by Beth Simmons Stapor, PhD
It was just about 17 months ago when I first met Chuck. I learned that he had recently received a diagnosis of terminal cancer with about 6 months to live. When I approached Chuck to volunteer to give him Reiki treatments I saw a vital man with sparkling eyes and a wonderful smile. He was an inspiration to me from the beginning. We discussed his situation and what to expect from a Reiki treatment. A former client of mine, David, was standing by.
David told Chuck the difference he felt that the Reiki treatments had made in lessening the side effects of his chemotherapy. Chuck decided to give Reiki a try. I later learned from his wife that he came to the first several treatments with much skepticism.
Over the course of time, Chuck became a definite believer of Reiki to the point of driving 30 minutes from his house to my office on days when I wondered if he could even put one foot in front of the other as he walked into my office. I wish I could say that this was a story about a miracle healing. It is not. Chuck transitioned into the hands of Spirit two months ago.
This is however a story of miracles. When I teach my Reiki classes I talk to my students about Reiki being a technique of natural healing. I then tell them that healing is often looked at as a cure, a return to wellness when sometimes the ultimate healing is death. The miracles that surround this story concern Chuck and the healing that occurred within his family. Estrangements between many generations for often long forgotten reasons were put aside. Fathers and sons were once again able to visit each other. New relationships were formed and treasured.
Chuck has always been a man who did things for himself. When I first got to know him he was in the process of building his retirement home. It was a struggle for him to realize that concessions had to be made to allow his body to have the strength to fight his disease. Reiki energy was sent to this during his sessions and he became a somewhat unwilling participant in the process. This is something else that I really stress to clients who are going through a major illness. It is best to look at their illness as a process. Each day for them to look at what has to be done to continue on the journey one step at a time.
I looked forward to Wednesdays at 10:45 AM the appointed time for Chuck's Reiki session each week. His sessions were not only time for me to do Reiki, but a time for us to talk about his week and his feelings. Often after he left I would sit for a few minutes in awe of his strength, his love for his family, and his determination to fight his illness to his last breath. He tried a variety of therapies. Several times it looked as if the end was near, then yet again another small miracle of healing that gave him more time. Both Chuck and I could feel changes in his body as the Reiki began to flow. Swelling in his abdomen was reduced, pain was relieved, and there were shifts and changes to the growing tumor in his liver. His last treatment in my office was just a month before he transitioned. I remember visiting him in the hospital after that and he told me he thought he was out of miracles, but commented on what a good battle he had fought.
Time came for his move from the hospital to home and hospice took over. Chuck had beaten the odds; his six months diagnosis flowed into eighteen months. I was phoned within 15 minutes of his transition. I took the drive up to his house to see him one last time. On the way up to his house, many images of Chuck flashed through my mind. In most of these mini-shots I saw his sparkling eyes and wonderful smile. Imagine my awe as I walked into say my final good-byes and to see, even in death, his face with a smile. I looked over at the priest who had come to say some last words over him and commented, "whatever he saw, I want to see someday. Look at his face". This was healing for the highest good.
Reiki was a very important part of Chuck's journey. The energy helped him on a physical level to relieve pain, to reduce the swelling in his abdomen, to reduce the size of the tumor in his liver. The Reiki treatments gave him needed energy to fight the disease. On an emotional level I believe the Reiki helped him reach out to mend bridges and set things straight with family members. Reiki helped him accept the restrictions of his illness and to let go of his old ways of doing things and to learn to ask for and accept help from others. His perception of how things should be done eased up. He began to take the naps he needed and to work a little and rest a little. Spiritually Chuck grew by leaps and bounds. I saw over the course of our time together his growing faith. We had many discussions about life and death. I told him that he was going to make one great angel and he smiled!