Freda and Deep Rest
Freda 27 Jan 2018
Freda has just returned from 2 days away for a Christmas visit.
When I came in today, she was up in her kitchen…. a short flight of stairs connects her hallway to the kitchen-diner.
On her way downstairs we paused to consider the space above and to “think” up.
Eventually in her living room, (for over a year now, a bed-sitting room) she settles onto her chair. I say “onto” because she is almost hovering with nervous exhaustion.
She walks forward on her pelvis so that there is space between her back and the chair back.
I bring her attention to her back placing my hands either side of her spine and moving them slowly in light sweeps.
I talk about how on the odd occasion I cycle without my bike helmet, with its eccentric rear view mirror, I have to wake up the radar in my back to be aware of traffic etc.
She walks back on her pelvis until the base of her spine returns to the chair back. It is this “radar” we now employ to receive the support of the chair along with the contact of her sitting bones.
She gives a little more into the chair.
I talk about the front of her spine being able to rest back. Of length and width through her abdomen and upper torso….. as though this too can rest back.
Her hands tremble with the effort of grasping the chair arms and so we spend time noticing the contrast of tension with quieter muscular tone.
I begin to talk about the quality of stillness.
Of Schubert, (she taught singing for many years) architecture, space, music and the silence out of which this arises.
Of the joy of every nook and cranny in each of the spacious imagined cloisters that Schubert creates in the cathedral of his G major sonata and the ethereal quality of peace.
As though a jolly little monk is showing us round and delighting in the details.
Freda’s face lights up when we talk about music.
I take each leg onto my lap and carefully change her bed socks for a pair that don’t trail dangerously.
While I take each huge foot I talk of our architecture and the possibility of a deep stillness within the spaces, that is at rest as opposed to being in anticipation.
“I can definitely feel the difference”
At the door we share the softest hug that lasts longer than usual.
It may be my privilege to accompany her towards her death. It seems today that her present situation is so precarious, I feel I need to gather myself to say goodbye after each weekly visit.
Our times together are always rich.
More and more I believe that the most valuable thing is for her to let go (she builds and holds on so tight in tension and yet responds so readily to awareness and release)
To save her energy for when it really counts.
Monday 31st January.
I heard today that Freda passed away peacefully at home and was not alone.
Farewell dear Freda.