Presence and Love During The Process Of Dying, Day 4

During the process of my mother’s death 3 years ago, she was in day 4 of a coma from an aneurysm, I was in the middle of leading a 40 day meditation on love. Here is the writing from the 9th day:

Pure presence is one breath at a time. Love exists somewhere in there. Somewhere in the wind, the trees, the shining moon overhead. Somewhere in moment to moment interactions and actions. Love exists in all its permutation whether we feel it or not.

Today after writing the 8th day interfaith love post, I drifted down the streets of St. Paul meditating on love, chanting with my beads. There were a few addicts and homeless people I ran into but was so busy meditating, they were like the trees in the background. And then a woman stopped dead in front of me. A big red heart on her shirt. “Would you like some ice cold water”? I smiled vacantly and mumbled no, all the while chanting and moving around her. She said, along with 2 other people with hearts on their shirts, “we only wanted to cool you off”. I said thank you and kept moving. About 50 feet away, I woke up and stopped, ran back where they all sat smiling and waiting, the woman handed me the water and we all grinned and laughed. I kept going. 1 block later, a very dirty sweaty man groaned at my feet. This time i was listening, “Miss, would you give me change?” I said, “my friend, will this water do?” His eyes filled with tears, and he reached out opened the water, nodding and chugging. He gave me more in that moment than anything I could think of.

And now I sit meditating on my mothers bed. I don’t feel anything but profound physical pain in my chest, pain radiating down my arm, and shortness of breath. Somatization of pain yes. Nitroglycerin yes. And as symptoms subside, love is still there. As tightly and as angrily, as space cadetty, and as grasping as I want it to be one way, and can’t have it that way, it is there anyway.

My friends, may the ebb and flow of love inform and greet you in every moment. May we remember the interconnectedness of all things. May you cherish every breath with your families and deepest loves as you never know when it will be your last shared breath together.