From the Mind Deep Blog by Marguerite Manteau-Rao :
“Body wasting away, and down to a mere ninety pounds. Mind no longer to be trusted for remembering the simple things. Wife of sixty years at home and also wasting away, although in a different way. Family visiting, some times. The reality is Mr. Wang does not have much to live for, anymore.”
As a social worker and hospice worker, Marguerite spends a lot of time with elderly folks who are sharing their final days of life with her.
First of all, I always find this such amazingly compassionate and loving action, and wonder how I would fare doing the same work.
But today I want to address the reality of what Marguerite witnesses with these people. I can see by her writing how much suffering and often despair exists when we face end of life. And I have certainly witnessed this up close and personally when my Mother died.
I wonder how I will be when I face this same reality that we are destined to experience. Will I smile at the suffering as I am now sometimes able to do? Will I gladly welcome the separation of Family and friends? Will I have the awareness of having come into this World alone, that I too will leave this World alone?
Perhaps this all sounds far too depressing for many of you to read. But let me ask you, is it better to consider this and prepare now or be unprepared when that time comes.
For me, I feel it is better to embrace the reality of decay and impermanence now so it will be one that I gladly accept when the time comes.
If my practice is about nothing else, it certainly is one that teaches me impermanence and accepting reality. And I truly do not find this depressing at all. What would this moment be if not for impermanence? Each day, each moment would be the same. Would any of us really want that? Would you really want to live forever?
I know, most of you would not want to live forever, but you also do not want to wither and suffer.
But since this is a most likely scenario, why not accept this and embrace it? See that today and this moment are a gift. This must be why it is called the present!
Each of us has choices on how we proceed with our journey, and what we each choose to accept or ignore.
For me, I see that I can no more change the past then I can prevent the future. Today simply is what it is.
With loving determination of compassion for the self and others, I aspire to one day display this at my end. And may my love live on in others, as the love of those who’ve past continues to live on in me.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.