life’s last journey at nautilus teachings

 

 

one life
that’s
it!
death
takes
us
all…
i was 10 years old
when my mother said to me
on a bright sunny summer day
as we were outside
pulling weeds,
‘ya know, sher, i am going to die young
so i need to teach you everything
you need to know
before that happens…’
then we both smiled
giggled
and
i just
forgot about
her words…
i
was
10,
i’m not even sure i
really knew what death was
because i was three when
my grandmother died
five when my grandfather died
and i have no memory of either…
when my father was in
his early 60’s
he began believing
he was going to die soon
every year it was
‘well, this will probably be my last…’
he
is
now
88
and the oldest living male
ever in his family tree.
i’m not even sure if he
has memory of me repeatedly hearing him say
he was finally going to die
when his heart had a few hiccups
but i remember it clearly,
i also remember saying
over and over,
‘dad, you are to grumpy to die,
God only takes the good ones young…’
that may sound mean
but he is
an iron wall
silence
is his middle name…
for the past 3-5 years
my mom in law has been
begging God to take her home
because she can no longer walk
and is in a nursing home….
she wants to die
but she is one of the best
souls i have ever met, and
God is saying,
‘nope’…


what do you do?
do you pray for
a soul to be released?
to go home?
do you go to heroic measures
to keep their heart beating
knowing it is not their wish?
what can we do
as adult children
of those
who
are aging
and wish to die?
when my mother was
told she was going to die
she was 52
i was 21
and although i was with her
when the dr told her
she had 6 months to live,
it was never talked about
or confirmed
by anyone.
my parents were
silent.
moms leukemia
was never discussed
because my dad
really, rarely spoke
to me
except to say,
‘hi sher, how’s life?’
yes, i knew when she was
very weak
i knew when she was
in countless remissions
and over the 3 years
of her dying
life
just
went
on
for
me…
when it comes to my dad,
he stopped
saying he was going to die
and just group texts
all us kids
the most random things,
of which by far my favorite
so far is…
‘hey, guys. make sure you all
get your colonoscopies…’
when i get to go visit
my mom in law
she is always
always
surprised to see me.
i hold her hand
fill her in on all 5 kids
and two grandsons
and just chit chat about life…
she always asks me if
her ‘bozo’
aka-my d-
is being kind
to me
and i always giggle and say,
‘well, i have not killed him yet
so i guess he’s doing ok…’
this always makes her laugh
which i love.


i never got the chance
to do this with my mom
everything was always on the
hush hush
as far as
was mom getting close to death
so when she did die,
i
was
shocked…
when i was asked recently
if every time i saw her
towards the end of life
if i was sketched
i simply replied,
‘i never knew she was dying…’
i know that was not the response
they were looking for,
but it was my truth…
my father and i
are good.
that means,
when he does pass
and go home to God
i know i have done
everything i could
to forgive him
and love him.
when mom in law
finds her way to the
pearly gates and
greets st. peter
i am sure she will
close her eyes
lift her hands in praise
and say,
with tiny tears,
‘thank you God,
what took you so fucking long?’
yes,
she loves
the F bomb.
yes,
she taught me
to use the
F bomb.
for the first 7 years of our marriage
she would sit around our dinner table
and keep everyone in stitches
retelling her life story about,
‘this fucking….
or that fucking…
or can you believe the fucking…’
so, yes,
we only have one life.
if you are given the
GIFT
of spending time
with those you love
while they are old,
aging
dying
grab it full on.
take photos of them –
even if they say no.
record their voice
so you can hear it
as long as you need
when they are gone
take a video of them
telling stories
hold their hand
rub their feet
brush their hair
just take the time
to let them know
they
are 
LOVED,
for it is in the
giving of these
tiny things
we all so very much
take for granted
that we are gently
lovingly
kindly
helping them walk
down their last
journey
in
this
one
tiny
life…
and as i always say,
“love the peeps you are with, baby!”
you just never know if
that time
will be your last…

 

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