Helping terminally ill patients in Hospice and meditation save my life.
Seven years ago, I was working for a great company and owned an Escalade that was paid. I also owned a home, a four-plex that I rented out. I had plenty of friends around me at the time. There was always money in the bank, and life was truly beautiful. Until one day when I lost everything.
You see, back then I used to think money was the answer to everything, but boy was I wrong. To make things worse, I was fighting depression and anxiety on top of everything. Everything else happened to me at once. During this stressful time, my mind experienced the worst case ever imaginable. It hit me like a ton of bricks. My mind started to lose control and started taking control of me. The only way I can explain it. It was something I had never experienced before, so it’s kind of hard to tell.
I needed help in a big way. My mind was acting in a weird way had I never experienced before, my mind was racing at one hundred miles per hour out of control. Scary thoughts were coming in at a high rate of speed. For example like a 20-hour horror movie all packaged into a 5-minute film playing in my mind constantly; it was one of my worse days of my life. I could not afford to tell anyone how I was feeling in fear of getting judged and maybe getting sent to the doctor or hospital. I kept it all to myself.
So I took matters into my hands, and I did the only thing I knew which was to buy a help book on meditation. What I did not know about the mind is that you can tame or train it so to speak. Much like how you train an animal, you can do the same to your mind. My mind did not have a master, so my training began.
After meditating for 60 days, my mind was cleared of all noise. During one of my 45-minute meditation sessions, I experienced something unique and beautiful. It is so unique and unusual that it only happened once. My mind received a message; some people call it a hunch or an epiphany. The message was for me to volunteer. That was it; I did not hear anyone say I needed to volunteer, as the message was just there bright and clear. If you knew me years back, volunteering was not on my bucket list of things to do. It was so clear and so powerful that I had to act on it. It’s hard for me to explain this experience.
I went online and entered my information into a website that pairs you with organizations that need volunteers. My feeling was the first company that calls me that’s where I’m going no matter what it is. A nonprofit named St. Michaels Hospice called me and scheduled me for orientation that week. I did not know what the Hospice was at the time. I started to do my research and found out that the Hospice helps terminally ill patients that have less than 90 days to live. Honestly, I did not know what to expect. My thoughts were, “What have I got myself into?” But I was on a mission bigger than me. Orientation day came. I had to drive to Los Angeles, CA on a rainy day on a Saturday. With no gas in my truck and twenty-five dollars to my name, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. I’m not going to lie I had second thoughts about my experience. But I made it happen somehow.
I thought that I would be visiting hospitals to see my patients, but that wasn’t the case. I had to go visit them at their homes. All seven patients that I cared for knew their medical conditions and their outcome. I met some amazing people that had plenty of advice for me. Here are three things they told me.
- Gratitude: Be grateful for what you have now in the present. Stop wasting time worrying about the past and the future and focus on NOW. There are people that are in worse shape than you. “While they’re people complaining about their lives there are people fighting for theirs.”
- Family comes first: One of my patients use to work in an office for 30 years working 12-15 hrs a day. He was making big money until he got sick. He told me to spend as much time as possible with my loved ones. When he retired, he had over eight hundred thousand dollars in the bank but did not utilize it because three months after he had retired he ended up in the hospital. He told me that most of the money was spent paying for doctors and specialist. He regretted not spending enough time with his kids.
- Anger is the enemy. I was fortunate to speak to a female patient Seven days before she passed. I won’t forget what she told me. She said anger is the enemy. Married for 25 years. Her bad habit of getting upset at her husband was very common. I think she knew she only had days to live I could see it in her eyes. She told me that one day she had gotten upset with her husband about nonsense, and she had the reputation of being very stubborn. She had stopped speaking to her husband that day and went to bed only to find out that her husband fell ill that night and was a rush to the hospital where he later died. She had that in her conscious for years. Her message don’t sweat the small stuff.