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Divine Feminine Power

madonnaMy friend Lisa over at Mommy Mystic is hosting a collaborative blog for International Women’s Day. I was honored when she asked me to be a part of it, and so I wrote a poem for her. However, I also wanted to say a few words here…

There is a saying I like: “Any man who thinks he knows anything about women is only fooling himself.” If that is true of human women (and I believe it is), then it is even more true of the Goddess. So who am I to speak of feminine power?

The Goddess is a mystery. As she is mysterious, so is her power. It is elusive, and not easily captured with words. She is above and beyond our mortal comprehension. I cannot explain the power of the Goddess to you. I can’t comprehend the enormity of it, and I don’t understand it.

I don’t understand thermonuclear fusion, either. However, I don’t have to understand it to tell you how the sun feels on my skin. And so, even though I don’t understand feminine power, I can tell you how it feels to me.

Feminine power is a quiet, gentle strength. It’s a cooling breeze on a hot Summer day. It’s the warmth of a soft blanket in the middle of Winter. It’s kissing boo-boos and soothing crying children. It’s a soft voice singing you to sleep, and a gentle nudge to wake you up in the morning. It’s chicken noodle soup when you are sick, and pizza when you’re feeling better.

The Goddess can be as ferocious as a mother bear protecting her cubs. She can be the raging of a Summer thunderstorm, the intense heat of forbidden passion, the explosion of volcanoes, and the violence of earthquakes. She can bring you to your knees in terror and awe, and she can lay waste to a thousand screaming demons.

But she can also heal with tenderness, mercy, and compassion. And that is the essence of the Divine Feminine to me.

The Necessity of Mythological Evil

Photo courtesy of Brandi TresslerEvil sleeps beside you. Evil walks behind you. You’re so bad...” ~AC/DC

Evil may be defined as any action which intentionally causes pain or suffering in oneself or another being. To knowingly and willfully cause psychological, emotional, or physical suffering is evil.

People perform evil acts because of fear. Fear, not money, is the root of all evil in the world. As Master Yoda once said, fear leads to anger. Anger is a secondary emotion that arises when we are afraid. When we are afraid, sometimes we lash out in anger and frustration, and this causes pain and suffering to those around us.

Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand our darker, more primal urges. Not only have we tried to understand them, we have also sought to be free from them. Our desire to disavow these feelings caused us (as a race) to stuff them into our collective Shadow. Once our anger and fear were stuffed down into our Shadow, they grew into a dark and sinister force that we sought to project outside of ourselves—archetypal evil.  Archetypal evil is the idea that evil is an external power or force that influences our lives and causes us to commit evil acts. Archetypal evil is the scapegoat that we have made responsible for our own evil urges.

Archetypal evil works in conjunction with actual evil (the suffering we cause in others) by keeping it an unconscious act. For the most part, people don’t consciously perform evil deeds; they are a function of the unconscious mind. Archetypal evil allows us to keep our fear and anger hidden from our conscious minds, which keeps their true origins secret from us. This is readily apparent in such phrases as “The Devil made me do it,” which is, of course, a denial of our own Shadow and an unconscious projection of our own baser instincts.

However, almost as soon as we created archetypal evil, we began to try and understand it. We explored it through our art and storytelling, and in doing so, gave birth to mythological evil. Mythological evil is simply the mythology of evil, or the collection of stories, artwork, beliefs, and ideas that we hold about archetypal evil. Mythological evil is the artistic expression of evil found throughout human history. It is our way of trying to understand and relate to archetypal evil.

Mythological evil, unlike archetypal evil, works against actual evil. Mythological evil releases actual evil from the collective unconscious of humanity, and then brings it into the light of awareness. Once we are made consciously aware of the true nature of evil, we can fight against it. As C.G. Jung once said, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” It is only by bringing evil out of the unconscious mind and into conscious awareness that we can hope to fight against it. The stories we tell about archetypal evil allow us to make the darkness conscious. Once archetypal evil is brought to our awareness, it becomes “trapped” there, and we are able to deal with it consciously.

Mythological evil “traps” archetypal evil by bringing it up to the level of conscious awareness. Left in the unconscious mind, evil is free to wreak havoc in our lives and relationships. There, we have no control over it. In fact, as long as it remains unconscious, it has control over us. When writers, musicians, filmmakers or other artists shine the light of awareness on it, evil is brought under our control.

