There is no love that nurtures like the love of a caring woman wether she is loving her man, her children, her family, or strangers.
My grandfather lost his wife after 62 years of marriage, October a year and a half ago. She was the closest thing I have ever known to a living Saint. The epitome of love. Funny, nurturing, spunky, intelligent. She touched the lives of every living path she crossed, all sentient beings.
Her and I were particularly close. She was a mother to me. He and I don’t have that kind of bond to say the least. But ever since she passed, my heart wells up beyond my understanding of its capacity with compassion for him. It hurts from the amount of compassion I have for him. I know he reaches for me now because I remind him of her, not only because her and I were so close, but because I carry so many of her qualities.
I went to make him dinner a couple of weeks ago and he cried when I said good bye, I had to hold back the tears, it was as if my heart could understand the language of his heart. I literally felt his brokeness. There was nothing to do but hold his hand and feel compassion. It happened again tonight as I kissed his forehead saying goodbye after my visit to him in the emergency ward. He asked me to lean in so he could kiss my cheek. My heart welled again, with more compassion that I knew I could hold.
I stood there remembering how one of my closest guy friends always would tell me that I should have been a nurse. I never understood why he said that, I’m such a tough girl, or so I think. But tonight I understood what he sees in me. It’s the same pure living quality my grandmother carried with her in the world. The ability to recognize that deep deep pain in people, the one that can’t seem to voice with words. I can skip over alot of stuff, but I can’t skip over that. I can thank the woman who raised me almost as if I was her own child for my ability to stand beside him tonite. She’s left a mark in me, a deep one.
And I stood there feeling so much of his pain, the ones he can’t voice. It’s heartwrenching, I admit. But it’s a call to service. One that I simply cannot ignore. How a man, having loved the same woman for 62 years could find himself alone at 89 years old, fragile and lost. Nothing matters in moments like that but to hold a person’s hand and love them.
Because the love of that caring woman left a gash so deep in his heart, deeper than mine, it is my call to service to hold his hand and send him the same pure love that she taught us by example all of our lives.
It might be irreplaceable (in so many of the lives of those who were loved by her), but no one ever died because you gave them a little extra tenderness. The call to serve in such circumstances, simply cannot be ignored.
I have said, after watching someone come into this life, and after holding the hands of people who have left, “The two utmost forms are selfless service are un the birthing of life and in the assisting of passing into non physical form. To be called to either of these is a complete honoring of the human experience.”
I dare add to that, to be called to be present in compassion for someone who is suffering is an honoring of the human soul. Wherever you can, whenever you can, answer the call.