Dr. Robinson recognizes and encourages ways for anyoneeveryoneto love beyond death in this well-researched, engaging, and compelling mix of personal narrative and forthright reporting on end-of-life care and mis-care. Helpful for both families and medical personnel, it is part instructive manual, part counselor, and part love story. Her book gently guides us through the sadness of departure toward opportunity and love.
Never demanding readers believe in an afterlife, Robinson instead offers personal stories of death bed visions, after death communication, near death experiences, and end of life care.
At bedside, a wifewhose dying husbands spirit departs his bodybriefly goes with him. Having previously been unconvinced of an afterlife and somewhat in shock, she declares this single incredible event exceeds any and all of their considerable marital intimacy.
A lucid, intelligent 98-year-old man is tragically confined to a psychiatric ward for evaluation of medicines prescribed by multiple physicians. Sent home weakened and changed, six months later his death is classified as failure to thrive. His story offers opportunity, hope, and love.
Eight years after Robinson visits a friends death bed, her once skeptic friend visits during a dream and takes her to metaphysical night school where a powerful affirmation of love is delivered.
This is a book about traversing the pleasures and pain of end-of-life care, about possibility. Best of all, it is about loves vital, enduring nature: a clarion call of loves never-ending power. As a comfort or guide, this is a book that family, friends, and medical practitioners will appreciate over and over again.
Lynn teaches us through her direct experiences and observations that life and death are artificial distinctions. People we love die. We die. But we suffer less knowing that death is not the end, and that we remain connected in ways that are visible if we foster love and an open mind.
Gilbert R Ladd IV MD, Board Certified Psychiatrist
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Impossible as Possible
When I started writing this book, I had no idea that during this time, I would experience the ends of the lives of five close friends, two family members, and a beloved Scottish terrier. One friend was Bev. Though she is no longer here in a physical body, she continues to be my friend. And as you will read, her story is remarkable.
Life approaching its end, whether for someone younger when it is surprising or for someone older when death is more expected, can be something like a symphony's final movement. It may cleanse emotions or cause despair. It may lessen the tensions built over a lifetime. It may lift you up. It can be beautiful, but it isn't always. Parts of Bev's ending symphony, and that of her husband's, inform us of wondrous possibilities. Their remarkable end-of-life experiences are explorations into the impossibly possible.
I ask you, in reading Bev's story and additional later stories, to suspend your disbelief. Especially to those of you who want to demand absolute, scientific proof, I ask you to read and withhold judgment. I ask you to suspend disbelief, because loving to the end ... and on can take us to unexpected places.
The first time I heard Bev's voice, she was crying. Bev and I began our lifelong friendship in the nursery of the hospital where we were born two days apart. Always close, she'll help us begin our exploration, introducing ideas and actualities expanded in later chapters. Bev's story includes examples of deathbed visions, multidimensional communications, shared death experiences, and after-death communications, along with other aspects of end-of-life caring. Together, we hope you'll remain open to possibility — to adventure into the end ... and on.
After divorcing her college sweetheart and father of her three children, Bev had met an older man, Reggie, who became the love of her life. Many years of marriage later, Reggie had a series of small strokes over several years that resulted in his lessening ability to be fully present as he slowly became unable to care for himself. A larger stroke in his eighty-fifth year left him increasingly nonresponsive; he was dying, very slowly.
As a retired medical technician, Bev took specifics of care and decline in stride, but she struggled with the emotional stress of losing her love. And she wondered why he could not let go.
On a Sunday morning in October 2012, I felt a strong need to be with her. Sometime previously, I had taken the Hemi-Sync recording series Going Home to Bev so that she could listen to those recordings designed to help the family and so that Reggie could listen to those recordings designed to assist him in dying — in leaving his physical body. Neither had ever embraced my comfort with expanded life possibilities, but Bev figured they had nothing to lose.