This concept was illustrated almost perfectly in the 1994 horror movie, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. In that film, evil, in the form of Freddy Kreuger, is on the verge of being unleashed into the world. The Nightmare on Elm Street movies had kept it trapped for several years, but once the movies stopped being produced, the prison was weakening. The following exchange occurs between the director of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and one of the actresses:

Wes Craven: I can tell you what the nightmares are about. They’re about this…entity. Whatever you want to call it. It’s old, very old, and it’s taken different forms in different times. The only thing that stays the same about it is what it lives for.
Heather Langenkamp: What’s that?
Wes Craven: Killing innocence, one way or the other.
Heather Langenkamp: This is still a script we’re talking about, right?
Wes Craven: I think of it as sort of a nightmare in progress.
Heather Langenkamp: Then, in this nightmare in progress, does this thing have any weaknesses?
Wes Craven: It can be captured, sometimes.
Heather Langenkamp: Captured? How?
Wes Craven: By storytellers, of all things. Every so often, they imagine a story good enough to catch its essence. Then it’s held prisoner for a while. In the story.
Heather Langenkamp: Like the Genie in the bottle.
Wes Craven: Exactly. [pause] The problem comes when the story dies. It happens a lot of different ways, the story gets too familiar, or too watered down by people trying to make it easier to sell, or it’s labeled a threat to society and just plain banned. However it happens, when the story dies, the evil is set free.
Heather Langenkamp: You saying Freddy’s this ancient thing?
Wes Craven: Current version. For ten years he’s been imprisoned as Freddy by the story of Nightmare on Elm Street. But now that the films have stopped – The genie’s out of the bottle, Heather. That’s what the nightmares are about. That’s what I’m writing.

I love the idea that evil, as an actual force in the world, can be trapped by a good story. Truthfully, I believe this is really the way it works, at least from a mythological point of view. The stories, images, and other artistic expressions of evil keep it contained. Movies such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween trap the essence of evil in an art form from which it cannot escape. The same thing can be said of the music of bands such as AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Danzig; or the literary works of Dante and John Milton. Whenever an artist captures the essence of evil, he takes away its power.

And so, unlike actual evil or archetypal evil, mythological evil is actually a good thing. The artistic representations of evil in books, movies, and music bring the light of awareness to our unconscious evil tendencies, which allows us to contain them and prevent them from causing harm. Mythological evil allows us to understand archetypal evil, and our own evil tendencies. It helps us be better people, and helps us make the world a better place for everyone.

Piercing the Illsuion of Love

I wrote a little blurb about love and projection on Facebook the other day, and a friend of mine thought it was so good, she wanted to use it as a guest post on her blog. This is the first guest post that I have been invited to do in quite a long time, so I feel incredibly honored.

If you’d like to read it, it’s here:

http://www.trishascott.com/piercing-the-illusion-of-relationships/

Love Always,

Jay

God Doesn’t Score Touchdowns

Photo by Auburn University AthleticsIt’s the morning after the Iron Bowl. Last night, I watched my beloved Auburn Tigers defeat our hated rivals, the Alabama Crimson Tide in a thrilling, down-to-the-very-last-second, come-from-behind victory. After the game, I read several recaps, and watched several highlight videos until late into the night. I celebrated. I’m still celebrating. I will be celebrating for a very, very long time.

But then, I started reading a few things which bugged me. People were calling it a “miracle”. People were thanking God for granting Auburn this victory. People were praising God and shouting to the heavens that their prayers had been answered.

I doubt the Alabama players, coaches, and fans felt the same way.

In fact, I doubt that the losers in any athletic contest feel as though their prayers have been answered.

In every game, there are thousands of people praying for opposite outcomes. For every prayer of a long pass completion, there is an equal and opposite prayer for an interception. For every prayer of a long run, there is a prayer for a quick tackle. For every prayer for a good field goal, there is a prayer for a missed field goal. Everybody on both sides of the ball is praying for each play to go their way, and of course, everyone is praying for victory.

Do you really think that God is sitting up in Heaven, counting up those prayers, and affecting the outcome?

