Mazama Retreat, Day 3

Today marks the 15th anniversary of my son Andrew’s death. Once it was clear the end was near, I made it my mission to help him prepare. Very quickly he let me know there wasn’t much I could tell him. I figured out I should turn myself around, and walk beside him. I don’t know whether I made much of a difference, but he achieved what I might call grace. He could talk about it. When the time came, he was ready.

AndrewSelf reducedAndrew continues to inspire me and, so I hear, many others.

These days, I find myself wondering how I might help others. I recently lost an uncle. My father is over 90, my mother in her mid 80s. A friend my age battles cancer. I’m well aware that the lifelong impulse to “solve the problem” won’t help, but it’s easy to slip into that mental habit. Augustine reminds me to be humble. That, in order to be heard, one must speak the hearer’s language. And, sometimes, simply remain silent, open and available.

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