Monday, October 23, 2006

Life after Life

When my father died 5 1/2 years ago, the passage for this world to the next seemed relatively simple. Dad was sick. Hospice cared for dad. Dad died. The time leading up to the funeral followed a step by step path. But now, with mom, it feels so different.

Mom had a stroke. Mom recovered and then declined over a 2 1/2 year period. Her loss came in bits and pieces and as she adjusted to the limitations of her life and as we developed a language that brought a degree of communication, I somehow came to believe that with care, good food, and a safe environment, she might actually live a very long life. But more and more, mom voiced her desire to be with dad; her readiness to leave this life. Then on July 10th mom tripped.

Even now, three months after that fateful fall, I find it hard to understand how a trip and an injured foot could lead me to this moment, sitting here writing and reflecting on the business of life after life. That trip taught me that with age, life truly becomes vulnerable to the smallest things.

There is much that has been reflected upon and much that still needs thinking about but the most interesting detail of life after life was discovering that mom's life suddenly became bookended by two songs.

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