“Well, let’s see…right now, 4,734,329 people are praying for him to make this field goal, but only 4,734, 328 people are praying for him to miss it, so this one is going straight down the middle, kid.”

No.

God doesn’t care about who wins football games. He doesn’t care if touchdowns are made, or if tackles are made. He doesn’t care if field goals are made, or if field goals are missed. God doesn’t care if balls are tipped into the air or swatted to the ground. He doesn’t care if passes are caught or dropped.

God cares that athletic talent (or any talent) is developed to it’s fullest potential. God cares that the athletes try their very best, and push themselves to the limits of their ability. God cares that the coaches use their brains to the fullest of their potential to call up the best plays and motivate their players to the best of their ability. God cares that the game is played fairly, with good sportsmanship from everyone involved. God cares that the referees do a good job of ensuring that same fairness and sportsman-like conduct. God cares that the fans have a good time, and that everyone is entertained. God cares that when our teams win, we do so with class, and that when our teams lose, we do so with dignity. Last, but certainly not least, God absolutely cares when players get hurt.

But God doesn’t score touchdowns. He doesn’t make kicks fall short, passes go incomplete, or runs get stopped. God doesn’t affect the outcome of the game in any way, shape, or form. He doesn’t do that, because that would mean that he intentionally causes pain in the people who don’t get what they prayed for. God doesn’t play favorites. He doesn’t hurt people. To manipulate the outcome in any sporting event would go against everything that a loving, kind, benevolent creator represents. It would be a loss of free will and a slap in the face to human potential and achievement. God doesn’t do that.

As it is in football, so it is in life.

Love Always,

Jay

PS: WAR EAGLE, BABY!!!!!

Accepting Defeat

Samurai statue photo by Ernest Duffoo

I am admitting defeat in NaNoWriMo 2013. I started out behind in my word count, and fell even further behind over the first few days. Now, I’ve missed seven straight days completely. I lack both the will and the desire to catch up, and so I’m officially dropping out. I’ll complete the story that I was writing for it, but I’m going to work on it much more slowly, and edit as I go along. The result will be more polished and easier to read, and it will probably work a lot better. Karen, our lovely protagonist, deserves to be treated with care and respect. Now, I can give that to her…no matter where her story takes her.

In 2010, when I completed NaNoWriMo, I did so at a heavy cost. Writing consumed my life, and burned everything else away. I grew to hate writing, to hate thinking about it, to hate talking about it, to hate everything about it. Writing began to feel like an obligation. It became a chore to do as soon as possible every morning just so I could put it behind me and get on with my day.

I don’t ever want to feel that way again. I love writing, and I want to enjoy it. I don’t want it to be a chore, or a bore. But in order to keep my enthusiasm for it, I have to do it on my terms. Artificial word counts and difficult deadlines feel restrictive and punitive to me, and I want no part of them.

And so I am dropping them, and returning to writing on my own terms.

Of course, there is a price to be paid. My integrity is taking a hit, and my character along with it. I committed myself to doing NaNo, and now I am breaking that commitment. I suppose most people wouldn’t even blink in the face of that betrayal, but I take my honor very seriously…and I know that every broken promise is a stain on that honor. It wounds me—that much is certain. However, I would rather accept the stain of a broken promise than accept the pain of killing my passion. If my honor is tainted, then so be it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have a story to tell.

Love Always,

Jay

 

Live Blogging NaNoWriMo

Every November, a group of writers get together for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. The goal is to write a novel (50,000 words) in 30 days. I participated in 2010, and “won” by completing my novel. It sucked. Royally. I was dealing with the aftermath of a relationship that was incredibly damaging to me, and I used my time with NaNo to work out a lot of those feelings. My novel had a loose plot, but in reality, it was more of a daily diary entry than a real novel. Still, it was a good exercise, and it felt good to do it.

I swore that I would never do it again. By the end of it, I hated writing. Even the act of opening my laptop filled me with dread. To “win”, you have to write about 1,667 words a day…every single day. For those of you who aren’t used to writing, that’s a lot of words! And since I was working full time as a writer/editor for the federal government at the time…it seemed like all I did was write.

So this year, a dear friend asked me to join her in Nano, for mutual support and encouragement. I hesitated, because I’m doing a lot of writing for my new fantasy and science-fiction website, Exterminis, and wasn’t sure I wanted another commitment. In the end, I figured “what the hell” and went for it.

