Over the past few months, I have actively and consciously been holding both life and death. We discovered my mother was terminally ill in December. Two weeks later, on New Year’s Day, I found out my daughter and son-in-law are due to have a baby…amazingly enough, due on my mother’s birthday. Over the past seven months, I have held this sense of birth and death, living and dying, from somewhere in the middle of the chain of women…my daughter is giving birth to a daughter. It has been a profound experience to consciously hold life and death together, to know that they both exist in every moment and to actively sit with the sense that neither one is to be grasped or pushed away.
An image that is burned in my mind is my daughter standing beside my mother’s casket. Her beautiful full belly was so close, a great-granddaughter and great-grandmother so close, but never to meet. To be a witness to this passing of generations has been as enlightening as anything I have ever experienced. To think the beauty of this reality is available to us everywhere at any time leaves me breathless.