I drove to her home and was greeted at the door by her eldest child, who had driven more than 250 miles with her own daughter, both of them nurses, to be there. Reggie's pulse and heartbeat were weakening, his body temperature was dropping, and mottling had begun in his extremities. He was actively dying, but very, very slowly. The slowness was taking its toll. Never had I seen my friend Bev look so sad — never.
I sat at the breakfast room table with Bev, her daughter, and her granddaughter, and I tried to sense Reggie. As someone who, for most of my life, has been connected in various ways to those no longer in physical bodies, I had become a hospice volunteer, and I was accustomed to the emotions of families who have a dying loved one. I hoped to sense the reason Reggie just kept struggling and hanging on. My friend's sad face and body posture were too much; it hurt to see her that way.
Finally, I asked whether she minded if I went to Reggie's room to be with him for a few minutes. She dispassionately mumbled, "Sure, go back there if you want."
A private home-health-care nurse was in the room, about to leave. We discussed some of the physical end signs and sounds that Reggie was presenting. Still, he was hanging on.
Shifting my mental awareness, I greeted Reggie and was answered with his radiant smile — not on his physical face, but through some mysterious, nonphysical communication pathway. So, staying in that pathway, I shared with him our wondering at his physical tenacity. His response: "I have some tidying up to do."
My return query: "What kind of tidying up?"
He simply repeated, "I have some tidying up to do."
This exchange was not spoken; no words were vocally expressed. I physically grinned. He grinned in that nonphysical space where we were communicating. I left the room and returned to where the others were sitting.
"Bev," I said, "Reggie just gave me a big smile and told me that he's still here because he has some tidying up to do." She sat there, still dejected, nodding her head at my disclosure and putting up with her friend's claims and beliefs. But then she jerked her head up and asked, "What did you say he said?"
"I told you he said he has some tidying up to do. I have no clue what that means. Tidying up?"
"Lynn, he used to say that all the time. That was a phrase he used all the time."
But I had never heard him use it.
And with that, she was smiling — her big, warm, usual smile. With the use of that "tidying up" phrase, she decided that I truly had made contact, somehow, some way. Then she wanted to hear again about the smile I had perceived, his seeming to be fine, and a few other details.
The home-health-care nurse had left. Bev's daughter and granddaughter remarked that they were hungry, and they asked whether I could stay with Bev so they could get takeout from a favorite seafood restaurant to bring back.
"Of course," I replied.
After they left, Bev was more animated. We got up from the table and walked into a room closer to Reggie's room. While we were standing there talking, Reggie came in, visible to me in that nonphysical, consciousness space we could access together. He was dressed in a sailor uniform and doing a silly dance, his big grin getting even bigger. I was having a hard time both paying attention to Bev and watching Reggie. Finally, I said, "Bev, I have to ask, did Reggie ever wear some navy uniform and dance around?"
"Because he's doing that right here, right now."
She laughed. He was in the navy as a very young man, which if I knew, I had forgotten. But, for sure, I had not known that every year, for years, to prove he could still fit in it, he would put on his uniform at Christmas and do a silly dance throughout the house. Later, Bev looked for some of the pictures to show to me and to others to whom she later told the story.
The girls came back with the food. Bev excitedly told them about the uniform and the dancing.
I did not go home immediately, but I visited another friend that afternoon. I had left my cell phone turned off during the afternoon.
A couple of hours later, I returned home. Though unusual for me, I immediately checked the home landline phone for messages. The first one was from Bev's daughter, who said, "Lynn, Reggie died about twenty minutes after you left." The second message was from Bev, who laughingly said in an uplifted, teasing voice, "Lynn, you killed my husband. Call me." The third message was again from her daughter, who told me how she, her daughter, and Bev had all three been in the room with Reggie when he took his last breath. Even more thrilling to them than being there in that moment was their experience with him. They wanted me to hear the whole story.
Gathered around his bed, holding his hand, or touching his arm, looking lovingly at him, Bev thought she needed to be saying a prayer, and she was trying to remember words when she realized her daughter was already reciting the twenty-third Psalm.
