I’ve been mulling through ideas for blog posts in my head all day….there are a million of them and new ones that pop in every moment. It’s exciting but also at times daunting. I’ve been in meetings and appointments all morning and I was ready to get home, slip my feet in to warm slippers and plunk down to write. I’d pretty much decided on which idea to pursue for the day. I was thinking to myself on the way home about how accompanying or sitting with the dying is a skill much like meditation. In it’s most powerful form it requires a person to be fully present in the moment, holding the sacred space with someone preparing to pass, allowing distraction and discomfort to float by and melt away without pulling them away from that moment of being fully present.
As I sat down at my computer I was immediately greeted by a message from a colleague who does similar work. I hit play on the video and as the music began I felt moved to close my eyes. I sat, listening only and allowing thoughts to run through my head. As each one flew past I acknowledged them, felt them and gently blew each one aside and returned to the music. I’m generally pretty lousy at meditation, but it’s something I’ve been working at, and in the moment I found that calm centered space I was looking for. Sacred Space (I will be writing more about this concept in an upcoming blog). I opened my eyes and restarted the video, this time completely focused on the words as they scrolled past.
You can view the video here or read the poem below:
MESSAGE FROM A DYING FRIEND: I don’t want your answers, your good advice. I don’t want your theories about ‘why’ or ‘how’. I don’t need your pity. Your attempts to make me feel better only make me feel worse. I am human, just like you, and crave realness.Just be present with me. Listen. Give me space. Hold my trembling hand, sometimes. Your attention is so precious to me. Your being speaks volumes.If you feel uncomfortable, don’t be ashamed. If you don’t know what to say to me, that’s okay; I feel that way too, sometimes. If you feel disgusted, angry, uncertain, fearful, that’s okay, I love you for it. You are human, too.Put your textbook learning to one side now. Don’t try to have ‘unconditional positive regard’; it feels so false to me. Forget ’empathy’ – I want you to come closer than that. See, I am you, in disguise. These are your broken bones, your shallow breaths, your twisted limbs. I am your mirror; you are seeing yourself.Don’t try to be strong for me. I am not a victim. Fall apart, if you must. Weep, if you need to weep. Mourn those shattered dreams, those lost futures. Let the past slip away too. Meet me here, now, in the fire of presence, with the fullness of your being. I speak in an ancient language now. I want you to be a witness. – Jeff Foster
Posted by Jeff Foster (www.lifewithoutacentre.com) on Saturday, November 28, 2015
First, I thank Jeff Foster for sharing this work and many others. He does some amazing things and is definitely worth taking a look at if you found this resonated with you. You can view him on Facebook or on his website.
I will share my feelings on this piece in time, but for now, I’d like to know what it brings up in you, how it makes you feel, what it makes you think about. I’m interested to hear your responses so please share by leaving a comment.