I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some folks were not thrilled with the idea of me “playing” on the tracks. The fact that the train, which runs to the nearby rockery twice (in and out) on Tuesdays and Thursdays only offered little in the way of reassurance. To those who felt uneasy with my lightheartedness on the subject, my apologies. I truly meant no harm. However, i would like to explain a viewpoint. You need not agree. It’s just one point of view.
Having lived the majority of my life in fear of death, to the point of avoiding activities where harm could come and, likewise, sheltering the kids in similar fashion, I must admit that I prefer living in a manner where calculated risks are at least brought into consideration. Perhaps I’ve taken it a bit too far. Perhaps not.
Upon reading the chapter titled “Contemplating Death” in The Untethered Soul, I am inspired to reflect on Tom’s death, as well as the changes that have come since his passing. I do not think for a moment that my husband was even the slightest bit afraid of death. In fact, I believe that once he’d said his peace and began the downward spiral health wise, Tom did what he could spiritually to pull his energy from his body and exit on his terms. Why else would there be such a discrepancy between the “One year” that we were told versus his death two weeks later? He waited for his older brother to arrive from Hawaii, and died less than 12 hours later. Coincidence? I think not.
Well, his body died. His spirit lives on.
In all my years of bedside nursing, observing the coming in and going out of spirits living in bodies, I’ve never seen the process take on such intensity. Tom was fighting the fight – but it wasn’t to live. He fought his way OUT of his physical body and all that held him in the world as we know it. He showed us suffering to the point that we were able to let him leave. And HE knew that we would be okay – even if we weren’t quite so sure.
Since his passing, my way of thinking, confidence, bravery, spontaneity, and openness to both people and opportunities has changed in a HUGE way. I have let go of many fears and approached things with a mindset of possibilities rather than dread. Sure, there may be no guarantees that it will end up good but, upon looking at what happiness I stand to gain, the possibility of heartache and loss is worth the risk.
If you have been with me for a long time, you already know that this his was of particular concern where opening up my heart to another man was concerned. While I didn’t want to suffer another loss, I also didn’t want the rest of my life to be devoid of love either.
At times, the mere thought of entering into a romantic relationship felt far more risky than playing on the railroad tracks. However, I realized that closing my heart to love was akin to closing my heart to life. It’s not the same. This I know. But still. Calculated risk, joy, openness… LIFE!