The Privilege

The air was difficult to breathe; heavy with tension and with a denseness of uncertainty.  The fear of the unknown and the anxiety stifling our very breath.  We stood in unity, hands held, watching with anticipation. As the following moments unfolded, I witnessed something so beautiful it is hard to capture in written words.

Yesterday both of the boys were with their dad as he was removed from life support. After each boy said their goodbyes we stood in unison and watched the process through a window in the ICU unit.

The heaviness in the air was suffocating.

As we stood together, I reminded the boys that their father was there to help them enter this world, and now together, we get the opportunity to be there as he exited.

Moments following his head turned, sedated and confused his eyes shifted our way.  We all held our breath in stillness.

As if the time has stopped, I watched as my youngest son walked towards the window.  He placed his hands on the glass and gazed into the room.  With purpose and poise he re-entered his father’s hospital room.  I watched through the window as he spoke directly to his dad. I saw his dad look at him.  The space became still and light.  Slowly my older son joined his little brother. Side by side my two young men comforted their dad. They held his hands. They leaned over the bed fearlessly. With their hearts wide open they spoke to him and they loved him. Completely setting aside any of their own heartbreak that spanned years of disappointments, they gave their father the gift of unconditional love.

I witnessed my two boys elevate beyond any fear and open their hearts–wholeheartedly–to the space of compassion and of love.  They each faced this experience with courage and with grace.  In the following thirty minutes, I watched as they fully embraced their dad and the experience of death.  I felt the lightness in the air.  The peace enveloped all three of them and the healing between them happened.  I saw with my own eyes an affirmation of each of my boys integrity, love, compassion and true grace.

I watched as they were each heroic in their unwavering support and compassion for their dad, and for each other.

And what a privilege it was to see.