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Guilt and dying 
Started by moderator | modératrice
12 Mar 2012, 12:56 PM

I was reading Doug Gosling’s blog post Vacuums today about the vacuum that is left when someone dies. But what struck me most in the blog was his saying that he feels so guilty. Thinking about his loved ones having to move forward without him, he is left feeling “so damn guilty sometimes. I know it's not my fault – it's the cancer – but I can't help it.
Is this your experience? How do you deal with feeling guilty about leaving your loved ones behind? How can you ease your loved one’s sense of guilt about leaving? 
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Reply by Cath1
24 Mar 2012, 3:58 AM

Thank you Colleen for sharing Doug Gosling's blog with us here. He is incredibly inspiring the way he offers so honestly his experience as an ordinary man facing his own death with extraordinary dignity.

Without people like Doug to share so openly what it feels like and how one thinks as life and death collide, much of the important processes of living and dying would remain mysterious and mythically misunderstood by many of us. His personal experience translates into a universal language of the heart, touching and enlightening all those whom come into contact with his gift.

I am humbled when I think of Doug Gosling feeling any guilt whatsoever as my every instinct elevates him above we mortal beings, yet it is because he does feel and express his mortal truth so authentically well, that we are able to imagine and empathize with what he is going through, and what we most fear.

In an odd and unexpected way, we may feel strengthened by living Doug's experience vicariously through him and with him. He is a vessel of virtue and captain of courage as he invites his readers to ride with him the turbulent waves of his personal storm. I pray for calm waters and clear skies for Doug and his family.

Even though it makes no particular sense, that Doug feels guilt about the prospect of leaving his loved ones, it simply makes him all the more endearing and is yet another reason why so many people relate so genuinely to him. Guilt is often not logical.

Doug's vulnerability and guileless humanity seem somehow superhuman. His writings give us all the hope that whatever special qualities he has tapped into within himself, we all have the same potential to possess an inner power that perhaps we never thought possible before. I understand the vacuum he speaks of and I know when his time comes, the space Doug will leave behind will be as awesome as is he.

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Reply by eKIM
28 Apr 2012, 2:48 PM

Saturday, April-28-12

Hi Colleen

Thank you for making me aware of Doug's blog.  I find it to be very inspiring.  I intend to read a bit of it each day. 

It is a valuable resource for me for a few reasons:

1.      Certainly, as a Hospice Resident Support Volunteer it will be a valuable educational resource for me.  One cannot understand any experience unless one has lived it.  Doug’s writings help to explain his experience of dying so that someone like me can at least get a glimpse of his journey.  This, I hope will allow me to become better in my role as a volunteer.

2.      Any thoughtful person has, at times, pondered their own mortality.  Unanswered questions and primal feelings can be dealt with much easier when one can learn how others deal with them.

3.      At certain stages in our lives, we meet very special people who have much to contribute.  Doug, is one of those special people.  The honour of getting to know him through his writings is a gift that he bestows on the world.  He has no idea how many lives (including mine) he will touch and influence.  For this I give much thanks.

- eKim

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Reply by Cath1
30 May 2012, 6:44 PM

Today I learned the sad news that Doug Gosling has passed away.

He did such us all a great and selfless service by expressing so personally and poignantly his passage through life while facing death with remarkable courage.

Rest in peace, Doug. Sleep well. Thank you.

Thinking of Doug's family and wishing them peace.

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Reply by moderator | modératrice
30 May 2012, 11:59 PM

Dying Digitally blogger Doug Gosling died today at home with his family. His wife Dianne says his final words were: "I love you". 

Doug was a fantastically incredible man who shared his journey of life and death up to the last day on his blog  http://www.dyingdigitally.com/.

You can hear more about Doug's story in the CityTV interview.Sincere condolences to his wife Dianne and family.

The Virtual Hospice team 

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Reply by Honey
14 Jun 2012, 5:34 AM

Hi there.  I am Doug's wife Dianne.  I will be on City TV on June 14, 2012 (Thurs.) at 6 pm.  Avery Haines interviewed me last week, a few days after Doug's Celebration of Life was held.  There were so many wonderful friends and family that attended that they had to open another parking lot for the overflow and open another viewing room...  There was standing room only.  I was so proud of Doug and all he did.  All the speeches were so loving and full of great insight into who Doug really was.  I have had the priviledge of being married to Doug for almost 35 years...we have been together for 36 years.  All though his cancer journey and the pain he endured on a daily basis for years, Doug never complained.  I miss him terribly and wonder if I will ever be happy again.  I never knew someone could cry so much.  I will try to write more later...  I hope this note gets to you in time for you to let other know about the interview.  I think I cried through the entire interview but I know I made my Doug proud.  He will forever be in my heart.  xo
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Reply by moderator | modératrice
14 Jun 2012, 2:45 PM

Dear Dianne,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write to the community here at Virtual Hospice. I know you made your Doug proud not only with the interview, but with everything you're doing like writing this post. I will share the information about tonight interview widely.

Welcome to our community. I hope you know that you have a welcoming and safe place to share as you continue your journey.
Colleen and everyone here at Virtual Hospice 
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Reply by moderator | modératrice
15 Jun 2012, 1:43 AM

Dianne (Honey),

I just watched and re-watched your interview with Avery Haines, talking about your last loving moments with Doug. Thank you so much for sharing your inner thoughts, fears and love. There were so many quotable moments but I'd like to highlight this part.

Doug wrote in his post-humous blog post, "Permit me this final dollop of guilt and let me ask Dianne if she can ever forgive me for leaving her."

And you answered, "No, I can't. And yes I can. 

A paradox of truth.
Thank you.

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Reply by eKIM
15 Jun 2012, 3:47 PM

You, Dianne, like Doug, have a natural gift as a teacher.  Doug taught us so much about living in his blog about dying.  

Perhaps, Dianne, you could continue his lessons by teaching us about loving while grieving.  Virtual Hospice might be a good choice and/or Doug's existing blog.

Don't do it if it would be upsetting, but if it would be cathartic for you, then perhaps consider it.  

A huge number of us "strangers" out here have grown in love and compassion  because of your story.  - Michael 

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Reply by Cath1
18 Jun 2012, 3:26 AM

Hi Dianne:

I am sending you virtual hugs as you and your family grieve Doug's passing. Doug touched a lot of people in his life while helping us all talk about and understand more about dying and how it feels to confront one's own ending.

Thank you for posting here to let us know about the City TV interview you did with Avery Haines. Sadly, in my family there was an unexpected death last week. I didn't see your interview until Colleen posted the link. Doug spoke so honestly about facing his own death, and in your interview, you expressed with the same uncommon courage and vulnerability how your sorrow feels.

I know you feel great pride in Doug and I hope you will extend it to yourself and your family for sharing publically a very private and painful experience that gives so many people comfort, courage and hope.

With gratitude for Doug and you, Dianne and your family - You are all in my prayers.

-hugs- xo
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