Tag Archive: death

Vulcan Death Grip

As I proceed with my recovery I am currently seeking relief through therapeutic massage. Don’t be confused with the massage word meaning I am in bliss, and total relaxation. That I am not.

No, therapeutic massage is something quite different indeed. If you have experienced it, I need not explain further. If you however require a bit more clarification, read on.

In my naivety, I envisioned pleasant pressure, mellow music and pure relaxation as muscles were gently encouraged into their proper place. Unfortunately,  while that might feel incredible, it does little to realign stubborn, tight, balled up, injured muscles. Something in the way of direct and deep tissue pressure that hurts like a red hot poker being pressed into the offending knot is what is needed. It takes your breath away- and not in a good way. Although I will admit that passing out might be preferable at times.

What has this to do with anything of importance?

I believe that in everything, the good, bad, pleasure and pain, there is something of importance to remember. Life is short, and we are dead a very long time. So how will we use every moment to prepare for eternity?

I think about these things in the throws of my painful recovery. Key word being “recovery.” I am alive. I can walk and function mostly close to normal. At times I have glimpses of what normal used to feel like. Glimpses.

I am grateful that I wasn’t hurt worse. Bicycles and cars aren’t meant to collide.

I am encouraged by these words of St. Catherine of Siena, “But just when we want to be healthy we are sick; just when we want to be alive we die; just when we want to be rich we are poor; just when we want to be in power we are made servants. And all this because these things are not ours, and we can keep them only as much and as long as it pleases the one who lent them to us.”

God places all things in our life as a means to grow us in love, and detach us from unhealthy attachments that hold us pinned to the earth.

They will be there as long as we need to learn the lesson and for some of us, that may be a really long time.




“Hang In There”

About 8 months ago, I brought a meal and spent some time visiting a friend of mine who was having another bout with cancer.

Two months ago that same friend brought dinner to me as I recovered from my accident.

Two weeks ago I stood at her bedside as she unconsciously labored barely clinging to life. I held her hand and spoke with her son. Other visitors came and I knew it was time for me to go. Leaning close to her ear the words I really wanted to say were nowhere to be found, what came out instead was simply, “hang in there.”

I cried all the way home at the sheer stupidity of what I had said to a dying woman. How completely devoid of inspiration or hope.

Normally I have lots of words in my little arsenal, and rarely am at a loss for what to say. This was one of those moments to the contrary, and it breaks my heart.

At times in our life when we are confronted by situations that hit us like a brick wall we are caught off guard and often say things we regret. We may not know what to say at all, so something trivial, or inept slips from our lips instead.

This was that time for me.

Friday,  I attend her funeral. I will lift up a prayer and my sincere apologies to her. I imagine that perhaps she will look down kindly at me smiling and say, it’s ok Barb, all is well, hang in there.

Holding Ourselves Responsible

“If you do not speak out to dissuade the wicked from his way, I will hold you responsible for his death. If, however, you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, but they do not, then they shall die in their sins, but you shall save your life.” Ezekiel 33:8-9

Those are scary words. Why? God is asking us to speak to the sinner to try and turn them from their evil ways, and not only that- if we do not at least speak up,we will be held responsible for their death.

Whoa, wait a minute. Who am I to point out others “wicked ways” when I am a sinner myself? I believe that is the bone of contention for most of us. I’m busy pulling logs from my own eyes here, who am I to judge the splinters in others?

The key word here is we are not to judge. The “J” word isn’t even used, and therein lies the rub. We think too often that if we even allude to the fact that a friend or relative may be heading in a direction dangerously close to sinfulness, we are being judgmental of that person. So we remain quiet, or talk to others about it, or worse we close our eyes and mouths to the possibility of saying or doing anything. Why? If we care about the eternal well being of this person, or any person, why won’t we take the risk out of LOVE, to have a conversation?

The actual request is to “…dissuade the wicked from his way.” That means at least trying.

I am learning the importance of listening more. Specifically, listening to others journey, their experience of life, of God, of hurt. When we take the time out of deep love and concern for another, and invite them into dialogue, we can learn much about their journey and the motivations that drive their decisions. Actively listening- not fixing, interrupting, anticipating, or correcting, is really hard. We are so used to doing that- by we, I mean me.

What I am finding is that I am getting a rare and beautiful look at the depth of the other person I am listening to. I get to see their life through their eyes for just a brief time. It is from there that I can begin a dialogue. When someone knows how much I love and care about them, and my authentic concern for their well-being, the possibility of receptiveness arises. It is only there that I can offer an alternative. A person has to be willing and open before I can throw out another option. Closed minds, closed ears, closed hearts do not receive words, they bounce right off like rubber balls on cement. Receptivity is crucial, and that takes time, commitment, love, and lots of prayers.

I attempt to speak more on this here.

Practice love, be patient, and most importantly live a life worthy of imitation. Leave the rest up to Jesus and His wonderful, amazing Mother Mary. As St. Paul writes in Romans 13: 8, “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another…” If we act out of love- Love Itself, will open doors.