My cousin Michael wrote to me and reminded me of my last posting on this blog. He thought it was a preparation. The blog was dated January 1st of this year 2011. In it, I welcomed the new year and wrote:
"We are alive, now. Next year at this time we may or may not be. Right now, we have all the conditions we need to welcome this day and be grateful for it. To look at the people in our lives, really see them, and say, "I am here for you." I am here. I am. What a wondrous awareness to accept this blessing of life. Yes, it is 2011 already! Welcome to the new day, the new year."
In the months between then and now, that has been my practice. Waking up, I have directed my attention to be thankful each day for the gift of 24 brand new hours and for the gift of my loving husband Tom. How fortunate I have been to live with this awareness.
Exactly three weeks ago tonight, on July 9th, 2011, we were in Chicago to attend the wedding of his brother's son. On a beautiful balmy night, in an atmosphere of joy and celebration, surrounded by family and dancing with Tom, I had the thought "I am perfectly happy." Moments later, Tom collapsed on the floor. In less than two hours, he died in an emergency room of a massive heart attack.
The past three weeks have been filled with one intense experience after another: the grief reaction of the body, the outpouring of support and compassion, the stories recounting small acts of kindness and the realization of what a huge impact even a small act of kindness can have, the opportunity to learn from the past, the ever present choice to move forward on the path of regret or of gratitude. Above all, the love.
Everything I've spent years learning is now being put to the test. Once again, I am turning to this blog as a way of sorting through my own experience and sharing with anyone who chooses to benefit. I continue to believe that we are all connected, that we are more similar than different, that what I have taken from my experience may speak not only for me, but perhaps for you too. Please feel free to share your comments so that others may benefit.