Me, Nana, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama

My beautiful Nana, Joyce Melrose Cody, nee Heppell.

I’ve had a difficult night.  My beloved Nana is dying, and I’m struggling more than I thought I would with this news.  Our birthdays are just around the corner, hers on September 2, mine on September 6. We have always been the September Girls.  Now I wonder if she’ll make it to hers.  I pray her funeral won’t be on mine.

I have never had issue with death – we will all have our time, and I trust in that. But all night I’ve wrestled with two things; the manner of her demise, and that I might not be able to be with her as she slips away.

Nana broke her hip a little while ago, but came through an operation to pin her femur with flying colours, and ended up in rehab, getting ready to come home.  Then something unexpected happened.  She ended up with a bedsore on her heel that became infected and got right into the bone.  And that has essentially been the beginning of the end for her.

The other thing I’m struggling with is that I’ve been at home recovering for the past few weeks after a virus flared up my cardiomyopathy, and I went to hospital with arrythmia.  My cardiologist insisted I stay away from cities, shopping centres and possible sources of further infection until I was back at full strength again.

My Dad rang last night to tell me Nana was going downhill very fast, and that now might be the time to take a trip up to visit her at the hospital, about an hour and a half from my farm, so I could say my goodbyes.

But first I need to find out from my own doctor if he thinks this is a good idea.

All I wanted to do last night when I got the news was get in the car and drive.  It’s still all I want to do this morning.  And I can’t.  I have to be sensible.  I have to manage my risk.  I have to wait to get an answer, and I need to find a way to be okay with it if the answer is no.

That’s where my thoughts turned to Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama.  In the middle of the night their words sprang into my head, easing my worries, and helping me return from a place of anger and frustration to a place of love and acceptance.

At first I was angry because my Grandmother’s demise has been hastened by neglect in her nursing care. Just because she is elderly did not mean that she deserved lesser care.  I thought of Mother Teresa’s words, and I felt even worse to start with, thinking of my Nana and her situation.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
~ Mother Teresa

But that brought me back to thinking about the nurses and doctors at my grandmother’s hospital, and how overworked they are, how understaffed the wards are, and how little support and understanding these people get, when all they are doing is trying to serve us.  They are just as unwanted, unloved and uncared for.

In thinking this I began to find compassion instead of outrage.

And then these words of Mother Teresa’s came to mind:

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
~ Mother Teresa

I realised that no matter what happened, I COULD still do something.  I could pray for my Nana.  I could talk with her in my mind, and I could meditate for her.  I could also flow that energy of healing, love, gratitude and compassion to my Dad and family, and to my Nana’s care-givers at the hospital.  I could talk to my Pa, Nana’s mum – Nana Heppell, and to my Nana’s favourite brother, Bill, who have already crossed over,  asking them to look after her, and to help her at this time.

And then there was the help I felt from the teachings of the Dalai Lama…

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
~ Dalai Lama

Kindness.  In thought and action.  I can do that.  And of course, that includes kindness to myself.  No matter what my doctor tells me, I shall honour that and do my best to be at peace with the decision.  I will respect my own physical needs.

And this…

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
~ Dalai Lama XIV

I will be gentle with myself today and in the days ahead.  I will remind myself often that now, this part of 2012, is a great time for ancestral healing and clearing, and that it is to be expected that family relationships and dynamics will be a large part of my current attention.

No matter what happens, I know that I can meditate, pray and do energetic work for myself and my family. for you and your family, and for families everywhere.

In the end, love and kindness are all that matters, and my Nana has been a shining example of that teaching in my life.  I am Blessed to have had her here for so long, and I know that love endures – we will always be the September Girls. ♥

Image from inspirationaldaily.wordpress.com

35 thoughts on “Me, Nana, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama

  1. I send a lot of love and courage to you so you can deal with the situation as good as possible!
    It´s so hard to see a beloved familymember closing in to the other side <3
    And struggling with illness ore disease with pain and visit hospital and go see doctors, take meds and so one isn´t easy even if everything around you is in perfect condition. I feel with you<3
    Big hugs and love to you and your family

  2. I’ve lost both my nannas and my dad all before I was twenty. I’ve not known a relationship with my family. I’m so grateful for your time that you have had with your nanna. Thankyou for sharing the reminder of being calm and accepting all situations as they come across our paths with compassion and love. {{Hugs}}.. Nicole. xx

  3. I cried all the way through this. You have a strong, wondrous, gentle heart, my friend. You have been blessed to have your Nana be such a part of your life, but know also, that she has been blessed by you. I am sending you light energies to give you continued strength and grace.

  4. Nicole, this is so heart wrenching, I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face, and my 9 month old looking at me with a mix of concern and bewilderment. Much love, courage and patience to you- just more of what you already have. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a wonderful reminder of perspective and the choices that we make on a minute by minute basis as to how we are going to feel, react to, manage and learn from the situations life throws us into. I really admire your attitude. Thank you again for the reminder and again, take care xx

  5. My heart aches for you in this situation Nicole. I pray for you all during this heart wrenching time much love, light and blessings to you all<3. God's hand shelter and care for you and your beloved Nana. <3<3<3

  6. Hi Nicole, thinking of you, may you be connected with your Nan from wherever you are – a bridge made of love, learning and wonderful joyous memories. Love and Blessings Cheryl

  7. Hi Nicole,
    I feel with you and for you at this time I really understand what it is like when you have to take care of you before you can be fully empowered to be where you really want to be. I felt the same way when a close friend passed about in June. Yes we can pray, meditate, and send all our love and talk with our guides etc- it’s about acceptance and knowing how important our recovery is so we can do the work we came here to do. Not always easy……. Thanks for the wonderful quotes you have shared and I will put you and your Nana in my meditions today.
    sending you love and blessing xxoo

  8. What a very positive post this is. Being able to find peace in place of anger, and calm in place of frustration, is a real blessing during such difficult times. Your attitude is inspiring and reassuring, and although it’s a very sad experience losing someone you love as much as you love your Nana, the way you’re dealing with it is wonderful. This is a post I want to cut out and keep, to help me when I have to deal with loss on this scale. It such a warm and loving way of looking at death, full of kindness, compassion and gratitude. Thank you for writing it, I imagine it must have been quite difficult to do. I’m thinking of you and sending you much love.xo

  9. Hi Nicole I send my blessings to you at this time. How true it is that when you change the way you see things the things you see change. Nana will leave being so proud that she was pivotal in raising such a wonderful person. Having the strength to process through all your emotions from fear and anger and end with joy and love is a divine quality. Having the courage to then go on and share that learning with others is what makes you and Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama all truly enlightened souls. Love Julia

  10. My heart goes out to you, Nicole. I just returned from a nine day visit with my elderly mother and I wondered when I left her home if I would get to see her again. Life can be tenuous which is why we need to seize the moments. I honor your love and courage.

  11. Beautiful Nicole – What you are going through right now is damn tough! I have been out of touch a little lately with what has been going on due to computer and internet troubles, so I was very saddened to hear about your health scare and ongoing health issue!

    It is so difficult to listen to the doctors advice when all you want to do is be with your Nana. I know you know that you must take of yourself first. None of us can give adequate care to others if not to ourselves first.

    Sending you massive hugs and healing light so your physical and emotional BEing can be renewed, enabling you to be with your Nana whenever you choose, and getting you back into the life you love so much. Sharing your stories, your love, your light, your beauty. ♥

    Much love soul sista X

  12. Superbly written, you really touched me at this difficult time and inspired me to step up and benefit others as much as I can. Love and blessings.

  13. Pingback: Adventures in Toowoomba! | Cauldrons and Cupcakes

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