This article is very personal and profoundly sad for me, but I wanted to share my story because I think it can help those who are in the process of taking care of a parent who is dying. A few weeks ago my father passed away. About five months ago he was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer. He endured very aggressive radiation and chemotherapy treatments. But after his condition worsened, he decided to reach out to Hospice and let go. During his painful journey, I spent as much time as possible with him.
I would apply essential oils to his feet and legs and give him Reiki, which is a Japanese technique for stress reduction. To help my dad get in more comfortable positions, I would adjust his posture with pillows, blankets, and yoga props. The essential oils that I used most with him were Frankincense, Valor, Peace & Calming, Lavender, Peppermint and Deep Relief. I chose these oils for their pain relieving and calming properties. I would apply them to where he was feeling pain, such as the bottoms of his feet. I would also daub them on his pillowcase so he could easily inhale them while he rested in bed. I can honestly say that every time I used the oils on him, he either told me, or showed me, that he got some relief from the pain he was feeling. He would become less fidgety, calmer, and more relaxed.
Our time together was spent mostly in silence. When we did speak, we would say how much we loved each other and how much we appreciated one another. We would also slip in a few jokes here and there. My father’s sense of humor was outstanding even through his painful ordeal. As he drew closer to the final stages of his death, he spoke very little. One day I asked him if he was afraid of dying, and he simply said, “No.” The day before he died, the last thing he said to me was, “I am ready to go. I can do this.” A few hours before my dad passed, the Hospice home caregiver and I gave him a sponge bath with warm water infused with the essential oil blend, Peace & Calming. Afterward, I anointed his whole body with frankincense.
I believe the reason I was able to be so intimately involved with his dying process, was because of these essential oils. The oils helped me be calm and strong. If you are experiencing a terminal illness or death of a parent, my hope for you is that you line up your resources for support from your friends and family. Also, take time for yourself to feel your emotions and grieve, meditate, do restorative yoga and of course use essential oils to help bring you peace and strength.
I know that my dad would want me to share this story with you. He loved my essential oils. In my grief, I attribute both strength and solace to them. I believe he knows that by sharing this story, I can help many more people with them. I hope this article assists you on your journey of life and the dying process.