I am following the thread of interest in working with people facing death. I started to fill out an application as a special skills volunteer for a local hospice. As I typed it out, I felt a visceral “bleah” with my tongue sticking out and everything. I took that as a NO, for now.
I discovered it was a ‘logical’ step, a ‘sensible’ option, and part of the larger wave of ‘shoulds’ I’d been allowing to pressure me into action.
And then news came of a friend’s diagnosis of a rare cancer. And while he is calm and centered as he starts treatment, bolstered by decades of meditation, I am a wreck. This is what I wanted, to be able to be present with someone facing mortality. And yet I have fear that I can’t set aside my own pre-loss feelings to just be there for him.
It’s not like I haven’t done this before. This is like being there for a client – you follow their process. But somehow, maybe because I’m older, this time it’s closer in.
Sometimes you move towards the world, and sometimes it moves towards you.
So me and my fear are going to schedule time tonight with my friend. I will join the others on his team to cook and bring food, to read to him when he wants, do whatever I can.
It is the season of the Day of the Dead, and the veil between worlds is thin. I want to befriend Death, because she is our constant companion. She wants to midwife us into the next big thing. I want to be part of the grace of someone living to the fullest and leaving when it’s his time. It’s good practice for my own living and dying.
If you are in a circle of support for someone ill or dying, I’d like to be part of your support team. To deal with your pre-grief, to face your own fear. Please contact me. We are all in this together.