Lessons In Living

This picture is tragic, and yet, inspirational.

What you may see is just a chest of drawers and a few items. What I see is my beloved Grandma Flo’s physical life reduced to a handful of possessions, in the corner of a nursing home, as she prepares to die.

My grandma is transitioning from this world to the next. Maybe it will happen in a day or a few weeks, but her journey into death, and onto her next chapter, is immanent. And it’s a blessing.

At 95 her body no longer serves her. In fact, it enslaves her. Grandma Flo has the most joyous spirit of anyone I have ever known. She was put here in this life, and into my life, to illuminate through the joy of song, dance and service to anyone, and everyone, in her midst.

The tragedy is not that she is dying. It is that she can no longer sing, no longer dance, and no longer serve in a capacity that she longs to, and deserves to - though she still serves us in so many ways. Whereas my father chose to leave this world in darkness, my maternal grandmother is doing the exact opposite: she is hanging on, fighting to remain here, not for her - but for us - to teach us that there is another way, a better way, than succumbing to the darkness. A lesson in living.

No matter what life has inflicted upon this woman - every step of the way she chose to continue to sing, to continue to dance, and to continue to serve in joy and in love. Even in her dying, there is still dancing in her eyes. In her fading away there is still song (literally) whispering across her lips. And in her leaving, with the last ounce of strength she possesses, she offers words of blessing, to those by her side. Her final words to me before I left her for the last time, words she has said over and over through the way she has lived, were, “I adore you.” Having lost my father to the darkness of suicide, without a blessing, without a goodbye, without even a personal note - I simply can not describe to you the power, the gift, and the blessing of those words. (DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOUR FINAL WORDS - OR LACK THERE OF - TO YOUR LOVED ONES BEFORE THEY LEAVE. We all need to be blessed by those whom we love. To offer someone this gift before we leave (verbally, written, recorded....) is priceless beyond measure).

So, now, as you can see from this picture, neither a houseful of possessions, nor a bank account of cash, will be our inheritance from Grandma Flo. What we have received is infinitely more valuable, treasured and enduring. What she has bestowed upon us is an example of what is possible in this lifetime. Grandma Flo isn’t just teaching us how to die, rather she is demonstrating to us how to live - to live in service, to live in joy, to live in love, to live - no matter what life brings you - in light and to share that light fully, freely and fiercely. That my friends is my grandma. That is my example of a Spark Seeker. That is who I will spend the remainder of my years here remembering, emulating and striving towards. That is who I want to be, both in my dying, but more importantly in my life. 

Thank you Grandma Flo. I adore you more than these words, or any words, can convey.

Now we bless you to go as your service here is complete. It's time for you to be free. To go and dance. To go and sing. To go in joy. To go in peace.

Your grandson,
Baruch