As a chronically-depressed person coming from a family of multiple suicides, it really angered me when I had to leave the hospice because I didn’t die from stomach cancer. Having a large cancerous tumor in my stomach that caused a massive loss of blood told me it had probably metastasized. The doctors wanted to do exploratory surgery to see how much of my stomach was cancerous. I refused any further medical treatment and signed on for palliative care with a local hospice agency.

Finally, I thought, I will be out of this shithole of life and pushing up blommor in my ash grove in southern Sweden. It was frosting on the cake for this older, transgender-female adult who had no survivors to speak of in the states. My grandfather’s family in Sweden was now my family and my “sista resa” (final rest) was to be with their ancestors. Swedes remember their dead, especially on All Souls Day (1 Nov). This was to be, for me, a “perfect” death.

Prior to my cancer diagnosis, my VA therapist suggested I give the local hospital a copy of my advance directives. After doing that I retired to a table by the snack bar and started to nurse a cup of coffee. Thoughts about my therapist visit/wanting to die were suddenly interrupted by…a loud, silent “voice” that “said”,

I have work for you to do here. Then I will call you home.

Tears started falling into my coffee and I sobbed, with all these people walking by! A registered nurse came to my table and asked if I was OK. I was OK–dark clouds were just floating by. After that incident I started my first blog Transatlantic Transadvocates an LGBT and Intersex advocate thing.

The work I am called to do while I am here is to be an active, positive voice on social media. Now that I am a cancer survivor looking forward to death as the portal to my next life, I want that life to be one of service to others, possibly in the areas of palliative care and/or international relations. The important thing for me now is to die a natural death on God’s timeline.


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