The Words of the Sun Myung Moon from 2012

Our realization that Father's Life on Earth Was near Its End

Peter Kim
August 31, 2012
Cheon Bok Gung
Seoul, Korea

I would like to say a few words, as one of True Parents' staff members, about how True Father left the hospital on August 12, traveled to Cheon Jeong Gung and then returned late the following day to the same hospital, Seoul St. Mary's, where he was then admitted to the intensive care unit. Our international president, Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, has given a detailed explanation of Father's situation at the last two Sunday services, on August 19 and August 26. A detailed letter on Father's condition from international vice-president Dr. Joon Ho Seuk was sent out on August 30. From his words you have gained some understanding of both the spiritual and practical aspects. He expressed that it is not important to know Father's precise medical condition, but rather, what is important is the prayer we are offering for him and what conditions we are making.

On August 3, Father was admitted to Seoul St. Mary's Hospital (known in Korean as Seong Mo -- Holy Mother Hospital) and over the ensuing ten days received every possible medical test, including several x-rays, PET CT blood tests -- every test he could possibly need. During the days that Father was receiving all these tests, we would sit with him. He would watch the Olympic Games on television. He would sit down for three, four or five hours at a time and cheer on the players, cheer the soccer games. This is how he spent the time.

Even though he was in some discomfort, he spent that period in an ordinary private room at the hospital, but not in the intensive care unit. On the morning of August 12, expressing his iron resolve, he gave the strong instruction, "I must go to Cheon Jeong Gung." The doctor wanted to stop him leaving the hospital. Hyung Jin Nim and Kook Jin Nim wanted to keep him there. Mother caught hold of Father and asked him to please remain there. She also wanted to stop him going. But Father, perhaps for some providential reason, was very stubborn. So on August 12, we brought Father back to Cheon Jeong Gung.

From the afternoon of that day to the evening of the next day, he remained at Cheon Jeong Gung for about twenty-four hours. During that twenty-four hours, we became deeply concerned about how Father looked.

On the third floor of Cheon Jeong Gung, Father went from this room to that in his wheelchair. Sang Soo Lee, Father's driver and personal assistant, mentioned that Father had said he would go to the East, West, North and South in Cheon Jeong Gung.

He went around holding people's hands. He entered the Hoon Dok Hae room and touched the table at which he and Mother would sit during Hoon Dok Hae. He touched everything with his hands, and now and then he would say, "Please be well."

Father looked at everything. Those things he could not touch with his hands he observed with his eyes. As he did this, he held Mother's hand tightly, and said "Mother, thank you." This he repeated from time to time. He asked True Mother and others who were with them to sit down. He said, "This is my last prayer," and then he prayed.

At the conclusion of his prayer, he said, "I have completed everything." All together during that day, as I recall, he said this four times.

During the night, he stayed awake and spoke to those who were caring for him and to Mother, cautioning them and giving guidance. Sometimes I couldn't fully understand what he said. But he continued on. And when morning came, Father said he must do a tour and see the different places in the Cheonwon [Heavenly Garden] holy ground and asked for a car to be brought. Father was actually not in any condition to go out in a car, however. Mother and the assistants all wanted to stop Father from going. Seeing Father's condition, and knowing the danger of his going anywhere in a car, we asked him not to go. Yet, how could we know the providential schedule set by Heaven? We wanted to stop him, but he was in no way swayed by our entreaties.

We brought him down from the palace to the Cheongshim Middle and High School in the SUV he always uses.

He stepped out of the car at the little park in front of the Cheongshim Middle and High School, and stayed there a short while. He looked at the little pond, and at first I thought that Father might have wanted to walk around. But after observing for a short while, he got back in the car.

We went back to Cheon Jeong Gung, and he remained there for a little. Maybe I am using rather plain language, but his breathing was labored, he was breathing quite rapidly and seemed to be in some discomfort as he sat on the sofa.

