Saturday, December 17, 2011

On love and sadness (day 52)

Good evening from Nancy's bedside, where three of us just finished our prayer circle. Tonight I played another Anugama piece, followed by "Chen Rezig" from Gabrielle Roth's Refuge album.

I did bring a hand-made throw for her bed today, some cute socks with a chili pepper pattern, and some silk cloth to dress her. She was happy with the socks and throw, not ready for silk. And tonight her sister Janet brought lavender spray and aromatherapy oil. So the temple has some sensory delights tonight.

It's been a quiet "couples" day, as there have been no single visitors. Two friends from our couples' workshop last year came this morning for several hours, and Nancy's boss/partner from Millican-Jones and her husband are here tonight to stay all night. Nancy and I had the whole afternoon to ourselves, and my experience ranged from stillness through waves of feeling. We didn't talk much, but we did spend some time connecting, even crying together a bit. I have to say, it's really hard to hold a person who cannot move, and is in a hospital bed.

This afternoon had a tinge of sadness to it, as we just sat and looked at each other. She isn't saying much, but she was awake all day, thoughtful, sometimes with a furrowed brow, sometimes with a sad look. On my side, I am painfully aware of having to let her go, when she is ready, while still holding space for a miracle. The timing is all a big mystery, and I really don't know where she is in her process. So I can only be present, and feel what I feel.

I've had several conversations over the last two days about how powerful this whole journey is for all of us, as a collective group. There are now 160 people on this list. Several have told me how they wait each night for my update, and I feel compelled to write one each night. I get compliments on my writing, which I appreciate of course. But there is something deeper, and I wonder what it is that compels us all.

For me, well, I'm facing the loss of my beloved, the woman I chose. For all of you, she's your friend, your sister, your co-worker, your coach. There is something about Nancy that is spirited, beautiful, engaging. An awful lot of us love her, in all our different ways. The irony is that it's always been hard for her to receive, we've talked many times about how she wrestles with feeling loved.

She is perhaps the most loved, unlovable woman I've ever known. Maybe that resonates us beyond our personal feelings of loss and tragedy and love.


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