The inhale and the exhale of the moment of now

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Last month, I received “the call”. My sister announced that my father was terminally ill with an advanced and particularly aggressive type of prostate cancer.

My first reaction was shock and then the grief set in. My father, who raised me with no partner, who taught me to search from the earliest days of childhood for TRUTH is dying.

In spite of what I feel, I know it is his exit, his life, and his experience. I am determined to support him in whatever way he chooses to end his days here. It is the least I can do for someone who has shone so brightly for me.

As, I spoke to him and we waded through a quagmire of emotion, he told me that he really didn’t feel any different. There was no huge adventure that he longed for, nothing he felt was left undone. He simply wanted to continue living his life, day to day as he had been for the last eighty some odd years.

In support of him, I listened.

Continue to live?  Continue to appreciate all that life has to offer for as long as possible.

It occurs to me, this is not dying — this is living.

I began to realize that with an oncologist’s death sentence imposed on him, he was choosing not depression, not panic, not anger, and certainly not desperation. He was choosing a love of life and an appreciation of every moment, as he had always done. He was choosing not to let a physician’s prognosis rob either of us of the joy in every moment and the experience of every breath, with the inclusion of the very last.

In order to support him, I had the privilege of doing the same.

I had the choice to live in the moment with him and celebrate the moments of life with him. I could not dwell on a future date of death, be it in three months, six months or like most of us, date left unknown. I could not be in the future nor in the past.

But, is this not true for everyone? No one knows the exact time of their death, in spite of any dire prediction, we simply do not know. What we do know, solely, is this very moment. What we have with absolutely no doubt is now.

And if you are reading this, you are alive. Right, now. Your breath is coming to you.. with an inhale and an exhale. And in this very moment of right now, the past is not present, the future remains unformed and nonexistent and the breath comes quietly, sustaining with no judgment, and with an unconditional and immense love for you and for me.

From the beginning of our breath until the very last, may we enjoy and be fulfilled with the love of ….the Inhale — and the exhale of the moment of now.