aI have noticed that my heart continues to get heavier as the days go by. It’s a difficult thing to explain. I know that I’m not having a further realization that Brady is no longer with me because, believe me, I am aware of that. I am forced into knowing just how real it is. However, I have had more of those moments lately where I want to run to him and tell him what happened during my day or talk about the latest gossip I heard. There is usually about a millisecond of desire before the reality sinks back into my body. At that time I am crushed all over again. I usually have to take a moment to allow myself to break down and then somehow pull myself back together as if it never happened. Again, these are not things I am intentionally choosing to do, it’s just the things my body does naturally. I suppose you could say it’s my form of grief.
Oddly, during most of Brady’s short illness I did not have a large amount of grieving moments. To be honest there wasn’t much time for it. When becoming a caretaker there are too many other responsibilities to focus on. For example, the night before Brady’s last night with me was his most difficult one at home. Brady’s brother, Jake, and his girlfriend took a shift to come to stay with us that evening in case I needed help throughout the night. By this time Brady was unable to do much on his own, even if his stubborn self thought he could. I have never been more thankful for someone staying with me than I was that night. For whatever reason Brady was awake and in need of something almost every half hour. Between needing water, medicine, bathroom breaks, wanting to sit up, or just being uncomfortable he definitely kept me busy and Jake was right there by my sleep deprived self each time.
Even with all of Brady’s commotion I was still able to have a very treasured moment that night. Throughout most of his time in and out of the hospital Brady was pretty much forced to sleep on his back, which is not a way he would normally sleep. Due to his required oxygen and a few other factors, it was really his only choice. On a few occasions he would attempt to sleep on his side, but that was mainly when he was in a hospital bed. At one point during our busy night Brady rolled over to his side facing me. We typically fell asleep spooning before all of this occurred, so naturally I snuggled my back side up close to him the way I used to. My heart was beating quickly with butterflies as if this were the first moment we had ever stayed together. I laid there quietly and turned to prayer. Prayer is not always my first go-to. In fact I often go without thinking about it, not purposely, it’s just what happens. Regardless, in that moment prayed. I only had one request; for Brady to put his arm around and hold me tightly the way he always had before all the madness. I wanted it more than anything. Before I knew it I felt his arm lift up and embrace around me. In that moment, nothing else mattered. In that moment I could forget that I couldn’t come home to tell him my stories, that we couldn’t spend our evenings watching recorded versions of our favorite shows, and most of all that my husband was laying behind me, ill.
When morning finally came everything was calm; everything except my heavy heart that is. I’m not sure if it was because of Brady’s restless night or just because of everything going on in my changed world but that morning I woke up sad. It was a different kind of sad compared to usual. The kind where it feels like there is a sand bag sitting on your chest and your heart falls down to your stomach with each beat. Fortunately for me the day stayed fairly calm. There were not many visitors and the ones who did come by came quietly. It was nice to see Brady get some decent rest.
At one point during the morning one of my aunts contacted me about an alternative healing method she had gotten wind of. It was a lady named Susan based out of New York who healed people with energy. She was a friend of a friend. I’ve mentioned before that we were attempting anything and everything when it came to trying to heal my husband after the doctors told us we had no medical options. I was mostly nodding my head in agreement to everything we had been trying up to this point. When I heard about Susan I decided to do some research. According to her website she healed herself of a bad cancer diagnosis through energy alone (the explanation is actually more complicated than that, but for your reading sanitary that’s how it was done). Her entire website was also quite complicated. Reading it felt as though I was reading another language. Knowing that her entire operation could possibly be a scam, I took into consideration that she was not just anybody. I did not find her on a pop-up ad while browsing Facebook. Someone who actually knew her was referring her to me. So I decided to jump on the crazy train like many of my and Brady’s relatives and see what it was all about. When I spoke with my aunt she told me Susan was willing to have a phone consultation with me that evening. I knew that no matter what happened it was not going to hurt Brady or make him any worse.
Before the evening came hospice care sent over a counselor to speak with me. I didn’t really mind either way. I don’t particularly feel as though I compress my feelings or emotions so speaking with her didn’t bother me like it may for some people. We sat and spoke for a while. It felt nice to talk to someone who was completely unrelated to the entire situation. I told her my concerns, fears, worries, all of it. She reassured me that everything I was saying was “normal” (as I assumed it was) and went on giving me positive outlook advice. For the most part I sat there thinking how awful her job had to be. I mean, I could not imagine going from home to home speaking with families about their dying loved ones. I suppose it’s a good thing there are people like her out there that can do it though. When I felt like I was done talking I gave Brady’s mom a moment to speak with her. It was during that time I received a phone call from my aunt. She told me Susan was available for us to call and we could all stay on the line together for the consultation.
