The last month of the year of 2018 has begun. It is strangely difficult to imagine letting it go, because Richard was still alive in this year. He was in the process of dying, but in December of 2017 he read “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” to me and Len and Marion after Christmas dinner. He insisted he wanted to even though he was nearly blind. He did OK speaking the lush language. With forty years of repetition he could step into the well worn footprints of the Welsh snow. Those he could summon in his clouded brain. Marion and I glanced at one another when he missed key sentences but we listened intently as well. It was clear to us this would be his last reading. I briefly thought of recording him, wishing we had thought to record him when he was fully present. I dismissed the idea knowing that preserving this phase of his decline was not something we wanted to keep for the future.
By January 2018 he was in the hospital more than he was home. We were hoping that by allowing the doctors to administer full brain radiation this would slow down the cancer cells flowing freely in his cerebral spinal fluid. The lymphoma was busy finding more homes within the nooks and crannies of his brain. The oncologist thought mostly it would offer relief from spinal pain (it did) and that it would help to sustain more mental clarity (it didn’t). As I have written before, that man, Richard, that I loved so well, was no longer here, even though his fading body and mind still occupied the hospital bed of our rental house living room. Relating to his body, altered as it was, kept him anchored in our world with us for twelve more precious days once he was released from the hospital.
Through a psychic friend after his death, it was comforting to hear him ‘say’ to me, that “the bull needed to move aside so that my lamb could step in.” We all have different aspects of our personality. Richard was so deeply loving and kind but he was also stubborn and willful. Naming the bull was very specific and it is true, that he was also an utterly sweet, endearing lamb the more the brain tumors eradicated his executive function. I watched him become wide open and without boundaries as the end drew near. His body would jerk if someone opened the door to the kitchen at the far end of the house. I could barely hear them entering but his sense of the change in atmosphere was instantaneous. That is why we were so blessed by his bevy of caretakers. If we had someone with an abrasive personality it would have troubled him greatly. Instead we got angels.
Music particularly ran through his body like wine. You could see his nervous system responding to the words or rhythm whenever someone sang to him, which we all did in our own way. We could feel the mutuality of exchange whether his body or voice was visibly or audibly participating or not. The psychic also reported he said the he had been hyper aware, with the left side of the brain diminishing as the right side opened up to where he was going. Whether that is truth that was channeled or not does not trouble me. I have no need to confirm the unknowable in rational terms. Articulating the omnipresent infinite cannot be accomplished, certainly not by me.
Again and again, I can say from my experience, I saw that Richard was Love itself and that I now know that we all are. It has nothing to do with our belief systems. I cannot ever un-know this perception of our human selves. It was a great gift that Richard bestowed on me. The loss of the bull is something we will all experience in unique ways. The presence of the lamb will step forward when we, too, move aside into Love. I know he is Love in 2019 and forever. The 2018 calendar is in *Kronos time. Kairos time offers me an additional perspective.
*Kronos: the Greek god of linear time
*Kairos: Kronos’ grandson of the eternal now