Under a canopy of green with blue blue summer sky beyond, I am raising a baby robin that fell from a cottonwood in my mom’s back yard. Mom couldn’t go to sleep that night until she named her “June bird” as this was in the month of June, baby birds abundant above us. This precious robin brought amazement, joy and connection to our lives as we cared for our mom in hospice in her home. June Bird bonded with mom in the most amazing way. Eventually flying to land on her chest and remain there in quietude with her. June hung out for hours with mom in her hospital bed in the bright sunny corner that is her special place where the world now comes to her. She grew and began to hop hop around and a chirp chirp here and there as she learned to eat worms and explore the green lawn and shrubbery in our safely fenced yard. June was our midwife for a few weeks in this long, or what seems long, birthing process as my mother finds her way towards and through the “Door way into light”.
Still, even I, who is hospice trained and have received many teachings in the Tibetan traditions, training for the time of death and beyond, still I try to find a way around just saying my mom is going to be Dead. Her body will be empty, never to be animated with us again in this lifetime. Yes it is true. Perhaps part of my searching through semantics is to reframe what death is for us. I do like the imagery of “Doorway into light”. We have many resources at present to support this transformation with in our society. www.DoorwayIntoLight.org is one of them. Founded by my dear friends Leilah and Bodhi Be and Ram Das, their home center is on the island of Maui. May we have the courage, curiosity, and compassion to reach for support and educate ourselves about our options at the time of death, just as we have done with the home birth movement that defined the parenting culture for many of us. Please visit this site and rejoice with us as we continue to embrace our humanity and our community, creating sacred space for all the doorways; birth, puberty, marriage, death…… transformation of any kind.
I am being transformed by the grace my mother displays every day. Her good humor (laughter everyday is her preferred medication) confidence and god given patience as she awaits her ride is showing us the way, our own death inevitable and incalculable. June bird was just one of the magical chapters in this vulnerable, profound and beautiful journey with my family. I am grateful and honored to be a member of an amazing, crazy, unique family. Homage to the Wood River Hospice for your constant perfect support and homage to you Lowie mom, and to each of my siblings. Xxoo I crazy love each one of you.