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July
1
2021

July 1, 2021

Jean passed away peacefully yesterday morning. The hospice nurse was there counting her breaths, and one breath there was no more.  No more pain!

Jean wanted to give her body to science, and let it do one last contribution, but she was not a candidate because she had encapsulated TB since she was a child.  She will be cremated and buried next to Dick in the Halvorson Cemetery in Menomonie Wisconsin. Dick’s mother grew up in Menomonie and was a Halvorson, so it is the family cemetery.   

As many of you know, Dick passed away last October, mid-pandemic. A joint celebration of life for Jean and Dick is being planned for this fall.  Details will be posted here on Caring Bridge  

Thank you all for your messages and farewells to Jean.  Reading them to her was the highlight of our days. 
Jennifer 

 

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June
25
2021

June 25, 2021

 Hospice has increased the pain meds.  Jean mostly sleeps.  She has stopped eating and drinking and seems mostly comfortable.

Weeks ago Jean and her friend Mary D. cooked up a plan for Mary to fly in with her new beau Shawn, both to visit Minnesota, the place of her birth and to introduce Jean to Shawn.  Jean was TICKLED PINK to hear news of the relationship (she chortled with glee!) and DELIGHTED at the prospect of their visit. 

After Jean's fall and transition to hospice, Mary and Shawn decided that the purpose of the visit had changed, so Mary came by herself just to be with Jean.  A day or two before Mary was to leave, Shawn had a visit from Jean early one evening!

He texted Mary immediately saying:

"I just had a very short but powerful visit from Jean.  Yes that sounds very weird, but it brought me to having to sit down and contemplate just what happened.  It was very strong and brought me to tears.  Maybe I am just feeling your feelings... I don't know...

The conversation was instantaneous, faster than words can be spoken. Like thought waves.  She recognized me, knew we would not meet but said "whats the big deal, we have known each other for many many lifetimes".  She basically said meeting in this lifetime, in person,  was not important.  She had a brief thought of you. Knew you were safe with me and that was it. It all happened in about 15 seconds but was very powerful to me."

You all know Jean and how she dwells in the world of possibility.  Even on the eve of her passing, Jean is still doing what she does best, making connections and affirming all things good.

June
21
2021

June 20, 2021

I hope the photo comes through! Beautiful big sassy white roses with an Integration affirmation tied to each stem. What a brilliant idea. They were brought by the lovely Ellie McCann last week. I read each one to mom every day. Thank you Ellie, from all of us.

It has been difficult keeping Jean comfortable this weekend. When we finally land on a good situation she sighs gently.  We are increasing the painkillers a bit more.  

June
17
2021

June 17, 2021

Jean is resting more comfortably.  Hospice has increased her pain meds and she is now at zero pain most of the time.  She sleeps most of the time because of the medication.  She has had short visits from friends and family who hold her hand and talk to her.  Most of the time she knows who they are and makes a relevant comment or two, which is pretty impressive given the meds.  People person that she is, she rests easier after the visits.  Her favorite thing to do now is to lay and listen to your stories from all of you on Caring Bridge!  Your stories are amazing!  We KNOW she is special, but had no idea of how broadly her work has spread and how many lives she has touched, both with her trainings and what you all have done with her work.  It is very reassuring to Jean to hear your stories and memories because she needs the confirmation that her work mattered.  She has asked that her tombstone say SHE MADE A DIFFERENCE above her name.  You all are helping her confirm that she has, indeed, made a difference.  Thank you.

June
12
2021

June 11, 2021

One of the recent gifts from the Universe was Mom's dear friend Connie Dawson.  Connie was a co-author, colleague and trusted friend.  Connie just went through her own month-long hospice experience with dignity and curiosity and humor.  She died last month as she lived - in the words of her son Charles - "Delving into the experience and embracing what it has to offer - even this final trip."  She modeled for Jean how to travel this path of the unknown.  After years of living life as fully as possible with a serious medical condition of her own, Connie decided to discontinue treatment as it was increasingly unsuccessful at keeping her condition at bay.
 
Increasingly frail herself, Jean followed Connie's journey on Caring Bridge.  I am sure that Connie's last gift was to give Jean the permission to stop trying to fight the good fight. Without Connie, I don't think Jean's decision would have been as tranquil and clear as it was.

When Connie and Jean wrote Growing Up Again they included some powerful affirmations for people facing major life transitions including the probability of death. We have had a hard time these past two days managing Jean's pain levels.  As you keep her in your thoughts and prayers, would you please send her back her own affirmation messages and urge her to be on her way as soon as she is ready to fly.
 
I love who you are.
You can share your wisdom in your way.
You deserve the support that you need.
You can look upon your journey through life’s stages as natural transitions.
You are lovable just the way you are.
You can celebrate the gifts you have received and the gifts you have given.
You can grow your whole life through.
You can integrate all of your life experiences and die when you are ready.

June
9
2021

June 9, 2021

Jean was so very pleased to get to attend her youngest grand daughter's high school graduation last week.  Finally a live event after a pandemic year!  She got to sit in the second row of the football field, chairs spaced six feet apart, and listen to Katie Bean Clarke give one of the commencement addresses, just as her older sister Addie did before her.

Last Friday she fell and broke her leg at the neck of the hip joint.  A very common break for older women especially. This injury is a very painful one and she had major surgery the next day, because the surgery generally means less pain than not setting the bone at all. 

You all know Jean.  She has lead a full life!  She loved all of it! Learning and traveling and writing and educating and living with Dick on Gleason Lake.  The pain is too much.  Jean opted for hospice over attempting rehab and has returned to Gleason Lake to pass her last days in the home she has loved and lived in since December of 1966.