In May 2014, Judith McIntyre was in the final stages of terminal breast cancer. In this interview, filmed four weeks before her passing, Judith shared her extraordinary unfoldment with understanding the ‘why’ of her diagnosis. What is most astounding, however, is Judith’s acceptance and the deep joy she chose to live to her very last breath.
Engaging a model of palliative care pioneered by Serge Benhayon, the founder and director of Universal Medicine, Judith was supported by a team of volunteers and palliative care experts. This gave her the dignity and grace to enjoy her last days in the nurturing environment of her own home.
In this intimate and personal account of the dying process, Judith shared her revelations and insights about life and death, the support offered by Serge and effortlessly showed that we are far more than a mere physical body. Her infectious appreciation for what life offers, at every stage, stands as an everlasting testament to what is possible when we make life about love and truth.
Interview by Rebecca Asquith
Directed and Edited by Jonathan Baldwin
Lighting and Cinematography Clayton Lloyd
Music by Michael Benhayon from Glorious Music Records
As a well spent day brings happy sleep,
so a life well spent brings happy death.
Leonardo Da Vinci
The first diagnosis was in June 2011 – breast cancer… yeah… and initially they thought, ‘Oh that’s fine, we’ll just remove the lump,’ but they went back and they said, ‘We didn’t get it all. We’ll have to do a second surgery’ and then they came back and said, ‘We’re going to have to take the breast.’
So… some people thought: that’s really hard, three surgeries, but for me it gave me time to accept… what was happening.
20th May 2014
4 weeks before Judith passed away
I’m Judith McIntyre. I’m 66 years old and I live in Goonellabah.
An interview with Judith McIntyre
I was very frightened. In the early period of knowing, I was so scared, my legs would dance off the bed at night. I was shaking… Yeah, I was very scared. I did not want to lose my breast. At all.
I began to see Serge Benhayon. I met him at the Writer’s Festival in Byron. Just a flukey thing. I heard a bit about him and… sort of crawled out of bed one day… and went to hear him speak. I got in the tent and someone got up because it was full and there was a seat and he began to talk about breast cancer which wasn’t his topic… there was an incredible flow.
After the talk, he turned around just as I went up to the front… I spoke to him; he said, “What is your truth? Speak your truth. Speak what’s happening.”
So, I just opened my mouth and said, “I’ve got breast cancer.”
And he said, “You need deep self-nurturing.”
I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew I wanted to know… and because I wasn’t in remission, he said he’d see me.
And when I went to see him, from the very first session, my fear levels just went down like that… and I told him I didn’t want to lose my breast.
I’m always optimistic. I thought, “I’m not going to have to lose my breast.”
And he said to me, “The soul doesn’t need the breast”… and it just opened up my perspective. I was only thinking of my loss… but I thought, “At least I’ve got my life.”
How did you begin to self-nurture?
Just recognising all the ways I wasn’t loving to myself… I thought I was, you know, organic food and all this sort of thing. It was all outside; it wasn’t my relationship to me – that’s what I developed. And I first learned that with chakra-puncture that Serge gave me, where I dropped into such a place of stillness and depth in myself… I thought, “OK… this is where I want to come from.”
I practised the gentle breath meditation… and learned how to be with me and I used the chakra-puncture depths when I went into chemo, which I also didn’t want; I didn’t want any of the treatments. Every treatment that came up they suggested, (I thought) “I don’t want to do that.” Each time Serge supported me to follow through with the medical treatments; and he said, “In the chemo, just rest deeply’ and so I did and I had no problem – I lost my hair and I was very tired – but no vomiting, no problems.
Understanding illness and disease
I’ve learned a great deal about how disease is actually a form of healing.
I had a second diagnosis in September 2013 and my cancer had metastasised very quickly. It was in my spine, and I suddenly had much less time. And this time, because of the understanding I had that I had created the disease by all my self-neglect, my choices, I had time to… working with the teachings of Universal Medicine, to really… I just changed everything in my life. Everything. Relationships, the way I moved, the way I walked, the way I was in my body and my life was so beautiful; even though there was a lot going on.
With the second diagnosis, when the doctor told me… I just felt lovely. It was a complete contrast from the first.
I just thought, ‘OK. This is what’s happening now… ’ and the doctor said to me, ‘Sometimes the doctor learns from the patients.’
It was not too long later… it was April 2014, I got the third diagnosis. It’s spread to organs, and I’ve got very little time… and the truth is I feel excited… I’ve gone from terror, to a lovely acceptance, to, “OK, now’s the big adventure.”
I told a friend who worked in palliative care and she said, “That’s weird. Nobody feels like that. Most people feel so defeated.”
But I have such a different perspective. I feel like I could have died without learning what was really happening, what life’s really about, and I didn’t miss it… just in time!
