Celebrate Life!

Celebrate Life!

In memory of Dawn

Celebrate Life!

On New Year’s eve day I called a friend I had not seen in a few months, and learned she was in hospital, dealing with 4th stage cancer. Fourth stage means that the cancer has moved elsewhere, beyond it’s origin. Her liver was the largest problem; it was not doing a good job purifying the blood of toxins. The day I arrived she had enough energy to occasionally sit-up on her own , smile, and hug. But the disease had progressed fast. At 46 she looked 80, her skin was jaundiced and drooping.

New Year’s eve dinner was a salad in the hospital, sitting near her, and it was one of the greatest gifts of the year. She sat-up with anticipation when her dinner arrived, but somehow she could not eat very much. Drinking was a challenge; she’d often drop the cup. We had a few short jokes, a line or two. None of this was planned, and seeing her I wanted to stay until the next day, but I could not find a way. I had to return to a dog I was sitting so it could eat and do its business outside.

This triggered a deja-vu. A memory surfaced of Dad’s passing and of how old mind presented itself, “My Dad just died, how can the world keep going?!” It was a reminder, that although we apparently are born and die, it’s just more of the same, it is life going on, and we take care, we do whatever we need to do to take care of the moment, however it presents itself.

(I remember a similar suffering when watching a horrific execution online, which I stumbled upon. It so disturbed me–or, I so disturbed me–that in excruciating pain, I wrote a poem about it. ) Suffering says, “the world must stop, because this can’t be.” Yet it is. And the world does not stop. No matter how you wish, no matter how much you suffer “about” it, what is, is. Suffering does not change anything. It never has, it never will. If there is a problem, then suffering itself is it. Life and how it arises, dwells, and decays and renews itself is not a problem.

A few days went by, and I visited every day I could. She would eat, then rest, and wake-up, surprised to still see me there. A few words, not really sentences, here and there. None was needed. Mostly I sat in silence, looking at her, and there was only a deep peace. We visited in stillness. And love. A knowing arose that who she was is not the body. That she is beyond the body, immutable, indestructible–eternal. The more the body faded, the more this ‘brilliance’ shone through to me; a very powerful sense of love and connection flowed through my body, and beyond.

Each day after, the body fell further and further away. And it, and she, was beautiful.

She could no longer sit-up on her own. I appreciated how matter-of-factly she was in each moment and with how much grace she bore her pain and inabilities, her dependence on others. And yet she also remained self-reliant, doing as much as she could herself. I massaged her swollen ankles and legs, and later her back, which was in pain from laying down so long. Eventually she mostly slept. Even as the family made plans to move her into a hospice, there were murmurs in the hospital that she might not last to the next weekend. I know there have been “miracles” at fourth stage cancer, and so I never took to heart anything anyone said…it was just pure moment-to-moment experience for me, and her, with love.

In the short time that I knew her (under a year), her passion for people and her exuberance for life was obvious. She truly lived unlimited. In this day of almost instant communication through various means, it was no surprise that I got the news of her birth, or re-birth, into spirit via Facebook as I was leaving for the hospital.

“Our beautiful friend is at peace now.”

Like another friend’s news of passing which came through email, I stared at it for a timeless moment as the news sunk in. Then I was still, waiting to see if sadness or something would arise. There was a deep …connection, and like before, wonderful love welled-up. She was here.

The responses rolled-in on Facebook; it was an amazing celebration in itself with people posting photos of her, their gratitude and appreciation, love and concern for her family, and the humorous remarks, true to my friend’s style:

“…will always remember her laughing and telling me the story of when she spoke to her doctor and said with much glee–“I’m not afraid of dying darling!” She was one plucky -not a word I use much, but very apt for that lady!”

After remembering through others, and celebrating on Facebook, I went into the kitchen, contemplating this phenomena of life going on, of birth and death being what life does. And right at that moment, very loudly, very clearly came, “Celebrate Life!”

It was her voice.

It meant my life, here and now. And her “death”.

Yes, that is what we did together, and with death being another door of life, that is what we were doing. That is what I did in the kitchen. That is what I continue to do when I think of her, or see her, or feel her, or hear her in my head. “Celebrate Life, darling!” Celebrate your life–and death itself–which is part of life; because without death, there is no life.

Thanks Eileen… :-). It is up…here it is… awakeningjoy .ca/wp .Peace, Cindy

Comments 11

  1. Hello Cindy i haven’t written in here for awhile. I wanted to tell you my thoughts are with Dawn everyday, especially today. I had to laugh at myself today, when remembering, sometimes we would start our day by buying a coffee which we loved to do and then we would set out for a walk. The wind would be blowing through the trees and she said they are sending us a message, Wendy. Then she go over and hug tree and give thanks. There were also times that it was so cold for her because of the medication that she was taking, so we then would sit in the car and we just chat. She would cry telling me how she felt and in return i would hug her. Then she would get angry and say, “why is this happening to me”. Then I would reply “you told your students Dawn that the creator has a file on all of us and he has plans for all of us”, she then would laugh, your right. As I was putting her books in the bookcase i had this memory I would like to share with you. The things that she cherished so much were her books on everything you can imagine from animal symbols, sprituality, crystal books and there properties. I’ve have taken over ther books and placed them Dawn’s book case that she had. When I was doing this, I got this warm feeling all around me today while i placed them in her bookcase. I new she was proud of me that someone is taking care of her belongings. Missing my bestest friend dearly

  2. Wendy–(((shivers))) reading this… What a wonderful way to celebrate Dawn and life! I will also make an angel. Happy Anniversary!! Peace and joy, Cindy

  3. Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for visiting. Yes, indeed she is still here. It is so wonderful to see all the love from all the people. What a gift she was and is!

  4. Today i was thinking of Dawn also when i walking through the park. Dawn and I always stopped to hug a tree…a tree of strength, I chuckled to myself of the quality times we spent together as friends in the winter time also. Then i heard a whisper in my ear, do a snow angel, i knew she was there. To my right was an untouch area of snow, down I went and I did a snow angel for her. As i was trying to get up this guy was watching me and I said try it sometime and went on my way laughing. Then there was this song in my head sung by John Lennon, “Let it be”, I can’t get it out of head this was a message for me from Dawn, she knew my situation in my life because today was a celebration of my anniversary. Yes 33 years and spent it by myself, Dawn usually comes over or sends me a card. How do i miss my best friend. I say cheers to the wonderful times together and stories to tell. From the woman. Wendy Forbes

  5. I miss Dawn sooo much! Her contagious laugh, her upbeat attitude, her joy of life. I’ve been thinking of her a lot lately…so I know that she is still watching over us all.

  6. Wow, thank-you Wendy for giving me an even bigger picture of her sacred existence here. You are fulfilling a wish: that I knew her better. Everything “fits”… and yes, I can hear that “woman” voice hehehe. Blessings, continue to enjoy her.

  7. Cindy I want to thank you for writing this story about Dawn and her last days on earth. Me and my husband read the story together, we couldn’t hold back the tears of happiness that you were a true angel by her side. Knowing her for 13 years, it was an honor because she was always there for me. She was my best friend and I always could depend on her in time of need. She used to call me woman. There were many times when going down to the beach (Port Borwell) we would sing out loud in the car we would lose our voices. Amazing grace was our favorite song, it would lift up the vibration. When we got to the beach we would have a few puffs of the wacky tobacky….and laugh all the way down to the nudist beach. I almost lost her one time when she drifted off out sea. She feel asleep on her raft. I swam out to get her and pull her in. She had that funny laugh. We would share crystals and she taught me their properties. Meditation was always in order before we started our day at the beach. The messages we got from spirit were amazing. Then when coming back home from the beach we would get lost and say who cares. That laugh. These are just a few things I like to share that were happy times with her. She never forgot a birthday. She saw my daughter get married and my son graduate. Oh ya neighbourhood parties and she would get out the message about spirituality to my friends, nothing stopped her. Again thank you Cindy for being her friend. Hugs Wendy Forbes

  8. Hello Eileen,
    Thanks for visiting and reading. That is the brilliant truth of what happened, and there is more to the story; when you login you can read the rest…it gets better.

  9. Cindy, that’s a wonderful story especially the last line, “The more the body faded, the more this ‘brilliance’ shone through to me…” That is so beautiful. She most certainly had a brilliance well beyond that flaming red hair.

  10. Hello Kiesha,
    Thanks for dropping in, reading, and sharing. I have found that we can actually still feel those who have passed, so we need never miss them. We created that feeling when they were here, and we can create it and connect again. That may be what they prefer. Hoping you continue to celebrate your grandmother in this way.

  11. Thank you for sharing this touching story. I can empathize with that “world should stop” – “how are the birds still chirping” feeling. I think it’s only that we feel that way initially, but I’m so grateful that God eventually gives us peace.
    I lost my grandmother to cancer last January, and even though it still feels weird that she’s not around, I have that peace that reminds me to go on and keep living because that’s what she’d want.

    Kiesha @Highly Favored

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