Archive for March, 2011



The word tsunami was unknown to most of us until only recently. The one that occurred in Japan in March 2011 caused so much devastation that it made the world stop and think. Many of us have a tsunami, although of a lesser degree, occurring in our daily lives. Even though these do not make the evening news, our personal lives can be as destroyed by them as the collective lives of the people who live in Japan. The use of the word tsunami now helps us explain how life affects us, at a time when we are feeling totally overwhelmed. Without that word in our vocabulary, it was sometimes extremely difficult to articulate our feelings. A patient dying of cancer shared her thoughts that one day, as she sat alone, she felt as if a tsunami had washed right through her body and, as it made its exit, deposited sand beneath her skin. The person with whom she was sharing her thoughts grasped the concept immediately, and wondered if it was at that precise moment the cancer cells propagated throughout her body. Unfortunately, medicine is unable to confirm or refute that explanation.

Tsunamis, be they personal or weather related, have the same after-effect–that is, either mental or physical devastation. Not only are we reminded that on any day, at any time, whether we are ready or not, life can turn on a dime and disappear forever. It also reminds us, again, of our connectedness to one another and to our environment. We are unable to live in a constant state of preparedness–that is much too stressful; but we should never forget that tomorrow was not promised to any of us. Today is the ‘present’ we need to appreciate.




Since I last was in contact via my blog, much has happened to me and my family. I have been reminded again how fragile life is and that not one of us has the knowledge of when our life will come to an end. My dear computer guru has always discouraged me, whenever I have wanted to discuss the matter of our mortality, but this is really what my writing has been about—life, and seeing it as it is.

As I prepared the eulogy of my dear deceased sister, I thought again of how important a part boxes play in our lives. So often we put aspects of our lives in ‘boxes’ and therefore put so many limitations on what we are able to achieve. When life comes to an end, our possessions are placed in literal boxes. The funeral home places our bodies in boxes, and if we are cremated our ashes are placed in boxes. Since we have so little control over what happens when we die, let’s seize the opportunity while we’re alive to live the best life possible—fully knowing that there is but one certainty: you are going to be in one box or another, someday. In the meanwhile, live freely and fully.

March 2011
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