Early morning fairy mist.
Precious papers and books.
On July 4th, my sister-in-law experienced some distressing symptoms and her anxiety kicked in big time. The hospice nurse came out for awhile. As my brother says, it is his wife's reaction to her dying, to her symptoms, that causes the difficult to deal with symptom of her nearly out of control anxiety. She has always been anxiety ridden. And this habit seems to have expanded now with her imminent death. My brother thinks it won't be long now.
John O'Donohue, in Anam Cara, writes that we face little deaths every day, but we overlook them. Negativity is one. "This negativity holds you outside in exile from your own love and warmth. You can transfigure negativity by turning it towards the light of your soul." pg 200.
Another face of death, he says, is fear. "It is a courageous person who is able to identify his fears and work with them as forces for creativity and growth." And "All fear is rooted in the fear of death." pg 204
Fear and anxiety blur our vision. We are not seeing what is. When we have the courage to face and work with these and other "little deaths" we can see more clearly. We might find out the snake in the corner of the room is a rope.
I have no idea what I will feel or how I might react when faced with my own death. But I hope I have the courage, as I go along the path, to transform my negativity, to face my fears and see them for what they are. Meanwhile, how sad it is to watch my sister-in-law, not only consumed by cancer that is taking away her flesh and weakening her spirit, but consumed by anxiety that pills can barely alleviate. She never learned to breathe, to sit in quietude, to be grateful to everyone.
"BE GRATEFUL TO EVERYONE" is a Lojong saying. You mean even to death? You mean even to Joe who I hate. You mean even to my enemy? Yes.
Do you have any thoughts or fears or ponderings about death, either the small deaths we experience every day, or the larger death of ourselves as we know ourself. Rather, a transformation that occurs from the me I am now, to the me of ashes and minerals cast in the wind.
Last photo is of my son and my mom.