Her daughter asked whether Bev would like to listen to Reggie's heart as it was slowing, very gradually ceasing to beat. With trepidation, she agreed and put her head to his chest. With his heart's last beat, Reggie left, briefly taking Bev with him. She was exuberant when she told me about the experience of their consciousnesses departing their bodies together, its beauty, and, most of all, its intimacy, which she said exceeded any and all of their considerable physical intimacy in their twenty-nine years and ten months of a very happy marriage.
Graciously, she gave me credit for opening the way for that to happen — kind, but maybe not accurate. I remember Reggie telling me he had some tidying up to do. I think, maybe, my sensing the need to be with Bev that morning had been instigated by Reggie. But he had more to do. Within minutes after Reggie's last breath, Bev turned in the doorway to his room to see their Presbyterian minister standing there. He told her that, as soon as services were over, he felt like he needed to be there with them and had driven directly from church. Twenty minutes later, a close friend in another city called Bev, one who had not done so in about six months, but who said she just felt like she needed to call. "Tidying up," indeed.
Because this happened about fifteen months before I wrote their story, I asked Bev to take a look at what I had written for verification or for changes she felt needed to be made. She said what few inaccuracies there might be would be too minuscule to matter, as they wouldn't change the gist of the story at all. "And," she added, "funny you should be thinking about this now. I went to a noonday communion service at our church today, and we sang 'The Lord Is My Shepherd,' and I had a vivid recollection of the day that Reggie died in my arms because I was saying the twenty-third Psalm when he took his last breath. I can never think of this Psalm without thinking of his gift to me when he died. It was the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced, and I will be ever thankful for that — and for you too — being there with me. I don't mind at all if you publish this story. It is a story worth being told."
And again, days later in church, Bev reexperienced the exalting intimacy of her sharing with Reggie the experience of his transition. She told me that because of their shared death experience, it had been the most wonderful day of her life and that her thoughts about death and dying were changed.
Months went by without a repetition of this experience, though with a continuing appreciation for it. Then, in early November 2014, we learned that Bev had been diagnosed with an abdominal sarcoma, a rare cancer. Though she had felt tired on occasion, she had not experienced alarming symptoms of any kind until traveling in Europe with a friend. She realized that she was tiring more easily and completely than was at all her norm. When she returned home, she made an appointment with her primary physician that led to other appointments.
The local oncologist ruled out surgery because of the size and nature of Bev's very vascular tumor. The doctor prescribed a drug, hoping to shrink it. Bev's condition was such that she had to begin with a partial dosage, increasing the amount slowly. The pain continued to increase, with prescribed drugs given for that. Bev resisted being drugged as much as she possibly could. Her children, who lived in other cities, followed their mother's wishes and made arrangements for in-home caregivers, augmented with care from Bev's many friends, to assist in keeping Bev in her own home.
She went to visit her daughters for Thanksgiving. They observed her increased weakness. After that visit, they alternated coming to her home to be with her. Her son, who lived in a neighboring state, came to live with and care for her for a few days. Though Bev's friends commented about the rapidity of her decline, until Christmas, Bev's children seemed to be in denial. Her diagnosis was but two months old.
By Christmas, her daughters had taken her for a second opinion to a specialist in the larger city where they both lived. The tumor had doubled in size; surgery was not possible. Her friends had been dubious about Bev's being able to make the trip; she did successfully. However, less than a month later, Bev was released from what had been excruciating pain of the cancer her older daughter had said "is sucking the life out of her." It had.
Like her beloved Reggie, did Bev provide glimpses of living beyond the body? Glimpses of "to the end ... and on"? Yes. Bev's dad provided me with some during the final week of Bev's life.
During those last days of her life, both of Bev's daughters were with her in her home, as were residential nurses and hospice nurses. Getting enough control over the pain had proven difficult. There were nights Bev's daughters were awakened every few hours when she would call out, sometimes scream, "Mom, Dad, come here; come help me." They told me that they believed their mom was seeing her parents, an occurrence that has been documented in many cross-century accounts of deathbed visions.
