For more than ten years now, due to chronic health problems, I haven't felt well enough to travel. Fortunately, my mother and siblings have been willing to fly out to California, where I live, from New York to visit once a year or so.
Goodbyes have been very hard, very painful. My mother is now 84, so when we part I am acutely conscious that I may never see her alive again. There is a searing pain I experience whenever I say goodbye to her at the end of her trip. It's the same with my siblings and their families. I am filled with sadness and can hardly speak.
All of this is foreshadowing: There is an ending to every relationship, that is, in embodied form. We think when a loved one dies the relationship is over, severed forever, but I don't think this is true. The relationship continues in one's heart, in one's mind. But the embodied relationship does end; there is no denying that.
And, finally, we will say goodbye to whomever is still around when we take our last breath. The anguish of loss is unavoidable. It's woven into the fabric of our finite life. It turns our fleeting contacts into precious moments together--ones which I certainly have come to cherish.
Indian summer day
it too follows
the buffalo home