I spent time with a friend of mine today, I’ll call her Cindy. Cindy’s mother is dying, Cindy knows it, her mother knows it and the doctors confirm it.
As I chatted with Cindy it was clear to me that she is at peace with the situation. Now don’t get me wrong, Cindy loves her mother and expressed her feeling that sixty-seven is simply too young to expect her mother to die. On the other hand, she told me that she feels her mother is done with life. Recently she has expressed as much, she misses her son who died very young, most of her dear friends have passed and with the exception of her beloved husband, most of her relatives near her age have passed away as well. She misses them dreadfully and feels as though she is simply done with what she was supposed to do here in this life. She’s not depressed; she’s just ready to move on. The disease that is ravaging her body is simply the vehicle that is taking her on this final journey.
Cindy is determined that her mother enjoy the time she has left. Cindy has learned so much from her mother. She was a loving, fun mom to grow up with and has become a trusted friend to the adult Cindy. She showed Cindy that it was possible to not only love her husband but that it was possible to like him and to enjoy being his friend. And now she is teaching Cindy that it is possible to die with grace, dignity, and joy.
Unfortunately, Cindy is getting a bit of flak from some people. Apparently, there are those who have hinted that Cindy is doing something wrong because she is not crying, wailing constantly and pushing her mother to accept painful treatments that will extend her life, but not improve or even preserve the quality of what is left of her life. So, Cindy asked me for my point of view.
Oh boy. It was time to not only think and feel as Cindy’s friend but to think this through as the holistic life coach and Reiki master that Cindy knows I am. So, we continued to talk. I asked her how she was dealing with all of this. She told me that she is definitely heartbroken to be saying goodbye to her mother, but that she is saving the tears and grieving for her time with her husband and a few trusted friends. She’s not stuffing her feelings or denying them, simply expressing them to those who know and love her best. Because her mother is determined to enjoy the time left, Cindy is determined to enjoy it with her. She’s told her and will continue to tell her how much she loves her, has enjoyed being her daughter and they talk about the fun they’ve had together. They laugh, tell stories and simply spend time together being happy. Cindy has made it clear to visitors that her mother has requested the time remaining be happy and so she has asked visitors to honor those wishes, in fact, she’s insisting on just that. She’s taking special care of her father, again honoring her mother’s wishes and doing what she simply feels is right.
The truth is that both Cindy and her mother are at peace. Her mother is getting ready to meet her God and Cindy is very appreciative of the opportunity to spend this time with her before she passes, she’s now learning how to say goodbye to loved ones and to die with grace, dignity, and joy.
Before I left, I gave Cindy a long hug, told her that I would pray for her, her mother and all of her family and friends and I thanked her. While Cindy is learning one more lesson from her mother, she is teaching many of the rest of us as well.
I hope that if I’m ever faced with a similar situation that I am able to move through it with the same peaceful heart, love, and gratitude that is demonstrated by Cindy and her mother.
This week, I wish you all the opportunity to express your love and gratitude for the special friends and relatives in your life. I am grateful to Cindy and I thank her for the lesson of love and gratitude.