On one of those nights, in my own home, I experienced a lucid dream, seeing myself walking up to a door. I opened the door and looked in the room, and a man, seated to my right just inside that door, turned around and looked at me. It was as if he were watching, guarding what was in the room. I saw no farther than the man; he was dressed in black slacks, a black jacket, and a small black hat. The hat was not a fedora type, not a cowboy type, not a baseball cap; it was small, and I could not quite figure it out. He turned his head around, looking at me over his left shoulder. It was Jim, Bev's deceased father! I was quite surprised. He had been a very quiet man, occasionally flashing a large grin, especially where his daughter was concerned. In fact, I was so surprised to see him that I forced myself to awaken, look at a clock, and note the time — four o'clock in the morning — while instructing myself to remember the time and the visit when I awakened in the morning, which I did.
It was several days before Bev's daughters told me about the nights of calling out. And then I shared my dream of their grandfather. When I was describing the hat that I could not categorize with certainty, the younger daughter said, "Oh, Lynn, that was the cap he wore when he was riding his bike. Don't you remember?" Well, no, I did not remember that hat, but I did remember his bicycle riding until late in a very long life into his nineties. In telling them the story, I recalled that I had felt confused that he did not speak to me, just sat quietly. On reflection, however, I laughed, saying that, if he had been talkative, I might have wondered about an impostor posing as Bev's father. My dream occurred during one of those painful nights the daughters listened to their mom calling for her mom and dad. Had he wanted me to tell her? The family? Had he wanted me to know, to be comforted that he was there?
Bev's life force weakened dramatically and quickly. On the morning of her death, I had felt the need to go to her house and be with her younger daughter, share some hugs, and see my friend who, by then, was clearly dying. I did not know that her older daughter had decided to stay. As a nurse, she could see that her mom's life force was slipping away. We shared stories and looked at family pictures, and I left around eleven to have lunch with childhood friends. Ordinarily, Bev would have been with us.
The daughters, a hospice nurse, and the critical care nurse conferred and thought Bev had another day or two of slowly leaving her body. The younger daughter decided to drive the almost five hours home to be with her family, collect some clothes, and return in the morning. She had been gone just a couple of hours when Bev's vital signs showed marked deterioration.
Around three o'clock in the afternoon, my cell phone rang. It was Bev's older daughter apprising me of the situation. Until she told me, I did not know her sister had left a little after noon. I asked if she wanted me to come back; I told her I'd be there. This was Bev's daughter who had been with her at Reggie's bedside as he took Bev briefly with him on the journey out of his body ... and on.
I was offered the gift of love, of trust, and of spiritual opportunity. I called my husband and told him I might not see him at all that night. When I arrived at Bev's house, I learned the younger sister was on the road, en route home. The older sister and I hugged for a long time. Then we went to check on Bev. End-of-life signs were clearly accelerating. We hugged some more and hugged the experienced sitter who was attending to whatever needs might arise. Loving is so very important.
As we walked away from the room, we discussed whether big sis should call little sis to tell her that the remaining time was going to be much shorter. It was her decision to let her sister know but with no clarity on coming back that night or in the morning.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Loving to the End ... and On"
Copyright © 2018 Lynn B. Robinson, Ph.D..
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Impossible as Possible, 1,
Chapter 2 Decisions Best Guided by Love, 11,
Chapter 3 Resuscitated Life, 17,
Chapter 4 Communicating Nonphysically, 25,
Chapter 5 Visions, 34,
Chapter 6 Participation in Visions, 39,
Chapter 7 Allowing Life, Death, and Love to Lead, 49,
Chapter 8 Bits of Laughter, Tears, and Love, 60,
Chapter 9 Managing to Make Better Decisions to the End ... and On, 67,
Chapter 10 Listening to Yourself to Listen Better to Others, 77,
Chapter 11 Considering Impossibly Possible, 84,
Resources: Books, Movies, Internet, 91,