I am in a surreal space after returning home from a week with my Dad as he is in the last days of transition into the next phase of his life. I hesitate to post too much information yet this is the easiest way to update everyone I'm connected with and to express where I am in my own process of grief and reconciliation with death. The words get tiring when I repeat them and there are too many details to review individually so here's the scoop.
About a month ago, my Dad went into the hospital with pneumonia, which turned into a diagnosis of stage four lung cancer, which perpetuated a series of strokes, and now he's in hospice care, at home with his wife, approaching the hereafter.
It all happened so fast.
I am grateful that I was there, to spend a few days in the hospital with him and then a few more at home. I got to help him with his meals, talk to him at night when he was scared and uncertain and impatient about "getting it over." We talked about the angels he was seeing and he knows they are there for comfort.
I got to see the man who is George to the world, a different person than the man I've called Dad. My observation has always been that "everyone loves George." I've said that for years after seeing his interactions with those in his circle of friends and colleagues.
Our familial relationships were different from this. As his daughter, I didn't see the generosity, caring and interest that he seems to take in others around him. He wasn't around much when I was young and if I did see him, it was often a result of my efforts to tag along with him in his world - spending time over Christmas breaks to take inventory with him at the hospital or digging potatoes and learning to drive a tractor - times that I treasure and hold valuable. I've always had an unexplainable loyalty to my father. Even when he was not available, I felt love and connection to him. I suspect it was there for him too, he just wasn't able to express it in a way that saw it.
Being able to step back from my personal experience, the stories I might hold about the kind of father he was vs. the kind of father I wanted, I have the opportunity to see his capacity for giving, for caring about others and for connecting to the world. He's got it in him. I am so grateful to know more about his life, how he jokes and educates and serves on so many levels. And to meet all those who are also his family.
Besides seeing more about my father, I gained insight into who I am, learning more of what makes me tick and where I could make adjustment in my own focus in order to have a deeper and more satisfying experience in life. In my work as a mystic, I see how death can teach the living, and my wish is to get the lesson in this so I can move past my own blocks to intimacy and authenticity. What came out most this week was my capacity to be of service, to find happiness and kindness in the face of despair, to be fully in the moment in joy or sadness or gratitude or action, to be patient or to be demanding. I don't say this looking for any acknowledgement, I say it because these are areas where have felt shallow or lacking and now I know I have it in me.
In the future, I hope for more gentle vehicles to inspire these attributes.
Until then, I remain grateful for the experience and in love with my life and those who walk beside me.
Blessed be ~
Thoughts on everyday Mysticism & the magic that permeates life when we think we aren't looking~
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