We’re all in hospice. From the moment we arrive through the portal of birth, we begin the journey towards another, equally shared portal for our exit.
The origin of the word hospice refers to being either guests or hosts. This world is our hosts and we are its guests. As guests moving towards that same exit portal, we are free to ‘do life’ with regard to how we think, how we speak and how we choose to treat the billions of other guests who are journeying towards the same destination. Regardless of what kind of guests we choose to be, the world is a non-partisan host whose arrival portal remains open to every soul who enters.
This insight came this morning during my weekly mastermind session with Will Coleman Ph D as I relayed to him my bedside vigil the night before.
After Thursday evening’s meditation class, I drove to an area hospice to be with a member of our spiritual community. His crossing through the exit portal is immediate. I placed one hand near his heart and chest as the respiratory fluid build up, or death rattle, shook his body. I sang his favorite congregational song in his ear. I repeated to him how much he was loved and assured him he was close to regaining the brilliant gift of eyesight, which was denied him for much of this journey.
The last activity of life happens in the heart just as the first activity of life happens in the heart. But in between, we often abandon this space and let the brain rule the rest of our activities. We fail to connect with our hearts and question the doctrine of religion that teaches that only one way or one doctrine is correct. We fail to remain fluid and curious about everything we hold solidly as fact. We fail to reengage with the heart and let our brain be manipulated by those who command we follow in their fear-soled shoes. As guests in hospice, we can and do behave terribly towards our fellow patients.
That all can change by remembering that we are all on the same path towards the same exit. That all can change by questioning everything you’ve been told about an ‘us and them’ world.
Perhaps now is our time to start singing the hymn of the heart to others, reminding them of their worth, honoring their unique and vital differences. For fundamentally, we’re all in the same hospice.