I’ve been in semi-seclusion since 2010, which was a huge year for me. I went to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to visit friends and attend Sun Dance. When I returned home, my mother-in-law, who was 91 years old, had deteriorated in strength and health to a point that she could no longer be left alone.
She didn’t want to go into a nursing home. She wanted to stay in her elderly housing and have me look after her. And so began a four-month journey of being her constant companion as she slowly made the transition into the spirit world.
It was just a few generations ago that elderly people usually died at home in the same bed that they shared with their spouse for decades and where they may have birthed their children. Witnessing death was a part of life.
That’s not so much the case these days. Elderly people tend to die in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities where their loved ones are not a part of their day to day life and often aren’t present when they cross over.
Mom’s apartment building didn’t have wifi and while she had basic cable for her television there was no internet access. And so it was that there were no distractions for me there. Her apartment was too small for private phone conversations and there was no internet, premium cable channels or glossy-covered magazines.
“Time” would have become meaningless were it not for the schedule of her medications and appointments . The days were honed down to the simplicity of household tasks, keeping her fed and clean and just sitting with her—often in companionable silence.
She did not sleep more than two hours at a time and was up and down day and night—which meant that I was up and down day and night other than the two nights a week that we hired a nurse’s aide to sit with her overnight so that I could go home to see my husband and get a good night’s sleep.
It was during the quiet hours of sitting in her tiny apartment that I had plenty of time to contemplate my life. I had been offering readings at various psychic fairs and new age shops. For quite awhile, I had been feeling like this wasn’t my true calling and that I was not challenging myself enough or offering my best to people.
Various experiences and conversations I had on my recent trip to the Pine Ridge Rez had me thinking about service, working in partnership with spirit, and honoring the call to do the work Spirit guides you to do.
By the time my mother-in-law crossed over, I’d made the decision to dial back on the readings and spend more time alone, strengthening my connection to spirit. I decided to pray and think about what Spirit might be calling me to do.