As the phone rang my head was filled up with optimistic thoughts. Susan kindly answered and began to explain in more detail what she does exactly. Her explanation helped, but the whole idea of it was still a bit confusing. She basically told me she views the body in crystals, when they are not illuminated that tells her there is an issue that has caused them to be unaligned. Her job is to find a way to realign them. It’s like putting together a complicated puzzle. She does all of this from her own home so there was no traveling involved from either party. Earlier that day when she was contacted in regards to Brady’s condition she went ahead and did an evaluation on her own. She explained to me that she had his higher self’s permission to tap in. It might be strange, but it was that information that gave her my trust. I found it somewhat honorable that she would dedicate time to do an entire evaluation on someone who might refuse her work. Not only that, but she let me know that even if we decided not to work with her she would continue to keep Brady in her prayers. As we wrapped up, Susan explained to me Brady’s higher self was allowing her to tap into his bodyfield. His energy needed to be restored in order for it to flow properly. She said it would help if I told Brady who she was and what she was going to be doing. Then she gave me three lines to recite to him (or with him if he were able) each night as I held his hand:
I am at peace.
I am healthy.
I am love.
Before ending our conversation I asked a difficult question, “What if Brady or his higher self does not want to be healed?” I’ve mentioned before that I could tell from day one that this battle was going to be different. I often asked questions similar to the one above to doctors, to surgeons, or even to an energy healer because of that knowledge. From my perspective, all of these medical and holistic attempts were Brady’s loved ones fighting on his behalf. He was just content enough to go along for the ride (he always was good at being a people pleaser). Susan responded by telling me she had only had two people who did not let her in and assured me she would not have any problems with my husband. She then went on to say she would be starting work right away by doing some reprogramming and balancing to Brady’s bodyfield that night. We were to expect another assessment evaluation in the morning. I hung up the phone filled with the warmth of hope; my heart was at peace and my body felt content. It was the first time in days, maybe weeks or months I had felt this way.
Later that evening one of Brady’s aunts came over to do a reflexology treatment for both Brady and myself. From what I can tell reflexology is fancy word for massage, but either way I didn’t mind. It was either going to heal him through the application of pressure or it was going to give him complete relaxation. It was a win-win in my book, plus I had the opportunity to get one too. Just as Brady was finishing up with his reflexology treatment he had a cousin arrive to perform another alternative medicine practice known as Reiki. Remember when I said we were trying everything? Yea… we were trying EVERYTHING. In basic explanation Reiki is a spiritual Japanese practice used for healing, relaxation, and stress reduction. It also uses energy to achieve these things. It was a big night for my babe, filled with tons of love and energy from those around him.
When I got to spend a moment with him I told him how much I loved him. Brady being his thoughtful self attempted to mumble the words “I love you too” back to me. It was then I asked him for a kiss. By this point he was not doing much at all. The night prior he was sitting up (with help), drinking from a straw, attempting to walk to and from the bathroom on his own, and could still at least respond with yes’s and no’s. But on this night there was none of that. Within only hours it was gone. Despite all of those things, I watched my husband as he slowly puckered his lips up in response to my question. Love truly astounds me. The fact that I could sit there with my nearly helpless husband and watch him try, so ambitiously, just for me is a feeling that I could never possibly put into words. The love I felt from him was so incredibly genuine and real it’s unbelievable. I knew in my heart everything he was holding onto was due to his devoted love to his friends, his family, and to me. With my hopeful soul all filled with affection I told him about Susan. I told him who she was and what she would be doing. I then grabbed his hands and recited the lines she asked me to recite.
“Brady, I’m going to tell you these lines now. You can say them with me if you want, ok? I am at peace. I am healthy. I am love…” I paused as I took a moment to adore his beautiful face, “but if you can’t do it anymore I understand. I’ll find a way to be okay. I don’t know how but I will. I know you’re in pain and I just don’t want to see you hurting anymore because I love you so much.” My eyes were filled with tears as the words fell out of my mouth. I couldn’t even believe I was saying it. There had been other times I told him things similar to this throughout this entire experience, but this time was unlike the others. This time did not contain a few keys words at the end. This time I did not finish by saying, “...but I’m just not ready yet.”
I never could of known how much I would grow to hate those words above. Why on earth would I ever say such a thing? Why would I ever tell my reason for living that I could find a way to live without him? I can honestly say that I don’t know the answer to those things just yet. Maybe one day on this journey I’ll come to find out, but for now I have to find comfort in knowing that I must have said what needed to be said in that moment of time. We both fell asleep peacefully that night. Unlike the evening before, Brady had no trouble sleeping. The only time he awoke was once in the middle of the night when his mother, who was staying with us, and I got him up to take some medicine. Before we went back to bed I gave him my routine kiss and reminded him I loved him.
I awoke a couple hours later to Brady yanking off his oxygen in the dark. He hated wearing that oxygen on his nose so this wasn’t anything new. However, his most recent oxygen levels had been fairly low so I immediately asked him to put it back on. He didn’t listen so I told him he could have a break but only for a second. His body was restless and his breathing was moving more rapidly. I quickly began asking him on repeat to please put the oxygen back on. I turned on the light so he could see my face as I asked him. His anxious body grabbed me and pulled me into his arms.
My darling held me tightly as he took his last breaths.
My panicking self had no idea how special that moment was to me at the time. In a frantic state of mind I went yelling for his mom, who was nowhere to be found. She had already left that morning to pick up her youngest to take to school. She must have only been gone for a matter of minutes before Brady passed. It was a very rare occasion for the two of us to be completely alone. Did Brady know that it was only he and I in the house that morning? This is a question I come back to often. While I’ll never know the answer I’ll always know what I feel and what I feel is that his love for me was the strongest thing I have ever known.