Rather than experiencing that for what it was – an affirmation of the important role of Hospice Care – I had a different reaction. It took me back to the point in my life nearly 16 years ago when I thought I was going to have to be with Susan as she died. What happened to me was to discover a different place in time and space -- The Ballroom.
If you are familiar with The Actual Dance you recognize it as this place that I “go to” as I prepare to hold Susan, the love of my life, as she would take her last breath – she would transform from a physical form into a wisp of breath or soul and whoosh away at the speed of light. In the years that have passed and especially during the past 4 years as I have performed this show and relived that moment I have come to believe that The Ballroom is a sacred ethereal liminal world that is always there and is always accessible when we need it.
The doctor’s comments about never wanting to be in a hospital took me instead to the thought that one never has to be anywhere at that moment because they are instead in the Ballroom. We confuse our current, real-life experience with an eternal realm that exists differently. It is The Ballroom. We can at the most intimate moment of life, the moment of the last breath, experience it as the ultimate consummation of love. It is eternal and it is somewhere else.
These thoughts come to my mind especially around this season of Easter and this year a bit later, Passover. Both holy days are about super-natural events. And so I am reminded of my own “experience with the super-natural.” And my growing belief in the eternal existence of The Ballroom.
In a sense I regret my answer to the doctor in the discussion because he was simply validating the fact that until that last moment it is really important, if possible, to be home or in a caring environment. No organization is better at helping make that happen than Hospice. For most of that journey we are in “real time” -- the time of our tangible earthly experience. And that time needs the love and care of Hospice support. It is at that last instant that the nature of time and place change. It lasts forever.
Happy Easter and in advance Happy Passover.