tap tap... hello?... I realize this has been a few and far between.
I hope you stick with me!
I was just getting back in the blogging groove and I was called away, again~ to see my dad.
I have needed to just take my time to process that event.
The wierd thing about the season of death is ~it's beginnings are sudden, even if you have been given the grace of expecting it.
It is ( at least in my experiences) strangely calm. The emotional wave that begins is what I did not know how to prepare for.
The wave is comforting and rythmic then all of a sudden an undertoe of profound grief ( NOT regret) but g.r.i.e.f. ~just deep soul sadness at the loss~ will pull me under for a moment, then I surface again and "all is well." Maybe even better for the release.
He has decided to die at home, not in a hospital or hospice. His wife tends to his needs quarter hourly. Adjusting sheets, injecting meds...taking messages from ( 100's of) friends and relatives, flipping channels and when he asks for it grabbing a banana or sip of ice water. Her attitude is .."it is a privilge...to deliver him." Just beautiful.
The details are not what I saw though. When I went in to His house to stay, I realized I was in a holy place.
Really, I call it the "Thin space." The place where eternity and present intersect. Where the eternal is beginning to eclipse the reality of the present.
One thing about my dad is he has lived with intense intention. His mind and heart were searching most of his life. He has commited himself to social work, holistic living, nature, learning, friendships, travels. He loves living. He has now prepared to die with the same "mindfulness" that he approached living.
Now, from what I observe, he loves finishing the race with dignity and peace that are ONLY produced by removing the "static" of the mundane and the little details of our physical life.
He keeps reassuring us that he is not sad. He is ready. He wants to be giving love and a peaceful presence as long as his mind and body will allow him to.
I looked around his home and saw the shadows of today in the gleaming promise of what is to come. I saw flowers delivered by a friend, for him to enjoy. I saw a table lovingly organized with syringes, swabs and medication. I saw a ball hat with the human rights symbol emblazoned on it.
I saw cards and notes form people wishing to express comfort and peace...
Then~ when I looked at him I saw a physical shadow of who he used to be BUT I saw a spirit that was gaining strength and wholeness by facing the inevitable passage with courage and humilty.
I had to hug him goodbye. I had to get up and walk away knowing, that it was the last time I would hold his hand. ( something we did my entire life.) I had to tell him , that it was ok, that our leg of the journey was appreciated and and that I received the heart he had for me as a father, I had to promise dance with him when we got "there."
I am still understanding the impact of staying there with him in that "thin space" has had on me, it is a life changing encounter. To view all I do knowing that day WILL come for me as a wife, as a mother as friend to someone else...It inspires me to bring as much of that eternity in to RIGHT now as I possibly can...
Thanks dad, for the beautiful example. I love you. Always will.