I have been in LA for the past week spending time with Kristin and her close friends and family as she navigates the end of her days with extraordinary grace and courage. She is 41 and leukemia is winning. We are not sure if we have a few minutes, hours or days left with her.
I was talking to my mom and she referred to this time, this intimate experience of transition, as holy. She is not religious but I understood her entirely. She was speaking of the word in the transcendent sense.
And today I went to a dance class at the Sweat Spot for one of my first excursions out of this house of grace in a week. Joe taught us a lovely choreography to Adele's "Someone Like You." It was filled with contractions and expansions and rises and falls and rolls and shudders. We went slow and we went fast. We remembered. We reached. Our dance was filled with moves that I have watched this week as Kristin fights to keep her dignity with her body and to understand the new dance that she is being forced to learn.
At the end of class I wept. (Thanks Joe for holding that space for me to disassemble a bit.)
Because when I was lying on the floor, curled up in the fetal position and ready to begin dancing this choreography for the last time, I thought about sacred and transcendent words, words and ideas that deserve to be elevated and honored. I thought about Kristin, hanging on to her breath and her body and her mind long after it seems humanly possible.
Here they are, my sacred words for today:
Grace ... Holy ... Dignity ... Body.
Family ... Friends ... Love.
And now I will return to the family room, where we will laugh and/or cry and/or sleep and/or eat. We will listen to what Kristin wants us to remember. We will do no harm.
And it will be holy. For sure.