I've written my own epitaph. I've contemplated my own Death. I've even planned my funeral in my head.
But I've never written a goodbye letter to my children.
I started thinking about the fragility of life: Death has many faces, and I could die, any day, at any moment.
What would I want my beloved children to know? I wanted to put it down on paper, grab the feelings in my heart, pull them in and sit with them, then let them manifest in letters and words and give them life.
Today, I did just that. What an emotional exercise. My heart literally wept as I imagined each one reading the letter in the event of my Death:
"...Live your lives well. Accept the sorrow with the joy, the ineffable grief with the love, humility with accomplishment. Don't take a single moment for granted. This is it. This moment is all that you have. Don't squander it... Remember me in the sunset and the sunrise and the birds and salty ocean breeze, and the crisp pines. Remember me in your children's eyes and their laughter and their shadows that dance between the clouds. Remember me in the gentle furrows of your face, archiving the ebb and flow- the beauty and pain- of life through the years. I am you, and you are me. We are one. And I will love you beyond this world and into eternity. Quiet your mind and listen for my voice. You will hear me whisper, "I love you and I miss you precious child" and you will know that it is true. Believe in your heart that I am with you always, and I will never leave you. I will be waiting for you to come one day, far off in the future. I will be waiting with your sister, and your papa and nana. And one day, we'll all be together again..."
I've placed the letter someplace safe, where it can be easily found. And while it may be many, many years before the letter is relevant, there was a peculiar sense of serenity in this chronicling. I'm going to call each of them, now, and tell them how much I do love them. And remind them how fortunate I am that I was chosen to be a part of their lives. How truly fortunate and blessed am I?
And once again, sitting with Death has helped me to appreciate, and to live, and to love more fully, more authentically, more wholly.