My husband had gone into hospice after navigating a three year journey with a very rare form of lung cancer. He was in command of his journey until the last breath and showed us many things, including how much abundance there is in any moment and in what looks like there is not much life at all. Tom went in to hospice because he couldn’t breathe and going there was the only way for him to get oxygen without being admitted to the hospital. Having the help of the machine was brand new for us but instantly became our lifeline to him.
After a day and a half, he took our little family on a journey of breath. He had been studying it really for a few years. He’d been basically studying the space in between, the great void, accessing the unknown, being with discomfort and the unfamiliar and found harmony in every experience. On what was to become his last day, he removed the mask and took us on a journey. He guided the kids, my brother, a friend and me to be present with our breath and to trust it…to allow it, sink into it, give over to it, free ourselves from all else. At the moment, the last thing I could do was to breathe. I was suffocating in fear and attachment.
Tom looked at me and with strength that came from some miraculous place said, “YOU can do this.” Sheesh. I still thrived on the inspiration he gave me. He was still abundant in impact, strength and courage. His body was on it’s way out. We hadn’t been able to touch him because of the pain it caused. He couldn’t eat, sit up, walk or speak full sentences. His life force energy was near to nothing and he still was full of life in so many ways.
This man who claimed to be dying without regret was doing well, if you ask me. He was able to tell us what was hallucination and what wasn’t. He was able to tell us what he saw and knew that we couldn’t see. He was able to share with the kids pieces of wisdom about God and the importance of trusting that this is good even if we don’t understand it. He was able to pass on to them that not understanding life is an opportunity to get to know God better, to sit in silence or with the sunset and listen. He was able to pass on trust, love, courage and wisdom in the most allowing, empowering and beautiful way. Tom told us where he was going and what would be there.
He said he was not taking the cancer with him. He told us that he can breathe there. He said, “Where I am going, there are a thousand breaths, a million smiles and everybody has periwinkle eyes.” He went on to explain the detail of it all and encouraged us to take the lessons of breath and carry it to the world. He said that this was our job now…. “A thousand breaths, a million smiles and everyone has periwinkle eyes.” These were his words. It comes to you now with love and gratitude for your own human journey.
Thousand Breaths is the named after this time and the color periwinkle appears on all of my material. Tom’s time with us furnished me with the possibility to do my work in the world with love, gratitude, freedom and detachment. I think the greatest thing I learned is the magnitude of life available when we free ourselves from that which binds us. It’s a powerful lesson; one I find myself needing to relearn often. What I’ve gleaned so far is that, when we do free ourselves from that which binds us…it…is…good. It is available at all times, in every moment and is where you will find “Inspiration, Abundance and Harmony.”