Emily Rapp wrote of the dragon mothers of dying babies. I could envision their sharp teeth and slick scales. These are the fierce women who knew a big black hole through the heart was coming and would now remain until the end of life. How could it be possible to experience the exquisite beauty and rightness of motherhood and the agony of unfolding loss in such a short span of time?
All I can think is how unreal and time-stopped it must feel to know you are not “tomorrow living”. All I can think is how much "tomorrow living" robs us of the right now. If today is here and tangible and alive, then drink it in and reside in its glory. Plans need to be made sometimes and preparations considered, but can we let them supersede the hands we hold and the smooth skin of cheek to cheek? Our minds and hearts deserve to live right now, and that is what this aching loss reminds us. The storm is coming…but it is not yet here. And in the calm before the storm, in the dark of the storm cellar, it’s best to sing before the wind drowns out your lullaby.
Why are mothers of terminally ill children rarely asked for their parenting views?
Short answer: dragons are scary. Our grief is primal and unwieldy and it embarrasses people. Talking about end-of-life decisions for our babies to a bunch of parents with typically developing kids is tantamount to breathing fire at a dinner party or on the blayground. Nobody wants to see what we see so clearly. Nobody wants to know the truth about their children, about themselves: that none of it is forever.
-Emily Rapp Still Point of the Turning World.
As research notes, if you want to master something, practice for 10,000 hours or 10 years. Well, a decade into mothering, and trust me I can affirm that I am definitely no master. I mostly flail, often not actualizing my intentions or not acting in alignment with my deepest values, but what I have learned, what I truly now recognize is how all in I am, how much who I am, what I choose, how I be is woven into their lives. How we are absolutely in it together in this lifetime. The struggles and suffering. The simple pleasures and delights. The insights and euphoria. The daily spiritual practice to live soulfully embodied. And I love it. I am so grateful for it, all of it. Every single eye blink.