8th + last Circular Letter, Nov. 2009

Dear Friends,

Parts of this letter has been sent out to the Dutch community already but does contain some news too. Things have been happening at an enormously quickened pace in the last weeks – we are hardly keeping up. That is why we have not been able to respond to many of your individual mails in the past weeks. I was in the VU hospital again (the Free University clinic in Amsterdam) under the competent care of the oncology and pain teams for over a week for pain treatment, and now again for a few days for a blood transfusion. I really have been receiving the best possible care and every one of them is doing their utmost best to keep life as comfortable as possible for me. I have been feeling safe and well taken care of.

Since the weekend I am back home and Marieke, our Monicare team (which we now more rightfully are calling the M&Mcareteam), as well as my house-doctor, the community care service located just down the street and supportive neighbours and relatives, together are trying to find a new balance. Unfortunately I am dealing with high levels of pain again. At the moment I cannot use my left hand which makes me a more dependant patient than I have been before. My body has given in and has collapsed like a card house. I have become a bed patient, unable to stand or walk by myself.

This puts the task of answering emails on Marieke, at least for the time being. With all the pain, emotional distress and cultural misunderstandings that have been coming in the package of this new situation, many wonderful things still continue to happen, even with huge levels of pain, pointing in the right direction, developing patience being actually one of them:

  • I was able to take part remotely via Skype directely at one session of my European Ridhwan retreat group – the marvels of new technology are truly endless.
  • My musician friend, Danielle de Baat, recorded sound tracks in her home studio of some of the favourite love songs I have written for Marieke, than packed her whole technical equipment and instruments with her on vacation (!) to Italy and then sent the finished recordings directly into my hospital room. Receiving the music , as you can imagine were highlights of my hospital days and nights and you will soon be able to listen to them all on the MonikaJaeckel.com website. (Anybody dealing with music recordings knows how much work goes into recording a “simple song” and that there is not much vacation left when you mix eight songs in the first days of your vacation.)
  • The Mother Center movement in Slovakia is preparing an exciting conference on Academies of Practical Parenthood for which they have “ordained” me with the honorary title “First Lady of the Mother Center Movement”, after the Slovak First Lady cancelled her commitment to open the Conference. It is a title which I cherish and feel truly honoured by. I was very happy to send in some opening remarks by video.
  • For today I’d like to sign off with a book tip: Angels in my Hair by Lorna Byrne, passed on to me by my Dutch Ridhwan teacher. (I was told it has been translated at least to Dutch) It gave me great support while I was in the hospital and continues to inspire me throughout this painful period.

The downward spiral has been quite sudden, dramatic and quite shocking. I don’t know how long my body will hold up.

What I would still like to accomplish in the time that I have left, is finishing the “songs for Marieke” album. The other project is structuring the material that has come from the creation of a community around my illness. There is much material that has been created about the communication in this process. I want to work that into a manuscript; not about “How I survived cancer “ (of which there are many), but “How I died from cancer”. How cancer has been a way to cross over to the other side, looks at the whole issue from another viewpoint from what you usually read. My very good friend Julie from Charlottesville, USA, is willing to structure the material into a first draft of a manuscript, but I welcome any volunteers willing to work with her.

At this point I would welcome if you could sent in any comments you would like to share, about what being included in this circular communication has meant to you.

I continue to hold you all in my heart and feel you holding me. Big hugs!

Monika

PS

Sorry Folks,

My perfectionist pattern has not dissolved yet and the circular letter has gone out without the additions that came overnight. I often wake up at night with ideas and necessary additions, but it was off already; so here are the additions:

  • Julie explicitly wants to make it clear that she will be happy to do editing and sorting out the material into a manuscript, but she is definitely NOT taking up any activities or responsibilities on publishing or marketing it into a book. So if anybody has contacts or wants to support the project in this direction, you are very welcome to contribute these contacts in any way you see fit.  The manuscript will be produced but we leave it to the universe which way the wind blows. We also need help to translate German material into English.
  • I feel we are running against time and we need your help and creativity in completing the things that are close to my heart. First of all, the international Mother Center network mine (www.mine.cc) has not managed to raise funds. Mine needs core support, to assurre that the  network, that has incredible potential, but no financial backing (really 0 zero euro income in 3 years) is not to crash down.
  • Katrin has interviewed me for an autobiography, which has also produced a lot of valuable material.  But at this point it probably has to become a biography and not an autobiography, meaning that I will not be able to edit what is being written, but I still think the material is rich and should be used in some way.
  • For those living close by, we need hands on support (M&M care) NOW, doing laundry, ironing, cleaning the kitchen floor, taking out the garbage etc. so that the precious time Marieke and I still have, can be used for our priorities.

I want to thank you all for being in my life and the blessings each one of you in your own way and with your own gifts have given me. I want to especially thank the colleagues of Marieke’s new job, that allow her to work from home and have proved a new way of balancing work and care-giving tasks. The Netherlands is a pioneer in this respect.

Much love and big hugs, I feel a lot of tenderness and gentleness, with which you and the Angels are holding me, but the circle of light, which has actually become a kind of spiral, is starting to form.  I think it is not a coincidence that  several of you have seen me in your dreams recently and these dreams have always been peaceful and relaxed images.

Thank you.

If the harsh part of my personality has hurt you at times, I ask you to forgive me. Be assured that  this part is in the process of dissolving now and will be gone when I am on the other side.

I cannot open my arms wide enough to give you the collective hug that we are all engaged in now, but it encompasses a huge circle. More and more are joining.

I used to love to hear sad love songs, because they carried my longing for love. That has certainly changed.  But to be honest I still enjoy sad love songs, but I can see it now as a longing for the unconditional love that only exists on the other side, with some lucky exceptions, who manage to find unconditional Love in their hearts and lives on earth. So with a teardrop of sadness and longing as well as a teardrop of joy, I join in this all encompassing circle of light that is starting to form .

Home coming queen

Home coming queen

Big hug, I feel a lot of tenderness and gentleness, which is carrying me now as I listen to a rare recording of the Dalai Lama praying the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra, which Karin sang so beautifully in our parting ceremony in Veldhoven. The recording was a gift from Helga.

I feel the presence of the angels. The Angel of Death is a beautiful women in a grey flowing garment. She is standing behind me on the right shoulder. The other Angel is comfortably lying down with her legs crossed on the bed that Marieke often uses to be able to attend to me especially when I am waking up at night. She has a totally relaxed attire saying we have all the time in the world and she is curiously observing me.

Love, Monika


The picture of this ‘home coming queen’ was made by our neighbour Jaap. Going through the window was the only way to transport me to the hospital and back. Two trucks of the fire brigade came to tansport me up through the window.