I began Nano this year with no story, no plot, no outline…nothing. I didn’t even have a vague idea of the kind of story I wanted to write, much less any formal prep work. I had no idea what was going to come out of my fingers as I began to type.

As I write this blog post, I just finished day 2 of Nano. And what I have found is that this story is coming from deep inside of me. I’m a huge Jungian fanboy, if not scholar, and I really feel like this story is coming from my Anima, the inner feminine part of my psyche in Jungian terms. It’s almost as if she has taken over my conscious mind, and is dictating the story to me. I really like it so far, even if it’s not like anything I’ve written before. There’s no supernatural element to it (at least not yet), and it seems like it might be a love story in the making. I don’t really know, because it’s not really coming from me. I’ll be just as surprised as the readers will be when the twists and turns come.

Tonight, I was nearly overwhelmed by the desire to publish this rough draft as it is written. To my conscious mind, this sounds like one of the more idiotic ideas I’ve ever had…and have had some very idiotic ideas in my life! However, my Anima (yep…gonna blame this whole thing on her) is insistent on it, and so I’m gonna go with it.

To ease the fears that arise out of my conscious mind, I’m telling myself (and you) that this is a good exercise in facing rejection, in exposing my weaknesses, in facing the fear of public ridicule and exposure, and in confronting my “naked in public” shame. I’m also telling myself that it will encourage other people to write, because they’ll see just how bad rough drafts can be, and then they won’t be afraid to start. See, self? I’m helping others, while facing some fears. It’s all good. :)

The Story can be read here. I’ll update these pages every day in November.

Running Down A Dream

sunset photo by me

If I had known that I was going to California to die, I might have made other plans.

I was raised to be practical and responsible. Growing up, I was always the responsible one, and even though I am the youngest of my siblings, I often had to make sure they stayed out of trouble. I would come home from school, do my homework immediately, and then follow that with chores. After the work was done (and only after the work was done), I allowed myself to read or play.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. A good work ethic, and a willingness to take responsibility and get things done will take you far in life. Most doers don’t dream, and most dreamers don’t do. A dreamer who does…now that’s golden, and that’s who I was.

I’m not sure when I lost it. In the middle of writing this, I took a long break, and tried to pinpoint the moment I changed. I suppose when doesn’t matter, because I know why. Somewhere along the way, all of my dreams died.

I stopped caring about my work ethic because I stopped caring about the work I was doing. My dreams died, and they took my work ethic with them. I’ve spent most of my life as a zombie. I haven’t had any passion—any internal fire—for as long as I can remember. There was a brief flame several years ago, when music lit up my life, but that didn’t last long.

My adult life has been a series of halfhearted attempts to please others. I graduated college because it was expected of me. I started a career in non-profits to impress a woman I loved. I went to work for the Federal Government because I knew that it would please my parents. Besides, what better job for a soulless zombie than bureaucrat?

And then, one day, I realized that I hated my life.

I could have let that realization sink me into depression, but I had recently started blogging, and I had met some amazing people and learned some amazing things. One of those things was that if I didn’t like something, I had the power to change it.

I sat down, and I made a list. What kind of life did I want? What did I want my life to look like? I knew I wanted to be living in a small beach town. I wanted to be working part-time on projects I really loved, while still having enough money to cover my living expenses. I wanted to be in love with an amazing woman, and I wanted a good group of friends who were physically present in my life.

When the opportunity arose, I jumped. I took a chance, and moved to California. Like I said, if I had known that I was going there to die, I might have made other plans. And yet, die is exactly what I did.

Not literally. I didn’t physically die, but rather experienced a shedding of my old persona. All of the bits and pieces of my old life burned away, until there was nothing left except myself. It was painful, as these things often are. In fact, I experienced a world of pain and frustration. However, at the end, there was a serenity and peace that I had not felt in a long, long time. I felt like a newborn child: everything was new and exciting again, and I had a world of possibility in front of me.

