The biopsy on the mass in my mother's intestine was confirmed to be bone cancer, which spread. How much it has metastasized is not yet known, but tomorrow morning I meet with the hospice people (for the third time in four years.) I don't think she can cheat death this time. My mother is so strong and amazing, I have to say it's been a privilege to witness her struggles and her determination these past five or so years. She's had a good long life and my prayer is that she not have to suffer.
The losses feel overwhelming right now, but I have so much comfort from dear friends and my family. As Pema Chodron says, "this very moment is the perfect teacher."
Here's a story from "When Things Fall Apart."
I have a friend dying of AIDS. Before I was leaving for a trip, we were talking. He said, "I didn't want this, and I was terrified of this. But it turns out that this illness has been my greatest gift." He said, "Now every moment is so precious to me. All the people in my life are so precious to me. My whole life means so much to me." Something had really changed, and he felt ready for his death. Something that was horrifying and scary had turned into a gift.
I wish for my mother a peaceful death.