Seeing Father in this state, Mother asked Hoon Mo Nim and me in the hallway; "What is best to do for Father? Shouldn't I take him back to the hospital? You must help me." So we went back into the room and Mother took hold of Father's knees as he sat there, and Mother, while kneeling on the floor, said, "Father please come with me to the hospital. Let's go to your hospital, Cheongshim hospital." Normally Father would remonstrate and scold at such a suggestion, but on this occasion he gave his consent. Moreover, he said, "Yes, thank you Mother."

So they took Father straight to the Cheongshim hospital, (about 3 kilometers from the Cheon Jeong Gung). At the hospital, there is a room with a bed for Father, and all the furnishings; everything is prepared. (A section of Cheongshim International Medical Center was kept in readiness in case True Father should ever need treatment.) Father rested for a short while, and slept for about thirty minutes.

Over the preceding three weeks, Father had not been able to eat very much. When Mother begged him to, he would swallow one or two spoons of rice. While he was at the Cheongshim hospital we heard that he ate a few spoonfuls of rice soup and drank some water.

Then it seemed again as if his strength failed him, and he was coughing. He was in great difficulty. We didn't know what was causing this. Then I felt that Heaven worked through Mother. Seeing how Father was in such difficulty, Mother said something into Father's ear. As I understood later, what she said to Father was, "I will bring you back to St. Mary's hospital again." Mother was seeking Father's consent to this idea, and it seemed that Father gave his permission. Mother told them to bring the car; there was no time to prepare an ambulance. The car was brought down. There were two nurses from Cheongshim hospital attending him at his side. They brought two oxygen tanks. One of the nurses only had her indoor slippers on, having had no time to put on her shoes.

We have a big American SUV that Father uses. It has a special step that conies down that allows someone to get in easily. Moreover, if you take an ambulance, you have to lie down and be strapped in. So the doctor said to take the SUV that Father always used, in which Father had a special chair that he could sit on comfortably. Father sat in the car, put on his seat belt and was breathing from the oxygen tanks. The doctor said this would be best. So Father went in the SUV, with two nurses with him.

They sped to St. Mary's hospital. We did not know why, but on the way to the hospital, Father began breathing in quick breaths. When we were still fifteen or twenty minutes from the hospital, Father was hardly able to breathe.

You can imagine how the people in the vehicle felt at this point. The nurses didn't know what to do and could only tremble. The vehicle raced at such a high speed, often going off onto the shoulder to get around traffic, that we thought we might all die. We just raced along at a desperate speed and finally made it to the hospital.

At St. Mary's, Father's attending physical, Dr. Jeon, and all the doctors specializing in respiratory problems who had already gone home, as well as many nurses, came rushing toward Father. Some had not even taken time to dress fully, they came so quickly to give Father emergency treatment in a hospital room for general patients. I don't know exactly what medical equipment they were using during that time.... Emergency care was administered to Father for an hour or so in a very serious manner.

Father was brought to the intensive care unit. It was already after midnight. It took another hour and a half to set up everything for Father. We were then informed that Father was in a deep sleep, that we should not worry so much, and we could go home. We spoke with the doctor for a long time. We spent that night and early morning there. Then back again we went to the intensive care unit.

Dr. Jeon told us that if we had arrived at St. Mary's even thirty minutes later than we did, Father would have died. He asked who had made this correct decision so quickly. We told him that Mother had made the decision after looking carefully observing Father's face. She had been able to gain Father's consent also. He said he was truly impressed at Mother's having made such a wise decision....

Father's situation has been stabilized; he cannot move and is being treated continuously. With his holy body in such a situation, he is being given sedatives so he can continue to sleep soundly. Depending on the amount of the sedative administered, sometimes he has opened his eyes a little or moved his toes a little, while at other times he has not responded at all -- even when Mother approached him and said, into his ear, "Father, Father, I've come. I have a letter here from Shin Joon," and read it aloud to him.

About an hour before visiting time began, the amount of sedatives administered was reduced as much as possible to help him become conscious, and Mother and the True Children were led in to visit him. This is what the doctors did.