So having learned the lessons I needed to learn, and clearing away all that needed to be cleared away, I left California behind. And now I find myself in a new land. A small town near the beach. A town where I am able to cover all of my living expenses quite easily, even without working at all. I have already made several friends who are physically present in my life, and even though I am not in love, it’s not as important to me as it once was. But something even better, even more magical has happened:

I’ve rediscovered my passion. My inner fire, cold for so long, has been rekindled. I find myself pursuing a dream, and doing work that sets my heart on fire and my fills my soul with purpose. I wake up eager to start working, and I often work late into the night. I’m excited about my future, and I’m loving my life.

And that makes a death in California worth every minute.

Love Always,

Jay

 

 

Thoughts on Reincarnation

Cleopatra Statue by Kyle Rush

Reincarnation was one of the first “alternative” spiritual teachings I adopted when I decided to forge my own belief system. To me, it just makes sense. One lifetime doesn’t seem to be nearly long enough to do all the things we want to do, try all the things we want to try, go all the places we want to go, learn all the things we want to learn, love all…well, you get the idea. It just seems that one trip to the physical world is an awful waste of an eternity.

My beliefs around reincarnation have changed and evolved over the years, and they continue to do so. These are some things that I like to believe are true. You are, of course, free to fold these thoughts into your own belief system, or reject them as you wish. My entire philosophy rests on the notion that everyone should incorporate the beliefs that appeal to them, and reject the ones that do not.

So here we go…

Time Travel

The standard reincarnation line is that once we die, our souls come back, and we are reborn into another body, sometime after our previous death. In this manner of thinking, time marches on in a steady line, and we march forward with it.

But check this out:

What if….we could not only reincarnate forward, but backward as well? What if your next life could actually be in the past? Have you ever wanted to witness important moments in history, like the signing of the Declaration of Independence or the Trojan War? Why not use your next life to travel back and visit? You could be an American revolutionary soldier, an Egyptian laborer working on the pyramids, a pirate, a knight in medieval Europe…whatever you want. Awesome, right?

Fortune and Fame

One of the criticisms of reincarnation is that there are so many people who claim to be Cleopatra or someone famous. Nobody ever claims to be Joe (or Jane) Schmoe, working class dog.

But check this out:

What if…we could take turns being famous people? What if a personality…any personality…is just a mantle that any soul can adopt? If our souls are separate from our identitties, then we can pick up any identity we want each time we incarnate. The Cleopatra Identity (Yes, this is the Jason Bourne theory of reincarnation) was a powerful female in ancient Egypt. The Lincoln Identity was the 15th President of the United States of America, the Hitler Identity was Chancellor of Germany, the Socrates Identity was a philosopher in ancient Greece, etc. At any time, any one of us could reincarnate and become that individual. When we are finished (die), someone else could pick up that identity, and live that life all over again.

But what about free will? If we pick up an identity, aren’t we locked into making the same choices they made? Why should we be? When you are Cleopatra (for example), you are Cleopatra. You can do whatever you want (as her). Marry Marc Antony. Execute Marc Antony. Burn Egypt to the ground. Raise Egypt up to conquer the known world. History will be re-written with every choice you make, and no one here (in the modern perspective) will ever be the wiser. Take a turn as Hitler. Change him into the protector of the Jewish people, offering all of Germany as a safe haven. Become one of the Jews in a concentration camp, for a better understanding of just how evil the Nazis really were. You can be anyone, do anything, and change everything.

The Ultimate Do-Over

If you can go back in time and be someone famous, why not go back in time and be…yourself? We’ve all experienced those  moments when our entire life changed. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had zigged instead of zagged? Why not find out? After you die, simply reincarnate as yourself, with the intention of doing things differently. When you reach that moment in time again…go left instead of right, and see where that path leads. You could do this a million times, and not exhaust all the options that have shaped your life. Each time, your soul would get to experience a new and exciting set of challenges.

Karma Chameleon

Let’s say you have a good soul-friend, and together, you have lived many lives together and had all kinds of crazy adventures together. Let’s say that in one life, one of you wanted to experience the feeling of betrayal, and so before you incarnated, you worked out a scenario where you would be married, and your friend would cheat on you (as your spouse). After you played that life out, you could switch, and you could be the cheating spouse while your friend learns what it is like to be the victim. As souls, both of you exist in perfect love and trust. As physical beings, however, you are free to play out all the pain and drama (and love and peace, too!) that you wish. You could even keep the roles the same, but incarnate as each other.

What’s the Point?

