June 8, 2013

life and death

This week I heard that a friend has cancer again without a great prognosis --  
a few months.  Another friend went to visit her mom who is old in her late 90's 
and in hospice with renal failure.  
When we are born only one thing is for sure, and that is that we will one day die.  
It is not something we want to, or tend to think about.  
It is so hard losing someone for it leaves a wicked hole.  
Hard to think of celebrating death, 
but really it is what life is about, 
the culmination of each of us, the sum and that should be celebrated.
 Maybe if we considered death more often we might live more fully, enjoy life.  
It is what those that have had near death experiences talk about.  

Training for hospice was the most worthwhile programs I have been privileged to take.  Doctors, nurses, hospice volunteers, chaplains who work with the dying 
spent a great deal of time explaining the process, the stresses, agony, 
the miracle and the beauty of this time of life. 

We all face the end of life differently.   
When my aunt was dying, she brought together her family
 and talked to them of many things
 including her death and their future without her.  
Although it was hard for them, it was lovely that they could share this time.  
They were with her when she drew her last breathe.  What a gift.

There is something lovely and noble in the remains of trees that have died.