I opened my computer this morning, and saw a link to a video on CNN.com – “Cancer Patient Marries in Hospital.” I clicked it open, and held by breath. I knew I was tempting fate by doing so, and putting myself in a position to test my whittled-down strength. It hasn’t been a good last two days for me, but there I was, curious, but ready to hit “stop” if the video got too maudlin.
It didn’t. And I cried.
I cried because, here was a woman, that had been fighting breast cancer, which spread to her brain, and was now in her spinal fluid, and her family was all around her, along with, the man she was going to marry that day. And what I saw was such love – from her mother and her sisters, her young brother (or nephew), who smiled and nodded with certainty that, “This is going to be a good day today,” and of course, from her fiancé. This young woman had gone “through it” in ICU and was looking pretty rough, but her family was there with helping hands and open hearts.
I recognized the look on their faces. It was a love barely contained, a rejoicing in the connection in each other’s lives.
You know, I’m always careful when I talk about my husband’s last days. I’m worried that people won’t understand the preciousness of being there, how it is such a sacred moment. I have since run into quite a few people who have privately shared with me how they considered it a privilege to be with the one they love as they died. A privilege. It’s a love that transcends. It’s like lovemaking with your souls. And it’s a kind of love you’ll never forget.
I saw this in the family on the CNN clip. And I most definitely saw it in the glow of her fiancé. I did have a moment of skepticism when they first started interviewing him. I mean, what are his intentions? Why are they on television, the Internet? Is he enjoying the media attention? But all I had to do was look at his face to know he was sincere. I know this look. His heart was bursting with so much love for this woman. I know this…His love is complete and unconditional. And he was in his truth in a way that few experience often, if ever. And actually, the word “truth’ was tattooed across the top of his wrist as – “Veritas.”
And yes . . . I cried as I watched this. And my heart feels like it’s been stepped on today. But at least it was stepped on by beauty.
How incredible is our capacity for love? Our inordinate ability to love and connect with each other. How we reach out to help the other. And how our hands, arms, and hearts are like bridges that can help our loved ones step from this world into the next. All this transcends this world as we know it.
We truly are souls.
There’s a Rumi poem I love. It was actually one of the first things that helped me to start healing after I lost my own loved one –
“I am so small, I can barely be seen. How can this great love be inside me?”
Here’s a link if you’d like to watch the video –