Practice for Death

Practice for Death

The “Practice for Death" is sometimes called a meditation or sometimes a poem. It came to me in a dream. In the dream Ginny, one of my teachers discovered that cancer had returned to her for the third time. Her children and husband were wildly, furiously, desperately trying to soothe her and help her. They were all maddened and struggling hard to make the truth of her illness go away. I was in the room, in dreamtime, but invisible, watching.

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The Founder's Story

When I was a young child, I learned from my mother that caring for others is the fruit of life.

The small town I lived in was a glass house, so small that when someone was sick, or born, dying, or dead, we all knew. Then everyone brought food. They sat and visited, comforting each in their own way, giving to the family and patient equally.

I saw my mother tend to her mother and father through the end of their long long lives. My father’s mother and father, her own sisters and brothers, neighbors, and friends. People called on her to stay with their loved ones who lingered in that half light between life and death. And when the time came, my mother helped them, kept their lips moist, fed them ice until there was no heat left to melt it, patted their pillows, touched their sweet tired cheeks, and held their hands until it was time to go on, to go HOME.

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