Topic: Talking with the dead.....

My Dad- Jack has cc, is currently in the hospital fighting off a blood infection- stemming from what started in his biliary cath. He's not a very good patient, and is threatening tonight to walk out if they don't release him. He's been in there a week-tomorrow, and is a mere 5 weeks from the original diagnosis.  He just wants to go home  & return to life as it was before this monster arrived.

I don't know about others, but I find myself talking to our deceased family members, a lot, asking them to be sure to greet Dad when he arrives- so he's not alone. I imagine they will be excited to see each other again.

For now, we joke about Mom, get in a few games of cards, complain about the hospital food, and talk sports.  There is a lot of silence, but it's great to just be with him.

I saw a beautiful poem today that others may enjoy.....

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.

I am I,
and you are you;
whatever we were to each other,
that, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used,
put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air
of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever be
the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all
that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.


Henry Scott Holland
1847 -1918



Re: Talking with the dead.....

Thank you, Tess, for this lovely poem.

I have found comfort in poetry, particularly that of Rabindranath Tagore, he has 2 titles on death, Final Poems and On the Shores of Eternity.

In her last days, I slept on a mattress next to my mother's bed and felt the presence of my late grandmother in a shadow, I told my mom she missed her and wanted her to come.


Re: Talking with the dead.....

Hi Tess. Beautiful poem and I always say that someone has just left the room.
Is your dad on chemo or anything now? I know when Teddy had his biliary cath  in he had back pain as well. Not horrible but just there. Perhaps your dad's attitude is because he is scared, lord knows this monster is enough to scare anyone!  Perhaps you could just let him know that any time he is ready you are there for him to talk to. I have found that once the initial shock wears off the need to fight begins. That is where the hope comes in as well. Its ok to talk to the beyond (I am a firm believer with Sylvia Browne) but don't give up hope.

Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Talking with the dead.....

Tess,   I have always believed my deceased family members are around, I've always felt their presence in my life, especially those I was particularly close with.  Just a couple of stories...

The night before my dad died, (he was in the hospital for infection as well) he was getting really aggitated.  He was pushing away at the air, and pulling at his clothes, etc.  At one point, dad said as clear as day as he pushed away the air in front of him, "Not now, mom, I'm not ready yet." 

Like Patty, I slept in a recliner next to my dad.  About 4 in the morning, my dad woke up from his sleep and reached out for me, calling my name.  He told me he was dying, and that he needed to go.  He and I shared such a beautiful goodbye.  I remember asking him..."Dad, will you watch over me when you cross over?"  He assured me that he would always be with me. And never a moment in the days since have I felt that dad was not with me.  (That's not to say that the grieving is easier...because it is the most horrendous pain I have ever felt in my life...this loss is so profound, especially now with the holidays.  Dad has been gone for 4 months now).  I've enjoyed, however, the oddest little things that I become aware of and I choose to believe it is dad keeping in touch with me.

I had an evergreen cross made for my dad's gravesite for Christmas.  I put it out there this past week.  I took mom out to the cemetary this evening, but it was 'dusky' and hard to see the cross above where my dad lays.  She kept saying it was hard to see.  At that moment, the cross started swaying as if waving to us.  Mom said, "I see it now, there waving".  And then it stopped swaying.  We are both convinced that it was dad.

I live for moments like this.  Just knowing my dad is 'keeping in touch'  brings some comfort on my lonely days.

I live in an old house that has been in my family for some generations, and this house has seen a number of family deaths through the years.  Often, way before dad died, I would notice shadows, or strange things, nothing scary, or sad.  Sometimes the dog will stare into space and cock his head to one side as if acknowledging someone.  So I'm thinking someone is visiting - I remember once standing in my living room saying "if you plan on hanging around, the least you could do is dust!"  It was awhile before I felt anyone 'visiting' again.   LOL

Thanx for the opportunity to share some fun stuff.

"Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain."     ~g. b. hinckley

Re: Talking with the dead.....

Thank's for sharing these beautiful stories. It's extremely comforting to have those little 'keeping in touch' visits, that is for sure. I love the evergreen cross waving story Jolene! and thanks for the poem references Patty.

Yes Lainy, Dad is in quite a bit of discomfort. He is on chemo, & radiation was due to start this week. He has been in hard core denial, since this began- hearing next to nothing that the doctors have told him. Thank goodness Mom is there with her notepad!  I definitely think that the 'crack' this week came from fear & pain, too much time on the cancer floor, a week without a cigarette, missing the comforts of home, and realizing that this beast is still going to be there when he wakes in the morning.

I did bring him home yesterday and he'll go in daily for antibiotic infusions for the next 10 days- then its back to the chemo & radiation. He'll be receiving brachytherapy via his biliary cath (1X day, 5 days week/6weeks).

Hope is always there.  It's one day at a time... and every day counts, even more than the last.  You know, today is all that any of us really have, so it's worth celebrating.


Re: Talking with the dead.....

   Thanks for sharing that lovely poem. My Husbacn Butch has been gone a little over two months now, and I try to always remember that he is just in the "next room". Several times since he left me I have had reminders that he is watching over  me, and, even though I miss him terriblyand am lonely here in the room I am in, I look forward to seeing him one day when I step into that next room myself. In the interim, I try to be mindful of the fact that he loved life and would want me to enjoy mine also.

I will pray for you, your Dad  and your family.

Joyce C

Re: Talking with the dead.....

Hi Joyce, you and your family are in my thoughts... and I am very sorry for your loss. I saw your website, good for you for capturing the memories & telling the stories!

We are just a few miles down the road from you, in Waverly NY. I saw another post that is looking at profiling cc patients, based on diet & artificial sugar intake. I wonder if regional demographics of cc clusters have also been explored?

Thanks for the prayers.


Re: Talking with the dead.....


What a great poem.

I talk to my Grandfather all the time. I let him know that Grandma is coming. I vent when I'm frustrated with the situation.

I think there's something comforting in that.