In October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness I will post a daily blog with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections will stem from something in the play. (All quoted lines are text from the play.)
Day 19: Life. My preparation for the year 2000 and Susan’s diagnosis of Stage 3, triple negative breast cancer perhaps started in 1973. “It was the first time ever I experienced the super-natural,” is the line in the play as I re-enact the moment in 1973 that I stood in the hospital room as my mother, Frieda Alfman Simon, took her last breath. It took me a full six years (yes, I remember exactly how long) to tell anyone what I experienced at that moment, and it was to a psychiatrist. “I was afraid because I thought I had … seen something I was not supposed to be able to see.” I experienced … saw … a white tuft of a cloud, a giant swirl which rocketed past me out of the hospital room at the speed of light at the every instant of my mother’s last breath. At first I thought it might be just a hallucination because “I know what you call them… people who hear and see things in their head that nobody else can hear or see.” That was in 1973, “I have since come to understand that life exists in each of us in a tangible form and that the essence of who we are beyond the physical body exists. I was privileged to experience that life force exit my mother at her last breath.” Even now as I write this I remember that moment and continue to understand that experience as it was – the unique privilege of the experience. I will write more about how hard it was to me in 2000 facing up to possibly being with Susan at that same moment. Indeed, that is in some ways what The Actual Dance is all about. Being with someone you love as they take their last breath. In 2000 I learned from what happened in 1973 about the sacred nature of life as an element of the divine that resides within each of us.
Stat of the Day: According to a poll conducted in late 2012, 45% of people believe that spirits of our loved ones can come back and interact with us in certain situations. It is not unusual for audience members of The Actual Dance to whisper to me after the show that they too experienced the spirit of a loved one they lost even years after their passing.
Task of the Day: Rent the movie Ghost and watch it, again and again and again. This is actually a homework assignment. A test will follow in ensuing posts.
Resource of the Day: Check out Attitudinal Healing International. I learned that finding ways to express our deepest thoughts is not easy. There are places to go where some of those deep, “crazy” thoughts are welcomed.