After that, when Mother held his hand tight or Kook Jin Nim held his hand and spoke to him about this or that, beginning with "We love you" and continuing to say other things, at times Father responded a little with his hand. Thus, we continued the process of helping Father in fighting his illness, comforting him and nursing him.

However, from yesterday, the sedatives were virtually stopped. The hospital where Father is, is one of the five best hospitals in Korea, isn't it? Seoul St. Mary's Hospital provides all kinds of services made possible by their state-of-the-art medical skills. Under the circumstances, the hospital, out of consideration, created an opportunity for Father to communicate with Mother and his family. So when Mother, accompanied by me, went in yesterday morning, Father's eyes were open. When Mother talked about Shin Joon Nim and Shin Pyeon Nim and how they had drawn pictures and written letters for him, he moved his eyes this way and that, and we felt that Father was responding to us. It had been a long time since I had seen this. He did not, however, move his hands, nod his head or give any other indications. While maintaining that state, he closed his eyes.

I am there every day with Mother and other members of the True Family as they are nursing Father during his illness, offering devotions and watching over him, and it hurts my heart to watch them.

Knowing that at various major hospitals in Korea there are renowned experts in diseases of the lung and respiratory system, Dr. Peter Kim and Dr. Bo Hi Pak took it upon themselves to drive to Seoul National University Hospital and seek out a second opinion on Father's condition. There, with the help of a doctor who had treated Dr. Pak some time before, they visited experts. Dr. Kim continues his description of events:

We pushed our way into the office of a Professor Han, without making an appointment in advance. He is said to be a distinguished authority in Korea on illnesses related to the lungs and the respiratory system. We found him in his shirtsleeves, and though he is like the godfather of that office, we went in. We asked him to sit down, explained Father's symptoms to him, and asked his advice. In tears, Dr. Pak and I asked for his opinion.

He told us that when a patient is admitted into an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with respiratory or lung-related illnesses, the doctor who is in charge of the ICU knows best how to deal with the symptoms and give treatment.

He then said that a Prof. Yu was in the room three doors away from his, and he suggested we go see him. So, we barged in on Prof. Yu. He was surprised, and protested, "How can you do this?" We explained to him about Father's condition and his symptoms. At the end of our explanation he said, "You don't need to say anymore." I asked him what he meant, and he said, "I am not a Unification Church member or even a Christian. I see ten, twenty, thirty patients a day with the symptoms you've described, since I am the doctor in charge of the ICU. I am well aware of how renowned Rev. Moon is, but since we are now in a doctor -- patient relationship, may I speak frankly about him?"

I immediately responded, "Please speak frankly." Then he looked into our eyes and stated, "He is too far gone. And I believe he has already been headed that way for quite a while. In fact, there is zero possibility of Rev. Moon regaining his lung function and being able to speak again and lead an almost normal life."

My dear members, think about it. When we heard from the lips of the most qualified doctor in Korea that the possibility was zero, Dr. Pak and I wept in front of him. Until then, we had continued to pray, and we had believed there was a remote chance; we had been ready to even grasp at straws. So when we heard what amounted to a sentence of death, we felt as if the skies were falling down upon us.

After sitting there weeping, Dr. Pak and I went down to the lobby and talked for a long time, asking ourselves, "Should we tell this to Mother or not?" Our conclusion was that we must tell her, and that the True Children should also be told about it. Therefore, after discussing the matter fully, we returned to St. Mary's hospital and told Mother and the True Children everything.

When we had finished speaking, Mother went into a small room, locked the door and wept her heart out. For a long time she stayed in that room, weeping, unable to come out. Then she said, "Oh, we must talk to the doctors in charge of Seoul St. Mary's Hospital and see what their opinion is!" So we called for Father's doctor and asked him frankly.

When we had posed the question, Father's doctor also said, "We were reluctant to say it outright in front of the patient's family members, who were clinging to him with religious faith and praying for him. We were waiting for the right time to tell them the same thing."

