- before, during, and after -

Becoming Free Becoming Free Becoming Free

In the past few years, my mother and four of my dearest friends have died. Two more beloved sister-friends are living with severe cancer today. I want to be close and connected as they approach the edge, that ultimately mysterious moment when they, when we, cross over and dissolve away from this world. Sometimes I love the one I'm with so much that I feel like we're inseparably going on together. But they go elsewhere, and I journey on here.

In these same years, six grandchildren have been born, enchanting me, knocking my socks off with their brand new-ness and individuality. They arrive squirming and squalling, trusting and irresistible. We are continually letting go of and welcoming life... washed over now with waves of sadness, now waves of delight.

I look into the eyes of my dear ones closer to birth or death than I, wondering what they know... what it's like for them, where they've come from and where they're going. I hold their hands and breathe with them. We are quiet together. Sometimes we whisper. Or laugh and sing through our tears. And there's always lots of rocking and stroking.

It is as if we spring forth into the light through a magic window, and this life is a moment-by-moment miracle within a boundless expanse, back into which we have no choice but to surrender. There is no exception. Everything begins... and ends. Everyone gets born... and dies.

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