Book Extract - There is No Sadness Without a Story
by Life Positive
Until we know that death is as good as life, and that it always comes in its own sweet way, we’re going to take on the role of God without the awareness of it, and it’s always going to hurt. Whenever you mentally oppose what is, you’re going to experience sadness and apparent separation. There’s no sadness without a story. What is is. You are it.
My ninety-year-old mother is dying of pancreatic cancer. I’m taking care of her, cooking and cleaning for her, sleeping beside her, living in her apartment twenty-three hours a day (my husband takes me out for a walk every morning). It has been a month now. It’s as if her breath is the pulse of my life. I bathe her, I wash her in the most personal places, I medicate her, and I feel such a sense of gratitude. That’s me over there, dying of cancer, spending my last few days sleeping and watching TV and talking, medicated with the most marvellous painkilling drugs. I am amazed at the beauty and intricacies of her body, my body.
On the last day of her life, as I sit by her bedside, a shift takes place in her breathing, and I know: it’s only a matter of minutes now. And then another shift takes place, and I know. Our eyes lock, and a few moments later she’s gone. I look more deeply into the eyes that the mind has vacated, the mindless eyes, the eyes of the no-mind. I wait for a change to take place. I wait for the eyes to show me death, and nothing changes. She’s as present as she ver was. I love my story about her. How else could she ever exist?
I have a friend who, after doing inquiry sincerely for a number of years, came to understand that the world is a reflection of mind. She was married to a man who was the love of her life, and one day, while they were sitting on their couch, he had a heart attack and died in her arms. After the first shock and the tears, she began looking for grief, and there was none. For weeks she kept looking for grief, because her friends told her that grief was a necessary part of the healing process. And all she felt was a completeness: that there was nothing of him that she’d had while he was physically with her that she didn’t have now.
She told me that every time a sad thought about him appeared, she would immediately ask, “Is it true?” and see the turnaround, which washed away the sadness and replaced it with what was truer. “He was my best friend; I have no one to talk to now” became “I am my best friend; I have me to talk to now.” “I’ll miss his wisdom” became “I don’t miss his wisdom”; there was no way she could miss it, because she was that wisdom. Everything she thought she’d had in him she could find in herself; there was no difference. And because he turned out to be her, he couldn’t die. Without the story of life and death, she said, there was just love. He was always with her.
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