Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lasts and lasts and lasts...

So it's official, tomorrow I essentially relocate to Hospice as my home for the final run.  I'll come home some days for visits (probably nicer to see visiting friends at home too) but tonight will be my last night asleep in my bed.  My. Last. Night.

The last couple of days I have tried to really go into this feeling of doing things for the last time ever - with the background proviso that nothing is ever certain etc etc - and yet have failed to experience any truly profound poignancy or even sense of great loss about it.  When you know you're leaving your home for good, there are so many, many lasts you never thought of before. The thing is, it just doesn't seem to matter now.

I guess doing things 'for the last time' is something we mainly experience in the past tense, as we look back at a moment and identify it as the last time we did X or Y and know that in all likelihood we'll not be X-ing or Y-ing ever again.  That can give rise to nostalgia, wistfulness, longing even, probably because we can instantly lament such a loss - it's gone.

Then again, maybe it's just practice.  Or attrition.  It could be that as my illness and journey has been so incremental and inexorable, with me having to lose and let go of one ability or experience after another, over years, that I've just worn down all the sticking-up lumps and bumps of care and attachment - that my plane of interaction with this stuff is smooth at last - or that I've simply become super-efficient at the process through practice.  You know, that old 10,000 hour rule.  Spend enough time at something and it becomes innate.

I think for a loss to be truly painful you really have to want not to lose the thing in question. 
That's probably it.

And stepping out a few paces, turning around and looking back at myself, I see a guy who wants to lose this stuff.  Who is ready to just stop caring about little attachments like the comforts and familiarities of home.  It's a wonderful little house, and we have made it a loving home.  But it's not right for me to do my end-stage dying here.  It simply isn't.

Home is a thing one carries within oneself anyway, I often feel.  Home is that thing I have made up of Meeta, our house and garden, the things we habitually do together and for each other, and of course the animals.  The physical stuff is the stuff I see as going now.  And to do the next spiritual step, I must leave home, in a sense greater than just the physical.

That's a good way to describe it today, actually.  Dying is where we leave behind the substitute Homes we create here in Life, to return to the Home that encompasses All Things.  Leave the small and re-enter the big.

So now as I notice myself noticing 'lasts' I am getting a wry chuckle going inside.  Friends have asked is it deep, is it depressing, is it joyful, is it ... all sorts of thing they have asked.  The answer is yes to all, it is all those things.  But each lasts merely a fraction of a moment, long enough only to be noted.  There is no lament.  There is no grim clinging.  There is no resentment or even childish grumpiness.  There is just a silly little laugh at myself that I could have spent so many decades on this planet actually caring about some of the minute and inconsequential things my life got all filled up with.

So pity not the letting go.  I'm not really going to miss doing the dishes, really.

Lastly, speaking of lasts, it's also time for the last run at raising enough dough that Meeta has as unstressful a ride as possible with my funeral arrangements.  The fund has gone well, and indeed much has already been spent towards making things easier post-mortem.  But if you can spare a dime, or are (or know of) a secretly wealthy benefactor who can help with more than a little change in these in-parts-difficult financial times, it would make me very, very happy and grateful.  Here is the link where you can contribute.  And I can let go of this thing too, at last.  Thank you.

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