So, that brings me to the response I have had on the subject of life and death. I have had some lovely responses on what the transition of death means to some of you.
I think this from Candice is a special heart treasure. I place it here.
When I was about seven years old my beloved grandfather died of a heart attack on New Year's Day, of course unexpectedly. As I watched everyone's suffering I wanted to help so badly. I put on the charcoal gray v-neck sweater he and my grandmother had gotten me for Christmas (they always bought me warm things to wear, I always seemed to be out of socks or proper clothing).
I quietly put on their sweater and climbed up on the top bunk bed to 'talk to God.' I promised God that I would lie very still with my arms at my side, barely breathing and would wait as long as it would take for Him to bring my grandfather back to us. As I held my breath, I was just so sure that this prayer would be answered especially if I waited long enough.
I think that moment was one in which I became keenly aware of death; of sadness, of disillusionment, of helplessness and of abandonment. I eventually got up from lying on my back, climbed down the ladder and resumed my silent observation of family grief. Deeply changed.
I think these thoughts of a child, words of a child really, as Candice goes back in time to give them to us, are to treasure.
I was reminded when I read them of my mother's disappointment when her father died. She was 19, and had been raised in the Christian Science faith. She thought if she prayed enough, he would live. It was only a few years before she died, that she shared with me what his death did to her faith. She felt she had failed. If only she could have prayed more. I think coming to peace on this is important for each one of us. Prayer has been scientifically proven to work. I feel it in myself. When I ask you to visualize, my red and white blood cells, they go into a craze of proliferation. I was in good shape that way today, but I forgot to ask you to visualize platelets, and so, I wasn't clotting. Now, I know about platelets. You have worked hard. You can pause on the visualizing. I will eat bunches of broccoli and give you a break on visualizing platelets The point is that prayer works, and that, there is sometimes a time and a place for a person to go. My mother's father could not face World War II, and that his son had to fight after he had fought "the war to end all wars." He was a good, kind man. He had given enough. I think it was time for him to go. When my father died in an accident, I was so happy for him, but it was so very hard on me. I didn't know how to let go. This process has allowed me to learn to do that. I am learning to let go, and in that, I value life even more. I live.
Great love, care, and gratitude, to all of you from me this lovely night. And now, I paint!