Susan’s health has been deteriorating lately. We have been emailing back and forth, but I have not been getting these up as posts very quickly. I’ll be putting up posts more regularly now, starting with our earliest emails in this post and I think I’ll also put up a separate post with more recent updates. While we human beings usually have a bias for a linear narrative, my work with Joseph Rael has been opening me up to non-linear narratives, which is what this series of blog posts is ending up being…I will include some of Susan’s artwork and some of my photos in the mix.
Susan to David: February 7, 2016
How are you & Mary-Pat?
Seem to have got so tied up on Facebook that other communications have lagged. Mahmoud & I have had a great Xmas & summer with lotsa socialising amongst friends & family, a trip away to Tauranga, & some lovely local outings. Though the cancer did return, following further radiotherapy, I am again in remission. Looking at things overall I’ve well exceeded the norm for this thing, the cancer having started in Oct 2012. I am not “fighting” it, just accepting it & taking one day at a time.
On other matters finally I’ve contacted a publishing company re a selection of my poems. They distribute through AU, UK, NZ & USA. Not having great expectations, but it will complete a goal I’ve had for some time. The company is ‘XLIBRIS’.
We are off to the exquisite beaches, hot pools & restaurants of Tauranga again in early March. I expect this will be my last visit there, as prognosis now months, not years. Frankly I am ready to “go home” & shall welcome that journey when it comes. My brother is tasked to inform everyone on Facebook so that no one is left wondering. His name is Rob MacGregor, so please don’t be surprised when you get an email from him.
Look forward to your news.
David to Susan February 16, 2016:
Hi Susan, thank you for writing. Your trip to Tauranga sounds great and I hope you enjoy it thoroughly.
I am sorry to hear about the recurrence and that the doctors are giving you months now rather than years. Just remember, time and life is not really a doctors to give in the first place…
Good luck with your publishing. If you ever want to put a poem “out there” I’d be happy to put one up on my blog with some info about you.
I’ve been working on a book with Native American visionary, Joseph Rael, it has turned into two books. Working with his publisher is great as they are a small press and are really moving things along. July publication date for Walking the Medicine Wheel: Healing PTSD [this has since been pushed back to September, 2016]. I’ll send you a draft and also a draft of Becoming Your Own Medicine, which will be the second book, but hasn’t been edited yet.
I just started reading The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche and also read the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I am preparing to give a series of talks to patients, family and caregivers at a hospice programme out in Colorado on end of life decisions. Do you have any advice for me for the talk? I’ll send you the PowerPoint when there is a PowerPoint to send…maybe in a month…I am thinking about some topics like Death Stewardship, using the Red Road of the Medicine Wheel which orients one to the emotional and spiritual to balance our culture’s over-focus on the mental and physical, and then something on holistic decision-making, using the 9 dimensional model from my book.
The Tibetans sure know how to die, I am learning from these books. The view it as a very important and sacred time in transitioning from this realm to the next. As they believe in reincarnation, the emotional and spiritual state at the time of death is very important in determining the next birth.
Please keep in touch as your time and energy allows.
Here are very rough draft copies of the writing I am doing. [attachment to email] Please don’t feel any need to read them, but if they are of interest, enjoy!
Blessings upon Your Beautiful Soul,
Oh, have you ever heard of Nevit O. Ergin? I just read The Sufi Path of Annihilation by him and found it quite interesting.