Today is Maundy Thursday. it is not a date I’ve paid any attention to in my 52 year span, not until now. It celebrates the night Jesus asked his disciples to sit up with him before his death. ‘Can you not watch with me one hour,’ he said. Tonight I sat vigil for an hour at the Inwood Holy Trinity church and thought back to three months ago when I sat vigil with Laura before she died. I also gave thanks for our extraordinary friends who took turns doing vigils, some during the day and many on long overnight shifts comforting Laura with their presence and reassuring her she would not die alone.
Earlier this evening the Reverend Rebecca Barnes (who married Laura and I) washed the feet of her congregation, as Jesus did his disciple’s. It is symbolic of the humble act of care-giving that Jesus said was our mission. ‘Love one another,’ he entreated at the Last Supper. In my small experience, true care-giving often looks from the outside as unexciting and unappealing as washing a gnarly old foot, but the magic is what happens within. Being with Laura through her final months was an enormous privilege and an incredibly transformative experience. I learnt so much – about myself, about Laura, about love, and about how our lives stretch way beyond this realm. I am only just beginning to process these experiences. My journey is just beginning. But I know already my life will never be the same.
2 Comments Add yours
You expressed this beautifully. It is a gift to serve purely without an agenda. A quote for the Bhagavad Gita says it in a different way:
A gift is pure when it is given from the heart,
to the right person at the right time
and at the right place,
and nothing is expected in return.”
Thank you Lucie for reminding me of Laura’s gift. I remain in awe of her ability to share herself and her experience with all of us, what bravery, generosity, and love!