The guys have taken a week off working on the house as Yves’ mother died on Friday.
I realised, opening the door from our kitchen into the hayloft to talk to a son in mourning, that I was frightened. I was really frightened of death and of his grief. Then I approached the man whose mother had been in a coma and from whom the doctors had just withdrawn the life support, and he looked at peace.
“I spent the night by my mother’s bedside in prayer. It was a beautiful night” he said. We hugged simply - a sign merely of respect and of friendship – and then we separated. No words were necessary and there was no fear.
As always, Yves was full of grace and in that moment I knew that death of a loved one was not something I had to be frightened of. I could if I wanted to, but it could also be an opportunity to give someone the ultimate gift of letting them go gracefully. In a meditation upon death, one concentrates on not holding on to the idea of eternal life and thus, like a summer bloom, one is fully alive whilst ready to welcome the winds which will ravage, and the frosts which will make one wither and fall. Could every moment with a loved one be infused with such presence?
Could I, without waiting for death, let my loved ones go, gracefully, every day?
It is June in Provence and nature could not be more vibrant. Yet every day is a day of death. The blossom has tumbled in to the ground, the broom will last another week. Baby rabbits are mauled on the path and the fruit, having paraded triumphantly in, will fall silently back to the earth: cherries, apricots, peaches, vines figs and quinces, mushrooms….and then it will be winter once more.
We are taking morning cycle rides amongst the bursting cherry orchards and the wheatfields, watching the vines grow lush and bushy. We are loving, , path by path, and letting go of our corner of the Vaucluse. It is a daily practice.