I got a sickening call from the husband of someone that I have supervised at work for several years and care a great deal about. His wife, he told me in a voice choked by emotion, was in the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital, due to what doctors hope is no more than a brain infection. This coworker who is dear to me also has cancer, and treatment has been postponed until the brain infection is stabilized.
I got off the telephone and cried and cried. I don't want this dear colleague to die. She is in the prime of her life with three young children under the age of ten.
No amount of writing or meditating on death immunizes one against the upset that invariably floods the heart and soul in the face of a threat to life. Liberation is not synonymous with emotionlessness. On the contrary, the more intimate one becomes with death the more one is stricken by the loss of life . . . or a threat to life. I pray my young colleague recovers her health and her life.
that yellow bird
passing behind the mountain
swings back again