Late Night Thoughts

I have not been sleeping well these days. My thoughts are often taken up with the burdens of assuaging the pains of the dying. I wonder at times what my own death will be like. Is there really a world to come, and will I merit it? I recently tended a young (around 50-ish) woman who was dying of cancer, and during her care she asked me to hold her hand. I held her hand, assuring her that it was, indeed, a most appropriate thing to be doing (she had worried about this). She seemed to be greatly comforted by this act, and died not long after. I wondered if in that moment of human connection, she was able to release her hold on this life, surrendering to whatever might come. We all fear what we cannot see or understand. In the search for meaning, I find myself returning to the most basic essential of human existence. If it is love that we need, how do we find it? How can we give it? What does it look like for a given individual in time and space? A bowl of chicken soup with matzoh balls lovingly fashioned by the same hands that knitted socks in the labour camps of Poland. It is time devoted to seeing another person realize their dreams. It is pain and sacrifice, and the raw and bleeding heart that has been broken by disappointments. For we are not wounded by those we do not love. I think of those individuals who have left their stamp on my life- influencing how I cook, how I think and act on a daily basis. I think of God, and humbly pray that His love will not desert me. If I was to die tomorrow, what would I be remembered for? What difference have I made in this world? Am I a disappointment to God? All of the stupid and selfish things that I have done, while at war with myself! I acknowledge my sin and embrace the consequences. I pray that I might live long enough to support my dearest at his hour of need. The thought of leaving him behind is unbearable.

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