... When I am wiser and I'm older". This Aloe Blacc song came on the radio as I sat in my car in front of the grocery store. I had decided to venture out for an 8p.m. grocery run in an effort to evade peak-time shoppers. It was supposed to be easy, quick, and painless. The 4 minute drive to the store on an empty neighborhood road was easy enough, but there I sat in the parking lot, without my purse. No money. No progress. All roads lead home empty handed. I normally would laugh this off and gladly start over, but life is anything but normal right now. This small oversight broke me. I began to cry. A realization flooded in on how hard I have been working to keep it all together, to be "normal". Taking in daily content of the World's suffering with a "digest and carry on" attitude. Shortly before I left the house I witnessed a loved one receive news that a family member tested positive for COVID-19. This was the 4th direct impact of the virus witnessed within my family/friend sphere... one of which sadly did not end in recovery. I cried knowing "this is just the beginning". How many of us will see the virus reach loved ones, and possibly ourselves... and that it may not end with recovery. I cry because my heart is breaking for humanity, especially the Western world, who is highly unprepared for processing the universal reality of death. We don't want to think, talk, or plan for it. The truth is that this pandemic is going to force the hand of many people to face the reality of near death illness, and death itself, within their communities sooner than later. I have been a witness of death and serious illness for most of my life. Grief and I have been dancing partners for 36 years. Though my experience is nothing to brag about, it has given me the gift of a steady hand and presence in the face of these painful circumstances. I am able to bring a stillness within the storm. Three years ago, I sat bedside with my grandfather dying from end stage Alzheimer's. I made an agreement with myself that I didn't want to run away from death and to somehow support those experiencing end of life and their grieving loved ones. I didn't know what to call this "role" of service, but a year later I discovered the path of an End of Life Doula. To be a shepherd in walking people home. To be a loving presence and guide through the fear, struggle, uncertainty, curiosity... whatever surrounds their experience.
In the words of Aloe Blacc, "Feeling my way through the darkness. Guided by a beating heart. I can't tell where the journey will end. But I know where to start." You don't have to walk a lonely road alone. I am just a phone call away. Get in touch now.