|2015 New Zealand visit.|
No one prepares us for the immense intensity of bringing new life into the world or attending the transition of a loved one from their life.
As if sharing the truth of all possibilities is sacrosanct, yet secret, knowledge one has to personally experience to learn.
We smile politely and avert our gaze when the conversations of birth and death dig deep or turn to questioning the truth of the matter.
We certainly wouldn't want to scare anyone or, by any means, facilitate anyone feeling uncomfortable.
Truth: birth and death both hurt like your heart has been ripped open and stomped on.
Yes, the recovery process for each hold starkly different trajectories, but the "pain" is undeniable.
The thin veil between life and death are foremost in both instances.
And yet, there is finally the action of the birth of the newborn or re-birth of our loved one: that which some may only call Death.
"Death" is what is currently on my mind.
Or as I choose to call it: moving on.
I've never used the words "moving on" to describe death before, but in this instance it spilled out of my mouth and remains what I know to be true.
No, not because I fear death or do not believe in the reality of it happening, but because I know that our life on earth is but a grain of sand in the macrocosm of who we are as soul and spirit beings.
Having had words my entire life and a good thirty plus years of helping others through their pain and grief and ups and downs, this past year, on this soul-wrenching journey, I lost my words.
My sweet soul-mate brother has recently succumbed to a year of righteously fighting an aggressive brain cancer; heralded by the last totally lucid conversation I would ever have with him during a phone call just after New Year last year– he had called to express concerns about his memory.
He was as close to a saint as anyone walking this earth gets.
Yes, he was human and had his human moments, but this guy, my youngest of three brothers, seven years older than me, was my go-to-guy on all things heart and soul and pain and growth and life.
Words can't express the depth of our connection and a book couldn't describe our experiences and how his presence in my life made me a better person.
It's the classic case of "only the good die young" because a younger 62 year old you would never see.
Throughout this past year, with his symptoms of disorientation or confusion, I felt I was witnessing him with one foot on the other side. He radiated love and light. He never forgot his loved ones and the connection was one of pure soul to soul. Yes, there was a transient period where the affected brain area caused some unpleasant symptoms, but thankfully that was relatively short lived.
What I know for sure is that he is now with me and he is with our family.
And as I write this, the revelation hits me: he was my words-person and very early on taught me to use and respect the power of words.
He was a rare type of man who shared his heart effortlessly, wrote eloquently, delivered beautiful eulogies and knitted meaningful resolutions, using his words, throughout his career as a highly respected mediator.
I could write and write on this experience.
Or I could never write again.