Coping With Loss

Dear Classmates,

I apologize for not connecting with each of you earlier – but I have been busy dealing with life and its challenges. On arriving home from the Empower Yourself program, I was ecstatic and continued to be so – keeping all of our teachings and feelings close to my heart. A week ago Monday my 84 year old Mom fell and broke her hip. This past spring, she had been diagnosed with a severe and highly progressive form of bladder cancer – so bad, that her urologists advised us to “let her die in peace” rather that operate. We took her to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York and they performed a 7-1/2 hour operation, removing her bladder. She came through fine. Two weeks after she got out of the hospital, she was back in the hospital because of an extremely high temperature, blood clots in her legs and lungs, and a heart fibrillation. After another two weeks, she returned home under the care of full-time nursing staff. Since then, she has progressed marvelously, has been happier than she has ever been and, just in the past few weeks, had begun walking on her own.

Thanksgiving morning, I stood up in my Church and thanked God for the miracle he had worked in her life. Four days later, she fell. Last Tuesday, they replaced her hip – and she made it through the operation with flying colors. Later that evening, though, her doctor called and said they were having a hard time getting her to come completely out of anesthesia – what turned out to be a stroke. In the next two days she improved to where we could talk to her and where she could smile at me. Friday morning, she took a turn for the worse. Her kidneys had stopped working, and she fell into a complete coma. She died Friday evening and will be buried this coming Wednesday.

The most beautiful gift in all of this (among many others) was God’s gift to me of the Option Institute (and all of you loving people). Bears’ wonderful and inspiring story about the death of his Father was a real inspiration to me. Little did I know that I would need that inspiration so soon. It changed my entire perception of death and opened my mind to a new and positive way of thinking. With that inspiration, with all I learned and with all the love I received from each of you, I have handled it all perfectly. My Mom’s death was truly a remarkable and beautiful experience. Without all the usual anxiety, I was free to be fully aware of (and even enjoy) the dying process and the farewells that we are now in the process of bidding. Her whole family was present, as was our minister. I have continued to be happy – while also giving due acknowledgment to all my feelings. The timing of my Option Institute experience amazes me.

I am also truly astounded at how much I have truly become a changed person – completely at peace and grounded against the winds of life, and how grateful I am that I can look at all aspects of life (and death) so positively. My biggest challenge has been to not feel guilty about feeling so good – particularly in the face of peoples’ reactions to me. Everybody expects me to feel so sad and morose, that when they see that I am even happier than I was a month ago, I think they are shocked and don’t know how to respond.

I am truly enjoying life for the first time – ever. My relationship with my wife is even better than it was, and I am serving as a good example to my son. I am happy (or ecstatic) almost all of the time. Thank you all. I will continue to stay in touch with you and would hope that you do the same.

Love to you all

PS – I neglected to mention that the Institute has apparently made a mistake. I only signed up for the week-long course but, based upon the impact on my life, I think I was given a lifetime course instead!

Bob Allcorn

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