The point of all this is to remind you that this life is just a game, and the physical realm is nothing more than our sandbox where we play, experiment, and play with all the thoughts, emotions, and circumstances of being in a limited form for a while. Our identities are just characters in this virtual reality game, and we can be whoever we want to be at any time.

Love Always,

Jay

 

The Pathway to Enlightenment

kuanyinHave you ever had a dream that was so real, so intense, and so otherworldly that you awoke convinced that it was a message meant to be shared with the world? A dream that felt more like a spiritual vision than an ordinary dream?

As I write this, I have just woken up from such a dream.

I dreamed that I met seven gurus who traveled around the cosmos in an old, beat-up 70s-style van. I was walking in a park, when suddenly they pulled up beside me, and asked me to get in the van. I got into the van, a course of action that I do NOT recommend if this ever happens to you in real life! However, it all worked out ok in the dream.

Once inside, they asked me to chant with them. The chant was seven words of power:

  • Darn (rhymes with yarn)
  • Dehar (De-HAY-har)
  • Kushu (coo-shoo)
  • Kehar (CAY-har)
  • Dram* ( “a” as in calm or palm)
  • Dam* (rhymes with Dram above)
  • Vishnu (The Hindu god’s name)

In addition to chanting it several times, they also made me write it down. Even though I memorized it in my dream, when I woke up, I couldn’t quite remember the last three words. Vishnu (the word) came to me as I chanted it after I woke up, but I’m still not 100% sure about Dram and Dam.

They also told me that I must satisfy the Princess of the Celestial Court. However, to meet her, I had to satisfy each of her four “lesser” princesses:

The Princess of the North Wind/Mistress of Winter

The Princess of the East Wind/Mistress of Spring

The Princess of the South Wind/Mistress of Summer

The Princess of the West Wind/Mistress of Autumn

In order to get to each of these, I had to satisfy her 7 handmaidens. Totaled up, that’s (7×4) +4 +1, or 33. I know that 33 is a powerful, sacred number with lots of mythological significance, but I’m not sure how it fits in here. The Celestial Court is an ancient Chinese mythology, but it is usually represented with dragons, not princesses. Also, even though the word that was used is “satisfy,” I don’t think it was meant to be a purely sexual encounter, although there was certainly an element of sexuality to it. It was more like each one has a test that must be passed: A riddle to be solved, a test of skill, or something like that.

Once one group of handmaidens is satisfied, they will take me to their Princess for her test. If I pass, she will give me a key. Once I have all four keys, they will unlock a door which will take me to the Princess of the Celestial Court. If I pass her test, I will be given the key to enlightenment, or something like that. The 7 gurus were kinda vague as to the point of all this, but they assured me it was something I wanted to do.

So…any ideas or insights that anyone wants to share in the comments would be much appreciated!

Here is an MP3 file of me saying the chant: Chant

Love Always,

Jay

 

One Last Touch

Photo by Josep Ma. RosellI never knew her name.

She lived across the street from me, and I would see her now and then, playing with her kids, or washing her car, but we never spoke. Two cars in the driveway suggested she was married, but I never saw her husband.

Months passed, and there seemed to be nothing more to the story.

On one particularly hot day, I stopped by her kids’ lemonade stand. She was watching them from the garage, and I got the familiar nudge to go talk to her. Seriously? It’s 9000 degrees out here, and you want me to go spread my crazy? What the hell is wrong with you?!?

But it was insistent, and so I went. The kids were selling lemonade, because their dad was on his way home from deployment overseas, and they wanted to buy him a gift using their own money. More small talk. More questions, more answers…blah blah blah.

Suddenly, tears.

Sobbing uncontrollably, she took my hand into both of hers, and squeezed hard. She clung tightly while tears rolled down her face and shallow, broken breaths passed from her lips. Her kids remained blissfully unaware, and in just moments, she composed her self, and apologized.  Then the story came out in a rush.

Her husband was coming home from deployment early so that he could take care of the kids. She had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and had just months to live.

And so I comforted her as best as I could, when there is no comfort to be had. I held her hand, and shared my own experience with her, and let her talk. When it was time, I let her go and went home.

I never saw her again, because she died less than a week later.

Never pass up an opportunity to show kindness. You never know when you might be someone’s One Last Touch.