I witnessed a friend’s last breath on Saturday. It wasn’t planned. It just happened that way. It was the first time I had been a part of such an intimate and final moment in someone’s life.
I have experienced the loss of loved ones. But this was upfront, close and very personal. It felt wrong in a way, and right in some many others ways. On the one hand, I felt I was infringing on a private moment while at the same time I was playing a vital role in supporting those who needed me nearby, to be there in this heart wrenching space.
It was brief. About fifteen minutes lapsed from the moment the tubes were removed to his final gasp and the emotional breath subsequently that pushed through his wife’s throat as she held his hand.
And then, it was over.
A few short moments later, another friend in the room starts talking about food for the funeral. That felt very odd. Taking care of business. Cold. It’s how some cope. I suppose that’s ok too.
My mother and I left shortly thereafter, to give our friend and her husband now passed on- some needed privacy. Time together to take in this moment. To try to understand it. Our friend was ashen, her look conveyed complete disbelief as her niece cradled her in comfort.
It took me a few days to wrap my head around it. I am still processing it.
One thing that becomes clear to me is the focus on positive energy.
There is so much negative in our world. So many moments fraught with distress. Politics. War. Anger. Fear.
Our friend died from the ravages of lung cancer. This horrific infection that consumes everything in its path. When discovered, it was too far along. Treatments offered little hope. He only had a few months before this moment.
More than ever, I am questioning everything. What am I doing? Why?
What I love to do is shelved in favor of what I am required to do – to make money.
I wait and hope that I will have more time later.
In the blink of an eye, it’s gone.
A new commitment to make the time in my life to honor and cherish that which brings me joy, peace, hope and a sense of purpose. That’s the message from which I come out of this weekend. Don’t wait. Just don’t wait. Make it happen now.
The Rio Olympics play in the background of our evenings now. Those Olympians from all around the world echo the message. Do it now. Grab hold of your dream and allow your mind to free itself from its constraints. Make time. Focus. Push through to that next lap, that next jump, that flip and that spin. If you fall, get back up and try it again. Don’t ever give up. Now is the time. No waiting. No regrets