Death Becomes Us

A bee-hive sensation swarms my chest, and I wish to swat it away. I’m scared I’m missing something in a young client’s eating disorder diagnosis. It feels – rather is – excessive, and the more I learn about the specialist’s treatment approach I doubt it’s what the client’s needing.

The judgment call is mine in conjunction with the client and their parents. I’m not alone, and that we’ll figure this out together is comforting.

The empty bird feeder swaying lightly in the breeze is a “Yoohoo, over here!” neighborly hand wave that I no longer can deny. Between that sentence and this one, it became fully stocked.

I’m obsessed with creating a shelving unit in my barren closet space, as evidenced by my frequent visits to Pinterest and Reddit for inspiration and price-checking places like Ikea, Lowe’s, Facebook marketplace, and Offerup. Instead of using precious real estate for cubbies for shoe storage, I’m contemplating leaving my loafers in the garage and performing my Mr. Rogers shoe swap there.

A session with a new-to-me 59-year-old client had me educating them on transitions (something I frequently do) and reassuring them that they’d get through their current challenge. As they talked about desires for their adult children, specifically for them to find partners and to be happy, I mentioned the common phenomena of tying up loose ends, which didn’t land well. Their current mission is to live as long as possible, especially having had just gone through cancer treatment.

I get that. And understand people’s hesitation toward the topic. In sessions I don’t dwell on death, but it is a topic I commonly bring up. First, because it’s natural, and is an experience we all think about and will face. And two, because the amount of fear and denial on the subject isn’t helping anyone.

The funny thing is I overcame my fear of death by having the most nurturing and otherworldly dream imaginable. In bed, with a late-stage cancer diagnosis, I knew I was knocking on death’s doorstep. Instead of feeling panicked, scared or uncertain I felt peace. As I lay watching my family’s faces filled with concern and fear for me, all I focused on was their love. No longer a part of time as I once knew it I could appreciate to my fullest capacity love without fear. It was freaking amazing, and still to this day I am overcome with peace when I think of it.

I don’t know about my death experience, but I hope it’s a good one. And if I can help others reach a similar end, I sure as heck am going to try.

That’s it for me. Too-da-loo. Love Jaclynn

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