She has a little to drink, looks at me and says, "I have to go with them, you know." I ask who she plans to travel with. She doesn't answer me. Her eyes are wide and fixed on something or someone known only to her. She then says, "I don't want to go. I don't want to leave you." I say that I don't want her leave me as well. I remind her that today's the day her Hospice volunteer visits. That she might want to postpone her trip until then. Mom's eyes light up. I pray anticipating the volunteer's visit might entire her to postpone her trip.
As I sit for a few minutes of quiet meditation in the living room, the tears begin to flow. These are necessary and that strangely fuel my strength. As my meditation deepens the tiny, soft voice emerges.
Me: "What am I doing? Is Mom hallucinating or are these visits real?"
The Voice: "I know this is hard. She's going to be leaving. Did you ever think you might be standing in her way?"
Me: "What? I took care of Dad, remember? I think I know how this works."
Voice: "Do you? Do you understand? Really? How would you describe her existence here now...at this very moment."
Me: Isn't she comfortable? She looks comfortable."
Voice: "Is comfort enough? What about something else?
Me: "What are you talking about?"
Voice: "What about Peace? Right now she's conflicted. She wants to go to the light, but she doesn't want to leave you. What if she knows you are at peace with her passing. What if she looks forward to that magnificent peace, just like the volunteer's visit, but feels she can't leave you? Will you deny her that?"
Me: "Good points, but you know what tomorrow is, it's the first anniversary of Dad's passing. You know I'm thick. Stubborn. Yes, genuinely selfish, but I'll try. I'll really try. Just a little more time, Lord, please just a little more time."