I am a very spiritual person, however have never been religious. My dad and I went to church on Sunday’s because I loved singing in the choir and I loved helping him teach Sunday School. Although I do not believe in any certain religion, I enjoy going to my church because their focus is not to preach but to help others. They run many programs to help the homeless get back on their feet, and I seem to get a good feeling when I am there. No, I do not go to the services but I do love the positive energy that envelopes one as soon as they enter the church. I am not sure what happens when we die but I have a hunch our lives begin again. It is impossible to know what occurs once we pass but I have seen clear evidence that our spirits if nothing else stay alive. I wrote about this story before but it is so good I will write it briefly again. I had a patient who lived in my nursing home. I was his social worker but because of his dementia, he was my boss and I was fired on a daily basis. I loved this man and will never forget hearing: “You, you are fired!” His only illness was dementia which affected his mind. Sadly, he was in perfect health in every other way but could only remember his wife. His wife was in a different facility for long term care as she was very sick and dying of Cancer. Her mind was fully in-tact but her body was failing. Everyone said: “my boss who fired me daily) would live for ten plus years and make me either laugh or go crazy and his wife, whom I never met would pass within a year, I gave his family members therapy on a weekly basis and we became very close. One day, they came with me with the news tt their mother, my patient’s wife had passed. They asked me if I could be the one to tell him as it was part of my job and they just could not bear it. I walked into his room where he was fighting with someone and sat down on his bed. All he said was: “I know.” He had dementia and often said things that made no sense so I proceeded to tell him of his wife’s passing. He then said with more conviction than I had ever heard: “My wife was what I lived for. I want to say good bye to you. I am so happy I can be with her again.” My eyes filled as I knew he was in perfect health and truly thought he was in a fog with dementia and grief. I went home in tears as this was only my first or second year as a social worker and this hit me hard. I arrived at work the next morning and my patient had died with no known reason. I wrote in my private notes that he died of a broken heart. I did not write that he was right, my “boss” who was the healthiest patient I had aside from his dementia let himself go to be with his wife. For the following years I saw this happen more often than I ever though true. I now see it through my daughter as I hear her say things to my La La or know things that she would never know unless she was able to connect with her.
You are now probably wondering what the hell this has to do with chronic pain, and suffering. What if this is just one of our many lives in this world. I have a strong belief that we are born to learn the lessons we need to learn to bring into our next life and so on. I always write that we are only in one chapter of our life but what if that chapter is our whole life until we do pass and move on to the next stage of existence. If this is true and I am not saying it is, I have no idea but it helps me to believe that. We as humans are given many challenges during our lives: health and poverty being very high on the list of pain and suffering. There is a reason and if nothing else I do believe we go on once we pass. My patient and his wife are together. My La La is here making her sneak appearances, I think mostly to visit her great granddaughter who reminds her so much of her Jessica it is crazy. Life is short. Spread love and know during this lifetime you have a million chapters and you know this is just a shitty chapter. Keep going, try and stop searching for answers and let them come to you. This life and the afterlife will reveal all the answers to the questions you have.