a life ended

this is the blog post i had written before i got the news... a tangible reality

my brother is dying.

death comes closer to each of us with every breath. to some it is obviously closer than to others. my brother is in the former group. he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, with a prognosis of 5-8 years. it is now the eighth year. and he is, after a productive and successful life, mostly homebound, unable to walk unaided, and spending his days visiting various doctors who deal with his failing organs. gratefully, unlike millions of others, he has excellent care at home and will remain at home as long as possible. his days are filled with making difficult decisions and no small amount of pain.

what does this mean to me? most happily, it means that he and i have been able to repair decades of difficult relationship. this has happened almost without speaking, in the silence of being.

it has come about through connecting with the Love in me, Love not necessarily for him personally, but the Love that flows through me, and all of us, for no reason. it is the Love which underlies who we truly are.

he too has softened from the hard-driving attorney he has been for over five decades. he has had to surrender his self-sufficiency for dependence, his control for assistance, his hard edges for his softer underbelly. this is a side of him that has been hidden by ambition and drive. it is my fervent hope that he too can allow Love to emerge, to become manifest, before he sighs his last exhalation.

of necessity he has had to ask friends and family for help. he has had to reach out beyond the confines of his formerly sharp, incisive mind. now we have discussions. we have real conversations. and he listens. he appreciates.

these are lessons he is teaching me as i seek to deepen into the profound nature of freedom. It is a freedom from separation in order to find liberation in connection. The proximity of death bring life into sharp focus. it allows the vision to clear and become open to a reality other than the vital one of daily tasks. it creates an environment in which we can make the connections that bring peace. uere we can remove shackles of our conditioned reality. here too we have to opportunity to face unflinchingly the unrelenting, elegant nature of change.

this is the quest of eldering. this is the business of conscious ageing...living in my heart as i witness the last person who has known me since the day i was born. this is one of my eldering tasks. there is a profound sadness, not so much for my brother as a brother, but for the passing of another in my generation of blood family. holding my heart open to the coming and going of life and the often wrenching pain of death.

i am committed to standing witness to his pain, and mine.

i will be, from his last breath, assuming the mantle of the matriarch of my nuclear family. we are not many, as i chose not to have children. my brother has two. each of his children has two children so we are a group seven...until i die.

Jewish-Graveyard_061 his approaching death has made mine more present, more vibrant, a tangible reality.

and now that reality has shifted. he has died.

on a practical note, i will not be posting for some time as i travel to israel for his funeral and then to los angeles to do what must be done.