There are a lot of books giving us guidance on death and dying, but every once in awhile death comes up close and personal to let you know, quite unequivocally, that you are not in control. Eventually, death comes to us all. This can be a “bad” thing, a confrontation fraught with resistance and anger; or a “good” thing, an experience of surrender to love.
Tomorrow I go with my husband from our garden paradise to visit his dying son. The man is young, with a teen-aged son and a daughter in her first year of college. He has lived well, taken care of his body, and yet cancer has taken over, with a randomness that is hard to accept and a virulence that pushes everything else aside. Welcome change with love.
Here is a lesson from the Heart Room: "I remind you to hold everything in the Heart Room. Allow what is to be; after all you have little choice in the matter, yes? But you do have the choice to accept or resist. Resistance is natural and an important tool for living. Equally so, acceptance. But acceptance with love is different from acceptance with resignation. And resistance with love is different from resistance with anger. And so you choose: Allow...Accept...Allow love...Accept love. Have faith and trust in this: Love awaits you. Love awaits everyone. Love does not run out of energy. Love does not get tired. Love does not need to retreat. Love is always and evermore with you. Allow that love. Accept that love. Love is real, surrounding you and within you. Choose to know that love and as you go about your daily existence, give that love away. Thank you."
Like many families in which divorce has left an aftertaste of dissension and misunderstanding, father and son have been estranged, live far apart and have not seen each other for many years. Some might say, “it's too late now”, but that is the choice of resistance. It is never too late to love. Love is present, there is no then, as in “then he did that” or “then she didn't do that.” There is only Now to love. That is the gift of life, the opportunity to learn to love and to experience the joy of loving day after day, for as many days as are given to you.
I have heard enough stories about people who surrender to death with a smile on their face, a sweet expression following their last breath, a beauty that is revealed as if glowing from within, to trust that Heart Room love awaits my step-son in his final days, embraces him now with his family, and will transform their pain and ours into a quiet acceptance of loving understanding, even touched by joy. For joy is always and ever at the heart of love.
This is my Heart Room mantra: "Love is always with you, in you, surrounding you, embracing you with comfort and certainty, clear sighted, and unafraid." I try to see through the eyes of love and look for love every where I go. Like a fish swims in water, I believe we walk in love, we breathe it. Inhale love. Exhale love. Breathe love now.