In answer to a question put to him by a follower on his website, Nick Cave answered her question about the lapping circles of loss when a loved one dies with these beautiful words:
” I think this feeling you describe, of alertness to the inner-spirit of things — this humming — comes from a hard-earned understanding of the impermanence of things and, indeed, our own impermanence. This lesson ultimately animates and illuminates our lives. We become witnesses to the thrilling emergency of the present — a series of exquisite and burning moments, each extinguished as the next arises. These magical moments are the bright jewels of loss to which we cling.” (the redhandfiles.com)
I have just read the tender words of my dear friend, Bill who wrote his update on his wife’s journey with cancer. His clarity and courage brought my tears and gratitude for his integrity on a journey he never wanted to take. Now there are no more treatment options and the plan to bring her home today and begin hospice for her final days is clear. And his acceptance begins.
After reading his entry on the Caring Bridge website, I was called to the door by a friend, and as I stepped out into the morning sunlight, a sparrow hit the kitchen window beside me and fell stunned to the deck a few feet from my door. I groaned with the sadness of watching it suffer, and wavered in my wanting to bend down and help it or let it be. Another sparrow landed at the foot of the stairs to the deck, waiting. My neighbor and I stood and held our breath for a few moments, staying still. And then suddenly it revived itself, shook its head and flew into the branches of the birch tree nearby. I noticed the leaves of the tree were each illuminated by the morning sun, so that they were shining, illuminated, iridescent. As Nick Cave said so brilliantly, I was a witness “to the thrilling emergency of the present.”
This now is my fervent intention, my desire to infiltrate my way of being– as each day becomes a vigil for my friend, my Anam Cara, my Kasama, my soul sister of 36 years. I will honor her by being witness to the bright jewels of loss that will wake me to the wonder of this life, this impermanent life. I will cherish what comes, the way of the shining in the dark that pervades, the lilt of love that embroiders my encounters, that holds my gentle exquisite tears. Tears themselves small jewels as they gather and fall.
Her dying shakes me awake, though I lie stunned…
in that thrilling emergency…