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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
June 2017
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Golden Pages
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Senior Spectrum Publications

Circle of Life Hospice
by Deb Girard
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Looking for a Miracle

Deb Girard

Recently I read the obituary of another beautiful young woman who’s life was cut short by the same eating disorder that claimed my daughter 7 years ago. I thought of the lyrics of a song that says, “I would not think for myself to ask but, does heaven have enough angels yet?” It was with this thought that I took my dog Max for his early morning walk.

The evening before, while gazing at Alison’s picture, I spoke of how I missed her. Not the “missing her” that had become part of my daily routine, but a heavier sort, brought on by thinking about the young woman who had recently died. My heart ached for her parents as I imagined myself where they stand now in their time of loss. Time had begun to bring back the scattered and shattered pieces of my heart and my life is returning to some kind of “normal” without my daughter in it. It is during the times when I still feel the sharp knife of a short life that I ask her if she would please give me a sign to let me know that she still hears me.

It was time for me to take Max, the dog Ali got 30 days before she died, for his morning walk. As we returned home, I noticed a rainbow over Mount Rose. Smiling, I thought, “Is that you Ali ?” A morning talk show was playing as I walked into my home. I heard them talking about some new country western artist as they began to play a song called, “If I Die Young.” I felt the familiar beautiful chill run through me as I listened to the following lyrics, “Lord, make me a rainbow and I’ll shine down on my mother, She’ll know that I’m with you, as I cover her with color.” Coincidence? Einstein said, “You can view life as though nothing is a miracle or everything is.”

Many people who have lost a loved one have similar experiences that are often shared behind closed doors with a therapist. Some of my friends role their eyes and ask me if “I still talk to Ali.” Well, I do and will until I pass from this world to the next. I will also always share the moments like my Mount Rose rainbow to encourage others to open their hearts to the possibilities of the ongoing presence of their loved one in a way that becomes part of the “normal” grieving process.

It is my hope that more and more people bring these stories into the light of day where they may bring comfort to another; to someone who might have been standing in a field of sorrow, unable to find a path out, until it feels impossible to feel anything else.

I’ve decided that all the shoulder shrugs and eye rolls in the world will be unable to change what has become “normal” for me years ago when I first began my work with the dying. When standing close to their side as their journey here ends we are often given a glimpse, if only for an instant, of the possibilities and the promises of a life beyond this one.

As Rumi, one of my favorite poets said, “The mystic dances in the sun hearing music others don’t.”

“Insanity”, say those others. If so it’s a very gentle nourishing sort.