End of Life

In the last few  years, I have walked with lots of people and their families through the journey of grief and loss as a chaplain. Death like birth can be a painful yet a very sacred moment.

I am currently home visiting my parents, and now I get to journey with my father as he journeys towards death. In the past year, my father discovered his kidneys have significantly being effected by his blood pressure medicine. In April of this year, my father’s kidney function was at 15% and he had a tremendous health scare before seeing a specialist at Duke hospital. Despite some critical changes to his meds, my father’s kidneys have continued to deteriorate: November it was at 12% and currently, my father’s kidneys are at 9% function.

The sadness is intensified by the fact that my father has chosen not to pursue medical measures like dialysis or seeking to get a kidney transplant. My father is a minister and he has told me that he is ready if it be God’s will. I respect my father’s choice and decision, but it still makes me deeply sad. I am not quite ready to let my father go…but it’s out of my control.

I have chosen to be with my parents the best I can and try to support my mom and dad. It feels different to navigate hospice as a son, even though I have helped many others navigate through the process of dying as a chaplain.

I usually have not been this vulnerable and personal on this blog, but I think I will continue to share my journey with accompanying my father through end of life and journeying with my mother as she goes through the process of grief. I don’t know if anyone is reading, but I need to write so the sadness does not swallow me whole.

I offer this prayer for both my family and all those journeying with someone as they approach end of life, and as they journey through the pain of it all:

Divine Creator,

May you bless this moment with all its pain, sadness, laughter and joy.

May we remember that each moment is sacred. May Your loving hold each one of us as we journey together to the unknown. Help us to walk with our loved one, and may You hold us in Your Light as we say goodbye and they journey home to You.

Thank you for the gift of Your love, the gift of family, and the gift of this very moment.

Poem/Prayer: To Seek

O Creator,
I have been seeking you since I was a child.
I sought you in the mountains, Oceans, in cave temples, churches,
bars, dark alleys, halls of universities, in stadiums, and finally
in the seat of my heart.

You, who wove me in my mother’s womb was never far away,
as I was seeking You: You were searching with me.
I felt so abandoned and alone, but there you were…right beside me,
dwelling within me. You were so close that I could not see,
I could not fathom Your love always surrounding; Your love is like
the air I breathe, so I took it for granted.

No longer do I seek you, because I am home.
No longer will I turn from Your ways,
eating the left overs of pigs.

I will be Your humble servant,
I am Yours.

Poem and a Prayer: Change

Hi God,

real change is so damn hard,
and yet sometimes it happens so fast.

God, help me help myself by surrendering to you.
Help me be willing to let go of old ideas,
and entrust all of myself to you,
even the rough edges, and dark places
I’m afraid to look.

I know I’m deserving of Your Love,
please help me to embrace and live
into this truth.

Thanks a million.

Your Beloved Child,

EunSung

A Blessing for the New Year

O Holy One,

May this day be blessed by the breath of life flowing in us and through us.
We give thanks for the past year, for all the ups and downs, and through it all that You were with us.

May you bless our hearts with openness and courage to embrace each moment
as a precious gift.

May we continue to grow, change, and receive each day with renewed hope and trust in Your infinite love.

May we share this gift of love freely given to us with those who feel apart and alone.

In Your Name We pray,

Amen.

Poem: Love Song to My Higher Power

oh Holy One,

may I be one with You, so there is no longer
separation between thou and I.
may I be one with the infinite universe beyond time and space.
love crosses throughout space weaving my soul with all others,
finite beings woven together by Your divine love.
May we truly see with hearts open, and live the reality that when I hurt another
I hurt myself.
Infinite unity that brings about harmony, may it be in the eternal now.