Friday, May 21, 2010

With a Spoon

Sitting in a chair, eyes closed, I am supposed to be dying. I only have a few more days to live, and can no longer speak because of the lesions in my mouth. I have also lost my vision, and I am too weak to lift my arms. A woman introduces herself. She appears to know me, but I can't remember if I met her before. Her gentle voice feels good. "Today is a beautiful Spring day. The sun is out, and the flowers are in full bloom. Would you like to eat? Some strawberries and cream?" I am not really hungry, but  I figure why not . . .  

"Are you ready?" I nod yes. "Here it comes, open your mouth". Hard metal spoon, cream softness, and big chunks make their way in, all at once, against parting lips and tongue. Still working mind makes association with memory of cold speculum entering body during gynecological exam. I find I am really not hungry. Nevertheless, I manage to slide down the whole slew. My heart wells up with sadness and frustration. I am feeling incredibly tired. "Do you want some more?" My face says no. Woman offers to hold my hand.  That I will take.

Another powerful role play at Zen Hospice.

So many things I take for granted. Like the capacity to pick my own spoon, and the food I want to eat. Or being able to feed myself, when I want, and where I want. I am feeling so incredibly grateful!


  1. Beautiful, thank you so so much.

  2. Thank you! I must say I rather enjoy your bog also, and the accounts of your life with your young daughter.

    With much metta to you and her :)

  3. I was not able to eat or speak for months, still on a tube.

    One night I cooked for my brother and partner trying to prove my independence and leaning to look at the fish in the oven...I broke down internally because I needed them really, and rose up with shining eyes of determination and a bit of humor. Gradually, I learned that I would never be where I am today without others, we are never independent.

  4. Oh! yes, how true . . . you are just more in touch with real nature of things than most.

    May you continue to dwell in mindfulness, and wisdom.

  5. Marguerite, thank you for speaking about gratefulness for the "little" things that make up our everyday life. I too volunteer at a hospice and a cancer clinic and find the work incredibly enriching. peter (

  6. Thank you Peter, for the work you do!

    Amazing how it takes experiencing life without, to start feeling gratitude for all we take so much for granted . . .