lately i’ve been thinking about mortality a lot. what a way to start a post, right? but, it’s true. and in a way it seems like it should be a normal thing to ponder. we are ALL going to die. that’s how a human life ends. but i’ve also been thinking about living, really living. you know, that thing we should all be doing every day.

a life metaphor: the long and winding road

my mom is in the hospital for the second time in two weeks. she found out a few months ago that the breast cancer she originally had in 2000 and again in 2014, has metastasized into her bones. it’s in her ribs and up her spine. she’s been quiet about everything since her diagnosis. it’s how mom is; but she’s been even quieter than normal. my parents are a young 68 and 74;they exercise daily, go to most of the grandkids’ activities. i don’t have to check in on them because they are out, about and around a lot. but after dad called the ambulance and she spent two days in the hospital last week, my brother and i decided to get more involved in mom’s health matters.

long story short, she’s back in the hospital and i don’t know how to help her. helping is a role i know very well, but maybe i’m not supposed to help per se. maybe i’m just supposed to be with her and hold space. the point is i’m confused. i don’t exactly know what to do.

i am internalizing and questioning everything, it’s what i do. what is going to happen next? what should i do now? how can i help my own daughter deal with and understand this illness? what can i personally do to help mom get better? what does dad need?

i’m lucky that as a yoga teacher and writer i am perfectly positioned to speak freely about all of this lifestuff. it’s my job to help people look at the stuff that’s not always so easy to look at. we are all humans having a human experience and yoga is about leaning into and learning our way through it. it’s crazy to think; i’m in my forties and still learning – a lot. every single day.

as i was driving to the hospital at 10p last night i thought, “i don’t know what to do. i don’t know what to say.” these are my own parents and i had this feeling they didn’t even want me there. what an awful thought and feeling. turns out they did want me there and i was able to pose questions that helped to clarify the situation. so herein lies a lesson as well.

it’s okay not to know.

some situations call for doing and others being; sometimes a balance of both.

the important part is that we show up. fully.

and that is why i love to write, because all of this lifestuff  is so powerful. none of us are alone. though we sometimes feel that we are; though we often create separation between ourselves and others, we are all connected and it’s our job as humans to help each other. it all ends the same way for each of us, remember? shouldn’t we be there for each other while we are here? aren’t we all just trying to figure this stuff out?