Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tides

Hospice training started last night. We meet in a house right next to the ocean and all night I could hear the waves crashing. Seemed symbolic in a sense because my emotions were crashing on the shore of vast sorrow and then retreating into the mystery of the deep- the deep knowing that everything is unfolding as it should.

For the most part, last night was just an overview of what our role will be as Volunteer Vistors and a history of Hospice. There are 16 of us in the training, each with our own reasons for doing the work. Many of us have lost loved ones and those losses inspired us to help others. I am in good company.

We ended the evening with an experiential exercise where we were asked to imagine that we had been given one year to live. We had to write down what would be on our mind, what we would want to do with that time. Then we pictured six months and wrote down the same. Then one month. Then one day. Then one hour. As my time kept shortening, I felt myself let go of the lofty dreams and just focus on the most important thing in life: Love. That was a common theme throughout each stage. In my final months, weeks, hours, I wanted nothing else than to love and be loved and to be surrounded by it. To know I had lived my life to its fullest- loving fiercely and deeply- and for those I love to feel it to their core.

It was difficult to imagine my own death process but it also made me really look at what I value most. I spend so much time thinking negatively- about what I don't have but want, about what I don't look like but wish I did, about what I have yet to fix about myself- and maybe that isn't where my energy should be. Sure, still improve upon myself and challenge myself to grow, but don't become fixated to the point where I can not enjoy life. When I come to die, I don't want to regret that I wasted countless hours of my life feeling fat or broke.

This training is going to be a very intense journey into my deepest fears- loss and letting go. I am both excited and trepidacious. It's been a while since I really took a risk. This feels right as much as it feels daunting. I am sure I will have other nights like last night, where I got in my car and drove around crying before heading home. They might get worse before they get better. Those tears were part sorrow, part elation.

I am alive and I have a lot of living to do.

7 comments:

Lushy said...

Girl. I'm speechless.

Amanda said...

Wow! I just came to this site by way of "the torn pages" and "not dorothy". I will come here more often. Very good post!

Ikatron said...

Thank you for your inspiration and for being one of the caring people in this world of cold people.

sue said...

AMEN, Sizzle...! {{{hugs}}} You ARE loved.

GiddyGirlie said...

For me, those moments of clarity are fleeting. I contemplate everything and appreciate life and decide that I am going to do better... and then the next thing I know I am wrapped up in the Rent Check Drama and hating everyone who doesn't buy my crap on eBay and crying and craving milkshakes.

*sigh* Someday... that's all I can hope for... is someday

Bill said...

First of all, there is no sound in the world better than that of waves. I don't know the ocean as well as I do the Great Lakes, but ... Want a perfect sleep? Listen to waves stroking a beach.

As for the other ... we all spend a lot of time bitching and moaning about things (I certainly do - I think that's one reason I blog), but given the exercise you had, I would hope I would toss all that nonsense aside and focus on why being alive is no extraordinary ...

Like bowling when you're drunk. My grandfather's stories. The way a forest smells after a good rain. The way my brother looked when he was four and wore glasses ... So much stuff! And all of it good!

Mikey said...

It's amazing what can make us enjoy our lives.Thank you so much for everything. Much love Mikey