Dan Pearson Jones, Ph.D.

dan jones of austin, texas

2nd UPDATE: I went by Dan's house yesterday, March 6th, and was reunited with several Men's group friends. The love and peace radiating from the group of people and the physical body of Dan was amazing. It was clear that Dan was no longer there. It was as if his body had finally assumed Dan's natural age, losing the amazing radiance that kept him looking and acting like a child. As I sat in the room with Dan and another fellow Men's group member there was peace and tears between us.

"Who is going to see me for who I am, now?" I said aloud. While his body had a fixed smile, Dan's laugh echoed in my mind. He was now everywhere for all of us, all we have to do is remember and laugh.

UPDATE: Dan Jones died in his sleep Friday, February 4th. See the Carring Bridge link below for more info about the wake and celebration of Dan's life.

+++ Original post, Wednesday Night, March 2nd. +++

Passing the open doors and empty rooms at Austin's Christopher House (local Hospice care) I got the feeling that I was in a railway terminal of some sorts, with people packing to leave, people just arriving, and people no longer within the walls. A mix of sadness and joy, knowing the purpose of the hospice care had been fulfilled while at the same time recognising the enormous greif that left along with the recent travelers.

Dan Jones has not left the building yet.

Happy Dan Jones

There was a small group of friends in Dan's room when I arrived. "Dan Jones" it said on the paper sign on the door. I saw the names of friends in the guestbook who had visited today. And the room, warm with love and strong flowers was comforting and solid. Dan's bags were packed for his journey, but there were still a few people left to bid adieu.

I stood by Dan's bed and watched his labored breathing and my tears finally flowed, having anticipated this reunion for several days. Dan was my champion a mere 9 months ago. His joy and strength gathered up my failing resolve and set me back on the path of inner work and inner confidence. He hugged me like a father, a brother, a friend, and I was quickly sobbing in his arms about my failing marriage and how I could possibly break the news to my kids and survive.

But survive I did. And months later Dan learned about his stage 4 pancreatic cancer. My world and the world of so many of Dan's sons and daughters changed forever. Valiantly we watched from a distance as Anya and Dan struggled to find their balance. And the Caring Bridge site was set up where we, the wandering, could share and learn of Dan and Anya's struggles.

And each time the email would arrive notifying me of an update to the Caring Bridge site I would hold my breath while I waited for the message to open. And Monday the doors were opened for all who wanted to come celebrate Dan's departure at Christopher House.

I knew that tonight would be a moment of remembrance of watching my father die, over twenty years ago. And I also knew that Dan's life had touched and nurtured so many people, I knew that I would probably meet some of those people in Dan's room. We swapped stories tonight. We cried and laughed. We held Dan's hand. We stroked his head, his withered body beneath the blankets, we listened to his continuous labored breathing.

on retreat with Dan Jones, Austin Texas

And we smiled at one another. And I think we could all hear Dan's healing laughter. "Breathe!" He would say, giving us strength and looking at all of us with concern, "Breathe."

Good night Roller Coaster Kid, Good night Tao Jones, Father Dan, Brother Dan, Dan. If I don't see you again tomorrow, I will see you again soon. So tonight I say, "Hello Dan. I can see you. I am breathing with you." And there is joy.

Namasté,

@jmacofearth
permalink:  http://uber.la/2011/03/celebrating-dan-jones/

I went to visit Dan's body in-state an hour ago and the room was closed and being cleaned. I will go to his house tomorrow for the wake. Appropriate the Christopher House is on Real Street.

at real street

Dan's Caring Bridge page.

A nice article about Dan in Creations Magazine.

Here is a link to Dan's How to Live Happily site.

A loving memory of the man:

in honor of dan jones, austin texas

 

Sharing is nice for everyone.

18 Responses to Celebrating Goodbyes, A Last Moment with Dan Jones

  1. jmacofearth says:

    Thank you so much for your Dan Jones story.

  2. 4bigal says:

    I lived on Kinney Ave in the mid-80's and Dan was my neighbor and first sponsor. The 1st thing he did was save my miserable life and then he said, lets take a walk. You gave me a headache and I'll show you how to get rid of them forever. Headaches that is. For a moment there, I felt like I was in God's safe and welcoming hands. But they were Dan's hands; small pink and worn out. He's was lucky to have any hands left at all after all the work he did for me and many others. I went to see him when my daughter was born in 91 and he set me straight about fatherhood. I when again in 07 when she graduated high school at their place off Cornavaca. I wanted his approval and he gave it to me but he also told not to let up. My tears are falling now as I hold my daughters 2013 BSN graduatation announcement; selfishly wanting his approval and his direction again. She will never know how this man touched her life so directly. He conveinced me that there is an Army of God on this earth and that he was a humble 4-star General. As the sun set this afternoon, I felt it again. I saw his hands in the pinks and grays and I felt him say, come and see me in the front row at Riverbend on Sundays and don't forget to breath. So for all that share my grief, go see him there, where he faught the good fight. And give us more worriors like Dan Jones.

  3. jmacofearth says:

    Thanks Rick. I hope you are well.

  4. Rick Belden says:

    Hey John,
    Just wanted to say thanks for this post. I haven't seen Dan in a long time and was not aware he was ill. I got an email from a friend tonight that mentioned something was up, so I went searching for info and found what I needed here. Much appreciated.

    Regards,
    Rick

  5. Pamela says:

    Very moving and inspirational JMac! I lost a very good friend to pancreatic cancer, so unforgiving. You've written a wonderful testimony to Dan's life & legacy.

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