I was at a hospice recently to attend a service. It was my first time there although my sister has been there a few times. We were there to attend a remembrance service to honour those that have passed away recently. The service was held at the front lobby which the emcee described as a sacred place. There were names of those who have passed on a large banner against the wall. While my dad passed away at home, the hospice provided support for us.
After the service, I chatted with someone who lost her husband. She told me this was a very special place. It was small (only 1 floor) and there is a volunteer staff that cook homestyle meals daily. She talked a bit about the wonderful staff and referenced back to the lobby as sacred and special. I thought about all the names on the large banner and figured that was what she meant. She then said the hospice’s philosophy could be summed up with this: “You come in through the front door and you leave by the front door.” When someone dies at the hospice, the body is carried through the front door. The staff wait at the front lobby with candles and there is a simple ceremony. There isn’t a back door where death is quietly ushered away.
I never thought about death in those terms before. It’s not an easy subject to write or to read about. Maybe there’s a lot more on my mind than I want to admit to myself.
I can’t describe the state of my mind lately. Detached is probably a good word for it. It’s as if my body is a shell. I’m aware of what is going on but my body is on autopilot.
A few days ago, I was at my sister’s birthday dinner. My brother and sister in law were hosting it at their place. But they were too busy hosting and we didn’t really get a chance to chat. While everyone was nice, I couldn’t really relate to anyone and just made small talk. The only time I connected with anyone was when a 5 yr old boy sitting beside me asked “Do you want to colour with me?”
He was working on his colouring book. He looked at me with his big blue eyes and waited for me to answer.
I replied “Sure, I have to stay inside the lines right?”
“Yes. Why don’t you colour his eyes?” and pointed to a Star Wars character on the left side of the book.
I reached for a crayon. It wasn’t Crayola and it didn’t smell like the old Crayolas that I remembered. Meanwhile the kid was layerd colours all over a light sabre and not staying within the lines. I carefully coloured General Grevious’ eyes red to give him a bloodshot effect. I stayed within the lines (retina?).
That was the highlight of my evening.
Maybe I need the Force to be with me…. or better yet, to jump start me.
Either I have new neighbours or one of them now has a healthy sex life. A couple of weeks ago, I heard the orgasmic groans from one of my neighbours. It sounded like a guy but all my neighbours (left, right and above) are women. So one of them has a new partner? Tonight, I heard a guy going “Ooohhh…. oohhhh… ooohhhhhhhhh” I hope there’s no round 2.
Why can’t my neighbours be mimes? Then they can have all the sex they want and be quiet about it.
This is not helping my insomnia at all.
It’s been incredibly busy at work. I typically work every weekday evenings and half days on the weekends. The other night, I was helping out on a proposal. I finished at midnight and sent my version to someone on the west coast. It was still 9PM over there. He worked on it for a few more hours and sent it off to someone in Manila. That person will put all the finishing touches and send it back to us first thing in the morning. It’s a crazy world. Most nights I just stumble into bed and immediately fall asleep. I even woke up one morning with my shirt and jeans still on and my bedside lamp shining brightly.
The year actually started off well. I got reacquainted with the small gym in my condo. I started to look for writing courses. Then work sort of just took over as it usually does. In the middle of this, I managed to survive another round of job cuts. The myth of the work life balance. Part of me wants to leave. Part of me is too scared to.