That’s what my friend Laraine said this would be – “a very sacred time.” When I read those words, I could not really imagine what they meant. I thought being here would simply be hard and sad. And it is. But it is not simply that. It is sacred.

There’s a holiness in this house and it emanates from the room where Mom lies gently breathing tonight. It’s as if a golden glow seeps through the door and into the molecules around us infusing them and then us with a holiness that we have never known. I don’t know how to describe it. Words have failed me here for this is beyond the constructs of human language.

My father, brother, and I are bound together by this golden light. We carry the weight of each other’s pain in our eyes and in our hearts. I find myself looking at them and reading their souls on their faces as they read or put together a puzzle or just sit and stare. I see us bound together by a golden ribbon weaving through us back to Mom. The golden binding is loose but strong. Mighty.

This golden ribbon came to me a few years ago in a yoga class, one of the few where I actually managed to stop thinking for some moments. I saw the ribbon spinning through the sky softly, it’s folds and curls lilting through the air. It is an image I will never forget even though, still, I don’t know where it came from or why it is so special.

Yet, at night, when Mom is restless, I tell her to imagine what she loves – her grandmother, her wedding, the cats she’s owned. Then, I tell her to picture a golden ribbon in the air. A reminder of the looseness and sacredness of the most powerful bindings. The ones that let you wander but never let you go.

Golden Ribbon“Golden Ribbon” by Ingo Maurer