I’m thinking about Life. How I was in LA for a week – lala land – literally and figuratively, taking a break from Boulder. Just got back on Monday night and by yesterday I was climbing the walls wishing for more ‘meaning’, missing my death work really and truly.
I shared with a few people how out-of-the loop I was feeling being away for the past week, and soon afterwards, emails started rolling in about the newly bereaved group that starts next week that I will co-facilitate. Then I made a deciscion to offer a grief/loss meditation group at my house for the month of March (more on that later) and not long afterward, I got a call from the volunteer coordinator at a local hospice that a vigil was starting for a woman who was dying and could I be there from 5-7 tonight? No hesitation in my mind and heart as I said “Yes!”
So there I was last night, sitting beside a woman in transition, a woman I’ve never met but a woman I am sharing one of the most intimate times with. All the petty b.s. I am consumed with falling away as I hold her hand. An exercise in presence. I can go about 5 minutes before I get distracted. There’s a guy moaning loudly out in the hall. My daughter’s calling my cell phone. The woman’s roommate is shuffling her wheelchair to the bathroom to brush her teeth. I look around. On the hospital tray are signs of a former life, garlic salt and reading glasses sit patiently, never to be used again. But I always come back to her, this woman who seems to be peacefully laboring. Each breath is an effort. An aide stops in to say goodbye “It’s time Mama.” she says as she strokes her forehead.
In this moment, I am lost – anonymous – one tiny grain of sand. Death is happening whether I took a shower or not. In this moment, I am found – a spark of the divine, heart pumping, alive. Open. Grateful.