Weekly reflections for those who tend to the dying
Friday, March 13, 2015
Lake Michigan Frozen
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Walking by the banks of the great inland sea, away from the ramblings of lives in motion. To the right birch trees stand white and bear the bones of the earth jetting out in endless reaching. To the left the frozen waves, the stilled motion of the breakers held perpetually in a moment, clawing against the chaos. In the suspended instant, the world dances, spinning and struggling in since time immortal. A husband and wife, after sixty years of marriage, begin a new ritual of holding each other’s hands through the dark. They hope the grasp will keep the specter of death at bay during the night. A son throws himself on the body of his mother as life slips from her, holding her against the ceaseless pull of the inevitable. A mother returns to the hospital in the middle of the night hoping to hold the child who only took a single breath in this world. She holds the child, feeling for what life may be left in the tiny frame. Each holding on to a moment, each clawing against the chaos. To be human is to light and tend a candle in the ceaseless storm, to hold on to smoke, to make a moment stretch on forever. There is beauty uncomprehended in that hope and love without end. So if in the course of today or tomorrow you should come upon the dying or those tending to them and should you have the time, hold their hands, remain by their sides as they claw against the chaos. In doing so, you will be privy to true humanity and a precious frozen beauty.