Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ritual Space (day 42)

Hello, everyone.

What a full day for all of us. The outer world, in the form of my computer, got really busy, and the inner world, in the form of Nancy's room in the ICU, and perhaps Nancy herself, is getting more quiet and grounded.

On the outside, we've had an incredible flurry of email, phone calls, text outpouring of support and shock and prayer and energy that is really amazing. At 7pm tonight we had our first prayer circle, and Nancy's brother Jim happened to get to her room just before hand. So we broke even more rules, and both stayed in the room during the nursing shift change. The lights were down, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra (a Hindu prayer for healing) played softly, and the three of us opened and connected as many of you joined us and set your prayers in motion. About half-way through, Nancy had a little breathing distress, we got some help, then held our connection and intention to the end. Jim wrapped it up with a prayer to Jesus. Just lovely. Tomorrow night is the big one, with at least a couple of hundred people participating. I feel grateful for and honored by your collective generosity.

On the inside, I'm watching Nancy go somewhere profound. We're not talking, as she isn't saying much. It's as though she is resting into herself, not needed a lot from me or anyone else, except for us to help keep her comfortable. There was a steady stream of visitors today, and for the most part, Nancy didn't try to talk, often just dozed. I'm trying to just be in service, holding my own need to connect with my wife or express what I'm feeling, and doing my best to create sacred space for her. One dear friend brought a thangka of Chen Rezig this morning, a welcome and beautiful addition to the room. There are more altar objects and a lovely hand-drawn card. I've put together a collection of healing mantras and meditation music that is playing in her room tonight, while another friend stays and keeps her company. Even as I get to live in our temple at home, lighting candles as usual, Nancy is held by her own ritual space and all of our prayers.

Medically, she is much the same. She's running a mild fever, breathing with minimal assistance for most of the day, more assistance at night. Vital signs are fine. Her pain medication is effective, and she's alert and responsive when she wants to be, and inside of herself with her eyes closed otherwise. Her ICU doctor this week is a woman of considerable capacity and compassion, and I feel like the resource I need are showing up, the places I need to go are being signposted. Thank you, all of you who have offered wisdom today. And thank you for dinner, which showed up like a late night miracle :-)


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