Exercises in Letting go

What are you attached to?  Are you attached to things being a certain way? Your way?  The way they have always been?  My father became quite distraught when my sister put frozen berries on his icecream shelf in the freezer.  My daughter will only eat one kind of cereal, and has fits if I call her crocs, “shoes”.  My son came unglued when we had to reschedule a playdate, and my husband took a minute to adjust to me leaving for two weeks to care for my dying mother.  I had to accept that we were not going on our long anticipated road trip, and that this was it for my mom in this world.  So many lessons over the past month. 

Let go, Let God, Let life take its course.  This was never so poigniantly driven home as while sitting by my mothers bedside in her last days.  We all wished for her to be able to go, to let go soon, it did not look comfortable, and we all had ideas about how we hoped it would be when she went. But it went like it went, and we all had to let go on varying levels.  Let go of what prayers were said, who woud visit, when she would take her last breath, whether my brother would come or not, (and when), what my aunts role would be in providing care, whether we would be asleep or not when she passed, whether I even would be there with her,or at my home taking a quick break and catching up with my kids.  At first we were all white knucking it, staying by her bedside, waiting and holding our breath everytime she moved, or took a fast or slower breath, or heaven help us, if she coughed, choked or gargled.  As time went on (12 days) we relaxed into the reality of hospice care, the waiting, the steps the body takes to shut down, all in good time, at her pace, not ours.  I have not experienced such a sense of acceptance and peace in a very long time.  (It helped that I was on 40 acres of oak savannah, with no kids, dog or husband to attend to, during the most beautiful of summer days, in the peak of blackberry season.)  

The dying process is much like the birth process.  My cousin just gave birth to her first child, ironically on what would have been my mothers 79th birthday.  So I am feeling completely immersed in the circle of life this week.  Communicating with her through out 20 hours of labor, and shortly after the birth,  took me right back to my babies deliveries.  I recall the letting go, the acceptance that helped through my labor and delivery process.  Letting go of our natural birth plan, letting go of having just the right music playing, or of a certain midwife being present to deliver the baby. 

Let go Let God, Let life take its course.  From birth to death, we all could benefit from observing our attachments and practicing letting go!  Try that old favorite of mine, The Serenity Prayer! 

“Grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I can not change, the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference”

have a blessed day, Rachel


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