Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims,
Thank you for the very moving notes so many of you sent me from my reflection last week on chronic illness as pilgrimage experience. I am continuing to break my heart open to you here and offer another difficult journey, that of the grief of losing a loved one.
I am grateful to Tara Owens at Anam Cara for sharing my guest post at her blog as part of the Soul of a Pilgrim summer blog book tour. Here is an excerpt:
My heart sank when I stepped tentatively into my mother’s room. She lay there connected to a complex web of tubes and wires, eyes shut. The thin skin on her face was sunken and bruised, her lips were raw. She had a serious pneumonia that had entered her bloodstream causing septicemia and leading to unconsciousness, kidney failure, inability to breathe without a respirator, and dangerously low blood pressure. The previous evening she had gone into cardiac arrest twice but they had resuscitated her.
I took a deep breath and I began to pray those feverish prayers of desperation as death whispered in my ear. When you suddenly hope the way you have lived your life somehow earns the right to a miracle even though you no longer even believe in miracles and deep down you know that’s not how the world works. I prayed that she would be able to go home. But as day gave way to night, I realized that the meaning of that prayer had shifted. Going home would mean something entirely different.
Stop by and leave a comment at my post on Tara’s blog and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book!
May you find blessings in all of the tender places dear pilgrims. May you know your own journeys as connected to this ancient practice of moving through mystery toward a new understanding of home.
With great and growing love,
*This note is excerpted from Christine’s book The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Inner Journey.