The blessing of true support
The most special friendship for me has been with Ingrid, who, from the first moment, (she came to drive me to the clinic for sessions because I needed a lift,) and then she wanted to care for me, and so she moved in with me for a while and we decided we wanted to buy a house together, but because of my illness, I eventually said, ‘I don’t want any ownership responsibilities anymore,’ and Ingrid was happy to buy the house herself and she sets me up in the best room and just takes beautiful care of me… I have never, ever had so much love in my life as I’ve had in the last few years. On every level… so much joy.
Re-discovering the teachings of Universal Medicine
Actually what was most frightening for me with the first diagnosis was not dying, but I felt I’d wasted my time: 30 years of disciplined meditation practice, studying ancient scriptures, trying to find wisdom and truth and a connection to God, and when it came down to it, with the diagnosis, I was as lost as anybody.
And I thought, “I know nothing… know absolutely nothing. What have I done with my life?”
And once I found the teachings of Universal Medicine, I thought, “Oh. This is it. It’s all so simple.” Not all this complexity about enlightenment and Sanskrit chanting, all this stuff… just connecting with yourself. And the reward for it is amazing. The ease that life starts to take on as you really care for yourself first, which I had never done, was so precious.
The ripple effect on family and friends
Amazing things are happening. My ex-husband’s family have a long history of fear of death and denial, and my sister in law came to visit me just a few days ago. She told me more about people she’s seen dying of cancer. Everyone had had a terrible time. They can’t face it. They’re grasping something new, raw food or something… right to the end. Never accepting. And she saw the distress for everyone left behind, and the sorrow of the person dying in that kind of torment and she’s been watching me and she keeps observing “no pain, no fear…”
Just before she left she said, “You have taught me so much.” And then she sent me a text this morning and it said, ‘This visit with you was the turning point for me.’… and that means so much, because I’ve been in that family for 40 years… and I know she’s going to go back and she’s going to start to show the family there’s another way.
Things like that happen to me all the time. It’s just another exquisitely beautiful gift for me. It’s actually the most amazing adventure, moment to moment. Of course, a lot of my moments I’m kind of like this (Judith lays back her head on the pillow as if she’s unable to move). But, yeah…
The dying process
This body is so tired. So worn out. And I know I keep going.
That’s another interesting thing, because I already had memories of past lives before my diagnosis. I had no question in my mind about reincarnation. It didn’t help… it didn’t help, because I did not have the truth. I did not have the true philosophy, which is so simple that anyone can understand it. And of course, I mean, God would be simple. He wouldn’t make it hard for us. That’s what we people do.
Yeah… I’m really looking forward to it. I do want to write a little bit more if I can. So when I have energy I sit up and write blogs, and that’s my joy too, because all my life I’ve been trying to write and it’s never worked very well. For other people, you know, jobs… but not my own writing. I couldn’t find my voice. Now I‘ve found it. And here I am… you know, I can hardly brush my teeth without help, and I’m writing. This is this another amazing thing that’s happened… you know like, ‘Here you go, you can have this.’
How to have fun while dying
I had this idea to write a blog called How to Have Fun While Dying. One of the ways is that I decided to get a cardboard coffin and Rosie, a friend of mine and her nine-year-old daughter are going to paint it for me. And I have other gorgeous indulgences, like, I bought all these expensive French creams and people put them on me, and I just lie here and smell them.
There’s an amazing amount of pleasure and joy being in this bed… and you’d think, ‘That’s a pretty miserable place to be, about to die, can’t even get out of bed without help…’
No… it’s not actually what I am experiencing.
I mean it’s true, I need help to get out of bed, but the most beautiful things are happening… So much love just blooms around me… It’s a very wonderful time.
I think that people don’t realise… if you can be with each moment, let it unfold, every moment has got something to offer. And I don’t mind letting go. I loved my wheelie walker when I could still walk; now I love my wheelchair because I can’t walk. I had to give up my queen size bed; now I love my hospital bed… I’m just with it. I’m just with each thing as it happens and… it’s fine.
I’ve done a lot of work… a lot of work, to… make this time… have a lot of space in it… because I’m not dragging any baggage… and I love the clarity that I have and that I don’t feel any issues with anyone and that allows me to really enjoy each moment.
I just had such a complicated way of living before, so many entanglements, so yeah, I feel so well in myself. So well. More than ever before.
There’s been a growing gap over those three diagnoses. The first one, you know, I was a mess emotionally and my body was. My second one, I had already begun to have a sense of myself, that even though the body was going to go soon, I felt lovely. And this third time, it’s just enormous the gap between the feeling that, I’ll die very soon; the body will die and I feel so alive and clear and well.
The Esoteric Philosophy of Re-incarnation presents the fact that it is the energetic quality we pass over in that we will return to in our next life.
Judith McIntyre joy-fully passed over on the 17th June 2014.
As you meet what comes before you with what is within you,
you develop an awareness that what is before you was sent to bring out what is
within you. ~ Serge Benhayon
Upon the end of each life, death provides for a new beginning, an inauguration of a yet greater you. This repeats over and over until such time that each of your births is to assist all others to attain the same enthronement. ~ Serge Benhayon