September 30th, 2009:
Yippie! Connectivity has been restored, and I am now typing this entry on my desktop computer that has been my portal into the cyber world for a couple of years. I am online, in my permanent room at Maitri.
When I started my intake at Maitri two weeks ago, I was given a sun-drenched room overlooking a busy intersection. I enjoyed the room and didn't bond with it at all. I just spent time there. The fact that the pictures on the walls did not appeal to me mattered for not. But yesterday, it was time to move into my permanent room. Suddenly, I felt deep resistance to leaving the temporary room. I was busy in the morning with my social worker and my therapist so I didn't have to move then. After lunch, the attendant who offered to make up the mattress and linens on my bed got called off to another project, and I didn't lift a finger to request that another person get my bed ready. After dinner, I lingered a bit more. Finally, the bed was ready. I had moved all my clothes and papers into my final room. I quickly jumped out of my clothes, into bed and read for a bit. Then, I closed the book and looked around the room. This was it. My final place. I had moved into the room where I will spend the last months of my life. Quite likely, this is the room where I will die. That was the reason for my hesitation to move in and claim residence.
Part of my process of dying involves long plateaus of acceptance punctuated by sudden, abrupt and expansive realizations that my life will end soon. Not next week, but soon. Moving into my final room was such a realization. A connection is made that nudges me closer to my end. The result of the new acceptance is that my dying becomes more real. More inevitable. It may be hard for others to believe this, but I spend most of my time living in the now, in the past, in the future as I always have. I'd say as little as 5% of my time I remember that I am terminally ill and that I will die in the next few months. Point being, I don't think about dying all the time. Far from it. When I do catch up to this part of my overall reality, it's usually an easy segue. Occasionally, if the mortality reminder is harsh or brutal, then I'm stunned or pained which knocks me into overwhelm. Moving into Room #5 is somewhere in the middle of that continuum.
Waking up this morning, after my first night here, I felt more hesitancy. I knew that I'd spent my sleep time reaching my antennae out to the edges of the room. That's one of the ways I move into spaces; I stretch to their edges as if to memorize the container. Early morning light was golden and rich. After breakfast, Wendy came by for a visit and she sat at the edge of my bed. We held hands and talked a bit, but not a lot. That's when I really started to settle into the room. What I felt holding hands was intimacy. Closeness. Comfort and love. If I can create that in my living area, then I'm happy. On the first morning in Room 5, intimacy was created and nurtured. My final room is off to a very good start. The resistance has evaporated. I like it here. There's room for me and my friends to be ourselves.