I know it is not everyone’s story, but my mother embodied more unselfish love and compassion for others than I have ever witnessed. Her smile was genuine, and she was keenly attuned to what was important like gratitude and selfless charity. Of course, I’m biased, and I know she had her own challenges with mental wellness and human frailty, but her moral compass was sound and never faltered far from those aspects. I used to believe, mostly because I took it for granted, that love was bound by proximity. That if I was distanced from someone that I loved that somehow that love was diminished. I confused the longing to be in the company of a cherished person with a reduced amount of love that I held for them, but it was merely unchallenged. Original beliefs may need to be reassessed as we struggle with the concept of loss and what it means to the love we hold for that person who has been removed from us. As my mother struggled in her final days. I began a practice of mediation to the west and in the dark. I needed to align with my fear of finality and the inevitability of what was to come. I see the sun come up in the east as a new day starts like a new life in the span of my existence, and I watch it set in the west as I grow older and learn new lessons. I prayed that her passing would be merciful and that she would be cheerfully met by her parents and my brother that had gone before her. Even with knowing and doing what I could to prepare, when she slipped away with me holding her hand, I felt somehow betrayed by the universe. I was lost and orphaned and without tether to meaning in my life.
With willingness and self-care, I began to heal slowly as I started a new meditation on love. I put the last letter she wrote me on my meditation table and focused on the love I had for her while I imagined her smile and the comfort that she embodied. What I discovered was a new truth. I found that the love for her was not gone nor even lessened. It was transcendent of her being present in my physical world, and it was unrestricted now to accompany me everywhere I went. Although I live in another state from where my mother resided and was finally buried, I feel a daily connection to her that is profound because I reject my assumption that love is bound by location.
That meditation morphed as they all tend to do in my practice. It became about love without boundaries which focused on the love I feel for people that I’m not in proximity of. I hold the feeling of love for them close to me even though they are still alive and well. This removed the distance from my father and sister and conquered that initial orphaned feeling with a higher sense of belonging because I have love. The irony is that love did not change, only my limited belief encapsulating it. I still aspire to unfold its full potential even with my limited perspective. May love in your life be unbound and fully embodied. I love you mom.