Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hard Exit

48 years old,
and metastatic uterine cancer.
I saw her,
slumped over the sliding table,
a towel under her head,
and a pillow by her side.
The oxygen tube wasn't doing its job
and she was gasping for air.
Taking a seat next to her,
there was just breath,
hers, painfully labored, and mine,
almost guilty from too much ease.
Rubbing her back, softly,
felt like the right thing to do.
Death was taking its time,
and I wondered why?


  1. Margurite,

    Deep bows for these words that strike my heart. I am most appreciative your eloquence.


  2. Touch her as much as she likes, it draws the fear out of her.

  3. Thank you for your innate empathy! Once i decided to clean houses for the impaired free of charge. My first job i was cleaning and the the lady was bald from the therapy. She asked "Why are you doing this?" I said, "i had free time, and i was a new Buddhist and wanted to do service for others." She got so excited i thought i might have encoutered a a fundementalist Christian who thought I was Satan's servant. But just the reverse happened. She was excited because she had come 1000 miles for this therapy and back home she was involved with a Buddhist group. From that time on we became good friends and I watched her get worse, until she finally made the decision to go back home to die, and the young age of 36. Heartbreaking, and worth every minute of being with her.

  4. Seiho, your appreciation touches me as always. May you be well. I will head over to your blog after morning sitting meditation :)

  5. Was Once, yes, that is what I felt, that touch was the only way left to actually support her in her difficult transition.

    Thank you for your kind encouragement :) And may you be well also.

  6. Anonymous one, thank you so much for sharing your story. Funny you bring this up, actually. Yesterday, at Zen Hospice, I was very much inspired from watching the housekeeper there go about her job, quietly, and with such ease, and love.