Chasing the Wind.
I have been in the lion’s mouth, facing my own mortality during this Covid time and continuing my practice as a hospice volunteer. We are all dying, but to sit with someone who is actively dying is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. My fear and reaction to death have transformed over the last few months and, after an extended pause, I am resuming my blog. One of the exercises required as part of hospice training is to write one's own obituary - sound morbid? The experience could not have been more opposite - it was transformative and gave me renewed impetus to finish my memoir, Terminal. I share it with you now:
July 21, 2035
Lois Walden died chasing the wind on a bluff overlooking the sea on Cape Cod.
Lois, since birth, chased the wind. Every second of her life she searched for truth. She was courageous, thoughtful, inquisitive, and one of the most impractical people on this or any other planet. Lois had a big heart. She wanted to give and give no matter the situation. She rarely said no to anyone in need and had a knack for listening to other people’s problems until the cows came home. The cows never came home, so Lois listened and listened until her ears were filled with other people’s sorrow, which she transmuted into a rainbow for all to see.
What was surprising was that while Lois was chasing the wind, the wind was at her back during her entire lifetime. She never understood this, but it would not have changed her need to chase the ineffable wind because of the longing deep in her soul that came into play long
before she was born. Oftentimes you could see Lois sitting on a moving cloud, measuring the
sound and thrust of the wind with her windometer. She became an expert at wind-reading: a
true and glorious art form.
The sea sang to Lois, and Lois sang to the sea and its many creatures. When she recorded
albums, when she sang for the public, when she wrote books, operas, and plays, she would sing to the sea after a hard day’s work. Lois did not pursue anything that did not interest her. In fact, she changed careers a number of times so that she might fulfill her desire to learn and grow while living an artist’s life. The artist’s life agreed with her. She found beauty in every flower and plant. She grew vegetables in a totally improvised windblown way. Lois swam in cold waters, climbed hills and mountains, snowshoed, and practiced every form of yoga. She loved to learn. She even learned how to help people die. Becoming a hospice volunteer was a turning point in her life. Everyone figured she would stop chasing the wind at this point in her evolution, but quite the opposite occurred. Lois still wanted as much out of life as possible, so she kept on searching for the howling wind, the whispering wind, and the wind of all winds: spirit.
Lois craved spirit. She was last seen on that bluff with spirit at her side as she disappeared into the ether singing praise to all beings great and small. She was a woman of the
wind, by the wind, and for the wind. The mountains sang to her. The valleys called her name.
She honored the cycles of the moon and was deeply affected by planetary influences.
Fortunately, Lois learned how to love. Margot Harley was her teacher. They were married.
Eventually, they rescued Ella who, in turn, rescued them. Margot and Lois had a full rich life
together. Each influenced the other. Margot never chased the wind. She was too busy getting
Lois loved her friends. Her friends were her family, and her sister, Dale, was an inspiration and
guide when it came to helping Lois understand the importance of family.
Lois will be missed by many, but Lois would want everyone who misses her to celebrate the gift of life. That is what Lois did, and if she returns to this world, she will kick up her heels yet again and continue her search for the wind, even though she finally realizes the restless wind has always been behind her.
Lois is neither being cremated or buried therefore, everyone who loves her can gather by her favorite body of water - Twin Lakes - and breathe, meditate and throw themselves into the holy waters during the early morning swim hours.
Please donate whatever you feel like to Music and Memory, The Writer’s Guild Initiative, The
Dramatist Guild of America- Kesselberg Fund, and The American Foundation for Suicide
Prevention in honor of her mother, Beatrice, who inspired Lois to be an artist and a seeker of
At the time of her death, Lois was working on an opera, a novel, a memoir, a play, planting a
new crop of vegetables, and sitting vigil while helping a young woman write her legacy. Lois
was a loving scribe.
If you listen, you might hear Lois’s spirit whispering in the wind. “Enjoy, enjoy, reach for the
ultimate you… no matter how frightened you are, never give up; challenge yourself and be as
authentic as possible”