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death and compassion

Scarlet Moon


It seems like the past two weeks all I have heard has been sad news. Needless to say, Sue is on my mind. She was very open and knew she had limited time left on Earth and I think while you know that is true, you don't realize how quickly time passes. We get wrapped up in our own lives--either dealing with the day to day, or our own issues--and before you know it those that we love and care about slip from us.

A very close friend's father has been slipping for the past year or so. Last week he was back in the hospital with the same elusive symptoms. Many tests have been run and it sounds like they have a treatment plan or a plan of action, but I have my doubts. There have been treatment plans made and changed and I think there's so much hope that this will "fix" him, that denial has crept in. They did give him a feeding tube and being able to get proper nutriton may help, but my heart tells me otherwise. I hope my heart is wrong.

Last week, my great uncle passed. It was truly a blessing. He had been in Hospice for nearly 3 years and he suffered. He looked like he was in pain the last two times I saw him. . . I think the last time was a year ago or so. Yesterday they had the viewing, memorial service, military honors and then dinner. It was a long day. The service was nice and my aunt seems o.k. She's 94 I think, and my grandma's sister. She looked so frail and I know her heart is bleeding and will for awhile. They were married for 65 years and attached at the hip. It's one thing to know that he's dying, but because he was still at home, he was still part of the family--and there. Now that his physical presence is gone it's hitting her hard.

The service was nice, and I was sitting one row behind my aunt and one seat to the left. I kept an eye on her for much of the service. Her whole body shook with silent sobs and it broke my heart. I wept for her and her loss. Yes, she had 3 years to say her good-byes, but time slips by. It becomes normal for him to be physically there and occasionally respond. Life changes and while you know that time is slipping by, it's hard to acknowledge that when someone is physically there and unresponsiveness is normal.

There wasn't a dry eye when the Marines gave their tribute. My dad broke down--started to sob. I've never seen my dad cry like that. I didn't want to draw attention to it. I was sitting between him and my mom and I just reached over and held his hand. He squeezed me and it was an unspoken moment. That made me cry more. My dad had a massive heart attack 4 years ago--on my birthday of all days. Worse birthday I've ever had, but he's still here so it was the best gift I could have been given. I don't know if it was the situation or realizing that we could have been watching his military tribute. To be honest, it doesn't matter. We just sobbed and shared a special connection. As they played Taps, I don't think there was a dry eye among us. When the Marine gave my aunt the flag, she was a little hesitant to take it. He was young, 25ish. No older than 30. When she reached out to take the flag, he gave the standard speech then slid it between her hands and held her hands for a few seconds as he kinda placed them on the flag and whipsered to her that God blessed her with a beautiful family and with her permission he would like to pray for her and her family. It was a genuine act of compassion and very touching to see that amount of compassion for a stranger. My aunt is very religious and I know that small act of compassion meant the world to her and at that moment it was exactly what she needed.

Truthfully, she won't remember most of yesterday. It was overwhelming and will be a blur. She probably won't remember the Marine's face or his compassionate words. I doubt they were meant to be remembered or even heard by anyone else--but they were and for a moment all of the sad news of the past two weeks slipped away and I couldn't help but to feel renewed faith in humanity. Then in a blink, my Reiki training kicked in and I felt the overwhelming emotions in the room. As an emotional empath I feel the emotions of others and it drains me. I have to put up a protective sphere of white light for protection in highly emotional situations and I was surprised that it broke. I was even more surprised by what I felt. Yes, there was a sense of loss, but there was so much more love that it shocked me. It wasn't the love of the Universe or the universal life energy or God to some people; it was a different type of love. When you connect to the Universe, the love is an overwhelming sensation but it is unique because it feels as if your body is melting and becoming one with the energy around it. The sensation of a physical body ceases to exist, you feel love and peace, then you see and feel the energy in everything and understand how we're all just a brushstroke in a painting. Yes, if you look close enough you could identify it, but in reality it is essential to the rest of the painting and it melts into the picture. This wasn't that kind of love or feeling. It was as if it were being showered on me and erasing the sorrow. For a brief moment I saw Uncle Frank smile and heard his laugh. I thanked him and felt his spirit join us as we saw his physical body for the last time. As we filed out of the room, I couldn't help but to smile. Great grandbabies far too young to understand death were being packed up to go to the restaurant. Uncle Frank does have a beautiful family and his legacy lives on.

magoo55, loisw and Nancy like this


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