A few months ago, my dad, who had been suffering from lung cancer that had moved to his brain began going downhill very fast.
He had been at death's door for the past 4 & 1/2 years while remaining hopeful, funny, charming and strong.
During this last bad patch I spent most of my energy trying to decide if I should be with him, driving to be with him, or just trying to cope with losing my dad, while still doing all of the things one must do as a mother and store owner, and the: what if it's like all the other times and he pulls through? and the: can I close my store that I just opened to go see him even though he may not even know I'm there?
It was a terrible and incredibly sad time. He did pass and the devastation, even though we were "prepared" for his death, it did not and does not make it any less devastating.
I have been trying to "catch up" which is what people do. What we are expected to do. But life is not linear, at least mine isn't and I've been working through the reality that I cannot just catch up on the weeks that I fell behind on, but that all the pieces of my life are new again and I need to re-frame and re-evaluate and not make things happen but to make assessments as needed without assumptions based on past experience.
How do we re-create ourselves in small indescribable ways while keeping on with the grocery shopping, bill paying, bed-time stories and walking the dog?
Just by staying open and not assuming anything and not taking on too many new things, or any new things.
For me it has been a time of relative seclusion. I say relative because I work retail and am out in the world every day, but the way in which I am in the world is more inward, a bit fragile, but in some ways very powerful because I am not diffusing my energy by chatting with everyone about this personal experience. It makes me wonder what I am doing right now, writing about it, but it's been over two months now and I am feeling at a transition.
The ways in which it has impacted my work as an herbalist and shop keeper is profound and subtle.
Just before my dad started going down hill I had taken on 5 new perfumery clients and had done the initial intake interview the week before.
This has been the most pressing thing for me to catch up on. All of those who are much delayed getting their first perfume samples are amazingly understanding.
It would have been a great disservice to them to make a quick perfume in my grief and in my responsibility to get a "product" out to them.
I am back in the swing of things in some ways/on some days and when I'm not, I make no products.
I just be.
I know this sounds incredibly "be here now" but really, it is profound and difficult. The older I get the more profound it is.
This is the point at which you are either thinking "yeah, me too, I so get that" or "what a freak, I'm never reading this blog again".
Either way, one day you will have the moment when just "being" seems profound.
Life is swirling around us at a frenetic pace and my work right now is to not rush in and try catch up, my work is to just be in the moment.