What is my job now?

 Déva, Bernadette & Whiskers

Déva, Bernadette & Whiskers

Our son’s death was a difficult one. A room full of machines with tubes entering so many parts of his small body. He’d been diagnosed at two years old -- after many brain surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy – with only two weeks to live. So why, 12 years later, were we so unprepared to let go? Over those years we had looked death in the face so many times but still did not have the strength (or support) to understand how to prepare for anything but the next surgery. His last few days in the ICU, I remember trying to hold the oxygen mask onto his little face. It hurt and he continually pushed it away. Through my tears, I continually pushed the painful apparatus back. It was my job to keep him alive. Could he have gone home months earlier to be with his sister, his cat, and his loving family? Death came to Déva, as it will come to us all. What is my job now? To invite us to hold close the face of our mortality, so that we become skilled, familiar and better prepared to accept when it is time for our journey to end. To invite us to have the courage to imagine and prepare for how we’d like to achieve the fulfillment of our work here. To explore and practice befriending death as the sacred and beautiful mystery of life into which we all eventually surrender. Déva was a shining one. The gift of his death to me is the light that never dies.   -- Mary Ann, Déva's mom