Clo said her dilemma is to figure out how to simultaneously live life fully while preparing for death. When I heard her say that, my heart ached and I longed to help her. As I write it now, I am struck by the truth that we are all always in that very exact dilemma. We must all prepare in some way for the truth that our existence will change shape, form and purpose. At the same time, we must go fully out into the world and fill our soul with joy and life. That is Clo’s challenge right now: to fill herself full of joy and life. I so can see how difficult that is to do when one is sad and heavy emotionally and tired and in pain physically. Where is the joy in that?
Right now, Clo is creating joy for herself. We can all learn from her. She and a dear friend are searching the city for the right and perfect bird feeder for our front yard. She has been finding much joy in watching the birds feast on our service berry trees while she watches them out the living room window. She is learning new names and finding ways to attract new birds. They bring symbolic freedom into her life, as well as colour and delight.
Our back yard is about as perfect as she wants it to be, except for a tree she would like to plant. Seeing plants grow and thrive, bloom and blossom, come to life out of the winter darkness, gives her pleasure and hope. A friend gave her a new baby yellow orchid to join the many other orchids she loves into life season after season. I have so much to learn from her as she bravely takes on the mission of learning to live fully while preparing to die. What I am learning right now, right as I am writing this is: open my heart to receiving Clo’s gifts and knowledge and wisdom.
I am thinking right now that I may have moments later on when I am angry with her for leaving me. Not fair! Not the contract I thought I signed up for! I am 21 years older. I was supposed to get to move into exciting new chapters first and make the way for her. Now she is going to do it way too soon.
I have no room in my heart or spirit for anger. I only have room for me to learn from her. She has always been a very wise woman. She loves to teach. I am going to ask her to be my teacher. Our partner is our healer, teacher, and friend. Right now it is a perfect time to be Clo’s friend and have her guide me. This is what relationships are all about. For a short while, I lost track of remembering to learn in my blinded concern and desire to take away Clo’s pain. That is not my job. It is her pain. I am her friend. She has much to teach me and I welcome that and am grateful.