The following post was written on March 15, 2017, but not posted until today.
I am writing this exactly three weeks after the passing of my father, who made his transition to the non-physical realm on February 22, 2017, just nine months after the passing of my mother. I barely had time to register the loss of her presence in my life before my attention was absorbed by my father’s rapidly, if erratically, declining health.
My siblings and I were pulled into the rabbit hole of financial and medical caregiving, doing our best to navigate through a Keystone Cop-like world of bizarre medical rules, cumbersome processes for establishing power of attorney for his accounts, conflicting patient demands and impossible decisions that needed to be made.
As my sister so simply and eloquently said at one point, as we were trying to make sense of yet another round of contradictory information presented to us, “This is an unworkable time.”
That time is now over.
Calls were placed, decisions were made, actions were taken. And then, just hours after getting a fresh haircut and nail trim, my father let go. He, who had never let go of anything, ever. He was the most persistent person I have ever known. I miss him. I miss my mother.
I feel now as though I’m living in a different dimension than the one I’ve inhabited for decades. Time isn’t linear in this dimension, and activities such as focusing on specific tasks seem oddly irrelevant. Actually, focusing on anything feels almost impossible. I just want to float for a while.
I’ve asked my Large Self to commandeer my fingers on the keyboard so this article can get written while I float, but so far it’s not working particularly well. I feel a responsibility to my beloved readers to offer some kind of insight about the loss of both parents – about profound loss of any kind – that is comforting or uplifting, but in this floaty space where I am, my mind is blank.
Thankfully I remember a little something from the dimension I used to inhabit. I remember that, at the completion of any cycle, there is a period of stasis. A time of stillness. Depending on the cycle that has ended, the stasis period could last seconds or it could last days or months or even years, but it always exists. It is part of the cycle itself, an essential aspect of the creative pulse of Life.
And with that remembrance, I suspend all judgment of the blankness of my mind. I understand that what I experience as blankness is, fundamentally, a necessary clearing of space in preparation for the next cycle of my life.
If only there weren’t so many of those specific tasks that require the focus I no longer have, such as preparing my father’s tax return. And mine. And closing the estate.
A line from an old country song now surfaces as I stare off into space, wondering what to do next, or what to write next: “The world didn’t stop for my broken heart.”
It didn’t. I must somehow find a way to be in two dimensions at once – the floaty, blank, still dimension of stasis, and the demanding, task-driven, deadline-oriented dimension of action. On the surface that seems both ridiculous and impossible, yet I sense there is a way to do it.
I must live in the present moment. It is the only sane and loving way to proceed. The present moment is eternally spacious, yet all action occurs within it. From another perspective, the present moment is the stillness at the center of all action. And it is the spaciousness within which inner guidance can emerge. Guidance as to what to do, and when to do it.
I will do my best to make guided, self-loving choices, moment by moment. I understand that I serve myself well by taking the advice I have given countless clients over the years, which is to do only what I have the authentic impulse, the willingness and the energy to do. I will take only the step in front of me to take, and then I will pause and check in with myself to see what comes next.
I also want to be mindful of the kind of thoughts I am thinking, and notice if they are helpful or not. I want to surrender the unhelpful thoughts to the stillness. I want to give myself plenty of time for meditating and journaling and exercising…and I want to immediately forgive myself if I don’t do those things as often as I think I should.
I’m learning to say Yes to my friends’ offers to help me in any way they can. Their offers are as unique and beautiful as they are. They are so tremendously helpful. I am so tremendously blessed by their presence in my life.
And I’m profoundly thankful for my dear sister’s persistent efforts to make me laugh – only she can do that right now – and to help me with all the administrative tasks on my plate. I welcome my dear brother’s self-initiated research on the likely cause of a problem with my car that has suddenly surfaced, and his offer to talk to the service rep at the dealer on my behalf so I am not taken advantage of.
It is only in the spaciousness of the present moment that I’m able to recognize the wisdom of allowing myself to be supported, and it is only in the exquisiteness of this moment that I can feel my deep gratitude for that support.
And so it is. The ending of one cycle and the beginning of another, bridged by the stillness of stasis, and all happening in the present moment. Life goes on.