Prof. Kim, the doctor in charge of the ICU also said the same thing. Though we were dismayed and sorrowful, we then felt that we could not just sit there and do nothing. Mother and the True Children, feeling the urgency of the moment, had asked for Rev. Young Hwi Kim, Dr. Bo Hi Pak, Rev. Jae Seok Lee, and Joon Ho Seuk, the Korean church president, to come. Hoon Mo Nim was also there, because she had been the one who brought Mother to the hospital. So on August 28, they and Kook Jin Nim, Hyung Jin Nim and I sat down together and held an emergency meeting. (I call it that for want of a better word.)

We said many things in that meeting. Mother asked each of us, "So, Young Hwi, what do you think?" "Rev. Jae Seok Lee, what's your opinion?" After we had fully exchanged our opinions, she said, and it pains me to repeat it, "Now all we can do is pray for a miracle, but miracles are wrought by Heaven and we are not the ones who can decide. We should continue to offer devotions to the end, however, and the most important thing right now is to protect Father's holy body."

As we later observed, further complications began to appear from the very next day. Father's liver was failing rapidly, and his liver function deteriorated to the point where it could barely function at all. He still needed machines on both sides of him to pump oxygen into his blood at the maximum rate. He was suffering. We learned that the next stage of complications would be that his heart would be affected, and the moment this happened would be determined by how long his liver could continue to work. When his heart became affected, every organ in his body would fail.

Knowing this, Mother had said, "We must protect Father's holy body." She did not want them piercing him here and there, going into his arteries and veins, and the hospital had suggested certain procedures that would have required this. Mother became worried that Father might be placed in the same circumstances as Jesus when Jesus was crucified.

Since it was their medical opinion that recovery was impossible, why should they try to do things that were impossible? Therefore, we should protect his holy body. Such was the gist of what she said, and we need to understand Mother's heart and intention.

Mother also spoke based on the Confucian traditions. She said, "Father came as the Second Coming of the Messiah." (She had said something similar to Father's doctor, Dr. Jeon, even though he is not a member of our church.) She said, "Father came as the Second Corning of the Messiah because Jesus was unable to fulfill his responsibility, and we cannot defile the holy body of the returned Messiah if there is no possibility of his recovery, just because the hospital wants to do it as part of their procedure. And if Father were to pass away in any hospital or medical center away from Cheon Jeong Gung, which is his eternal holy ground and home, or the Chung Pyung holy ground complex, by Confucian tradition it would be said that he had passed away in a strange place, away from home. I cannot accept this."

I hope you realize how sorrowful and anguished her heart was as she said this. She then asked us to come up with a plan for what we should do. Everyone answered that we understood her intention and that we should take Father to Cheongshim International Medical Center, where the entire eighth floor could be prepared for his arrival. Thus, we were determined to take him away from the ICU, which was full of patients dying and screaming and yelling, not to mention germs flying everywhere. We were determined to take him to Cheongshim hospital but to continue to treat him with the best equipment and medical skills, which could be provided by the ICU of Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, the best hospital in Korea. We agreed to this unanimously. [All specialized medical equipment was transferred from St. Mary's to Cheongshim International Medical Center. Both Father's main doctor at St. Mary's and that hospital's ICU respiratory specialist accompanied Father in the ambulance and agreed to see him subsequently.]

Kook Jin Nim and Hyung Jin Nim also suggested to Mother:Mother, Father is not just your husband and our father. He is the cosmic, the first, and possibly the last public figure in all of the spirit world and the earthly world. Therefore, we should at the least disclose the process of Father's illness, and what condition he is in no to the blessed families and other members of the Unification Church, who have held true to their belief in True Father. Only then can they hang on to Heaven and pray for a miracle all together. Isn't that the case?

Consequently, Mother said yes, and everyone else at that emergency meeting agreed that it was a good idea. After all, the policy that Kook Jin Nim usually follows when running the foundation is transparency.

That is why we cannot hide True Father's condition. He has come in the public position of the returning Lord. We must inform our members honestly of the present situation, so that they can be aware. This was why you received international vice-president Dr. Seuk's letter yesterday. 

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