the night. During that time he seemed to be carrying on conversations with others in the room…spirits perhaps or the angels. I would quite often whisper in his ear “I love you” and he would instantly stop the conversation he was having and say “I love you”.
Around 6:30 am I noticed that his body was struggling for breath and his arms and hands were twitching and I knew the journey of his spirit had already begun. I placed my hand on his chest and did one of the hardest things I have ever had to do so far in my life – I would have done anything for him.
I said ”It’s ok my love, you can go now.”
The next thing that happened was incredible. He suddenly stopped struggling and with complete control, outstretched his arms and while bringing them back into his chest in an embrace, looked directly into my eyes and took his last breath. One of his paintings hung in our bedroom and just as he died my brother said look and pointed to his painting. A beautiful ray of sunlight was shining on his painting!
I lay down beside Henk and held him. I wasn’t quite ready to let him go so I decided to play the music he always listened to when he was painting. I left him for a few brief moments to put the Vivaldi CD on the stereo. To my surprise when I went back to the bedroom his facial expression had magically changed. In the moment of his death his mouth was slightly open – upon my return his mouth had turned into a smile! I thought I was mad with grief but my brother who was there with me at the time of his death saw it too.
I lay with Hank for several hours listening to his music with him and holding him. When I decided I was ready, I gave him his massage with lavender oil as I did every night when he was alive. Then I dressed him in some of his favorite clothes. I placed one of his paint brushes in his curled up hand and a photo of us in the other. As a final parting ritual I cut a snippet of his hair to keep. Then and only then did I feel it was okay to make the phone call to the funeral home.
Having that time with my love after his death was and is a very important part of my grieving process. I feel very blessed to have been able to slow things down and spend this intimate time with Henk before others came to take him away.
To live life as a spiritual being in human form is an art.