Dawn begins with prayer in my wingback chair, my hands folded, my feet propped upon a pillow. Again, I awake to another day living with terminal illness. Silence invites participation in this mystery, urges me toward patience, and plunges me within the Unknown before whom I prostrate. My prayer is always the same: We admitted we were powerless over terminal illness—that our lives had become unmanageable: a modification of Step I as found in Alcoholics Anonymous.

The We is critical. In my imagination I seek out the terminally ill around the world and place myself among them. Dying is not unique to me and perceiving it so, hogties me within groundless fears. Not that I don’t succumb to moments of angst, but entertaining them only worsens my symptoms: fatigue and shortness of breath. So far, the little blue pill still helps me function within my home, with helpers.

Then prayer moves me within powerless. Here, I borrow CPA’s “Let go and let things be as they are.”—a humble stance in which to relinquish efforts to fix anything, manipulate outcomes, or stew over further diminishments. Such practice activates the present moment and engenders my new identity, literally a seeker bound for the true home from which I came.

And then follows terminal illness: my interstitial lung disease with rheumatoid arthritis, a slow growing disease that I’ve had for years, for which the only treatment is palliative care. Facing this disorder, in prayer, lightens its sting: It will become my way out of this existence and into exhilarating freshness.