You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘transformation’ tag.

A ceramic vase of blush orchids still suns upon the worktable in my study. I often gaze at this flowering beauty while pausing for the precise word to enter my word processor. I also remember the giver of this gift, my MAC tutor for eighteen years.

It was time for our hour and her expertise. But that afternoon she looked different: her eyes, rimmed with grief; her mouth, slack and drawn; her posture, a bit stooped; her speech, flat and rushed.

“Hi, Liz. I picked this up for you—at Trader’s Joe,” she said handing me the orchids, protected from November’s chill by a cellophane sleeve. Also got one for myself.” As she pulled off her jacket, she added, “Have I got a story for you. Let’s go to your study.”

And her story did unfold: her ninety-seven-year old mother’s ribs broken from a fall, her hospitalization and rehab, hospice, and her recent passing—all within several weeks. My friend had been there, the story still evoking fresh tears and angst. We hugged.

Because I was still reeling from the hospice sign-up, I more than welcomed my friend’s story. It wasn’t about me, so I told myself. In subsequent weeks, I’ve peeked around the edges of my mortality, gaped at its enormity: Just as the thirteen blossoms of my orchid plants will wither and die, so, too, will my body—in time.

Then I checked my watch for the next whatever and tended to it.

 

 

“She’s so easy to take care of,” said one of my helpers, yesterday afternoon, as she was leaving my home.

“Yes, such a privilege to be with her,” said another. “I love coming here.”

When the door closed behind them, I stormed. Out of the blue came the awareness that they would be around until my death. Scenarios of being propped up in bed, suffocating, perspiring, nauseous flipped by in rapid succession. I was going to lose my life. It was just a matter of time. I was under attack. Beast was around.

More fears wearing spiked boots trounced my spirit. Nastiness bound my taste—terror minced my innards—hard breathing pumped my chest as I sat on the stool by the kitchen window. It never occurred to me to call for help, so bound was I by the unthinkable.

Then I checked my watch. Mary would be expecting my call at our usual time. Taking care of business, carrying recyclables to my neighbor’s, revising blogs, and attending the CPA phone meeting filled the remainder of the day. Still my spirit smarted. I was under siege.

The night was rough; six times I climbed out of bed. With dawn must come release.

It did. Corrected was Beast’s half-truth: I would not lose my life, only my body. Life’s fullness animates my spirit—that remains for all eternity. That said, sunshine filled the crannies of my being and warmed me into another day of vibrant living, within limits.

With God’s care and protection, I survived Beast’s attack, until its return with—more opportunity for spiritual growth.

 

How do I give expression to my shrinking world? Wrap words around this indisputable phenomenon to which I awake each morning, unless graced by a dream that enlarges the sense of who I am? Clearly, I have no control over this process, other than to show up and participate.

My limits are real: shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue. No pain. More body awareness is critical lest I fall, and my hardwood floors are very hard—That, I’ve already experienced, years ago.

Yet each day’s tasks, whether self-care, meal preparation, stretching and breathing exercises, blogging, study, phone visits and those from the hospice team suffuse more-than-full-moments with joy. At day’s end, it’s a relief to climb under my comforter and give thanks to Creator God for what I’ve learned and ask for dreams upon awakening.

Besides the guidance of dreams, I also depend upon excerpts from The Grace in DyingHow We Are Transformed Spiritually as We Die (1988) written by Catherine Dowling Singh, PhD in Transpersonal Psychology. Twenty years of participating in what she calls the Nearing Death Experience of hospice patients illumine her findings of breathtaking spiritual growth. True, their bodies fail them, but only to release their spirits to remerge with the Ground of Being. Such reflection heartens me, and what I’m dealing with will eventually pass.

More and more, I resonate with the author’s conviction that dying is safe. My hospice team will share their expertise when the time comes, but I’m not there yet. There’s still much to learn and I’m so willing …

 

 

Available on Amazon

%d bloggers like this: