Monday, April 2, 2007

Circle of Life

Instead of attending the annual Midwifery Today Conference in Eugene, Oregon I trekked across the midwest to attend my grandfather's funeral. We knew this might happen since he had spent the last few weeks in the hospital; but it came as a surprise when I heard the news. I had spoken to him a week earlier and he sounded really good. He talked about coming out to visit us and how he missed my kids. That was a sweet conversation that I will always remember and cherish.
Growing up with he and my grandmother I was a priveleged granddaughter. They took me all over the US on trips and I spent the night at their house almost every weekend. They treated me like a queen and spent so much time teaching me and helping me to grow into who I am today. I feel so blessed! My children are also very fortunate to know and love their great grandparents and not just recognize them by a picture hanging on the wall.
My mother told me how my grandfather's death was literally a process and each day she would watch it unfold . She said he talked about dying and then began seeing friends who had passed on and eventually, after literally having one foot on each side of mortality, decided to let go. One day he literally soaked his sheets deciding if he should stay or go; which was a day or two before he passed on. I couldn't help but think that just as birth is a process full of emotion and physical surrendering; death is also a process that takes its own time and energy. The circle of life continues to amaze and inspire me!

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