In the Heavens:
First tropical storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Alberto is raging outside, moving from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Pelting rains, wild winds, and low gray cloud layer creates time for Netflix, creative down time, good food and music. Sort of like a snow day, only warmer.
Inside on the 11th floor, I am surrounded by 65 canvasses painted by Joel this season, stacked 2-3 deep on the floor. Par hazard, Joel has developed into an adventurous and talented abstract painter. He thinks his legacy is his real estate holdings but I know it will be his paintings.
On the Earth:
Ready for death doula duty In Toronto, I prepare for weekend with my 92 yr. old mother in palliative hospice care. Boots on the ground, staying present, while setting the stage for letting go. Little did I realize that much of my job would be dealing with the Canadian health care bureaucracy around palliative/hospice care.
After sitting beside my mother, Joy, and observing her dying process, it is clear to me that there are four realms: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual; that we are spirit in a human form. Joy’s physical body is imploding. Her mental acuity flows in and out in whispers, recollections, memories flying by. Her emotional - who knows? She still likes a good laugh, and loves her family above all. All 11 grandchildren were asked to call in to express their love for her. She smiles, ending with a soft
“ G-d bless you, dear. “
And now for the spiritual realm: my mother has a strong determined spirit. She had no use for rabbis, the religious ,the story of creation and Hashem. For her, there is no bright light in the beyond. For her, you are either here or you are not here. Simple. Black and white.
Yesterday, she whispered “I am scared of the dark”. Today she whispered “how do I feel? Up and down. I am in G-d’s hands.’ First mention of something beyond herself. She’s progressing into the past, uniting with the better angels of her nature.