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The Speed of Dying

My mother is taking her time.
Death is in no rush.
I sit by her bed counting last breaths.
44 per minute.
Normal is 15.
63,340 breaths yesterday.
Breathing is the last thing she will forget to do.
Patient. Patient. Patient.

I flew home from Australia and went directly to The Green Tree Villa in Southern California. My family has gathered. We are letting go of Mom.







  1. As I watched the sunset last night over the Gulf of Mexico, I breathed with you and your mother. I sang Glenda’s song on your behalf, “Goodnight my father the Sun, Goodnight my mother the sea, Thank you for this day, life has been good to me. Holy, holy am I, watching this union of earth and sky. ”

  2. Anna says:

    You are so brave. I am thinking of you and your mother at this time.
    I believe it is a gift to be able to sit through the transition with her. I recently experienced this with my grandmother and I know how powerful and hard the experience can be. I love you!

  3. Anne says:

    This is a sacred time, Cynthia. Being with, singing to, letting go…. and knowing that the spirit of many friends and loved-ones surround you.

  4. Sharon Pavelda says:

    “Enough. These few words are enough.
    If not these words, this breath.
    If not this breath, this sitting here…”
    -David Whyte

    And always, this love, Dear Friend.

  5. Ginny Christensen says:

    Breathing in, breathing out – the rhythm of life – the circle of life. We each live in our own rhythm, the differences sometimes less visible, where “normal” is an average. “Life, like love, takes exactly how long it takes.” Peace to you in this special part of the Cycle.
    Ginny C.

  6. Mark Seton says:

    Dear Cynthia and your family,

    Our love , thoughts and prayers are with you all – grace and peace to your mother and all who gather to witness her passing.

    Blessings and love, Mark and Patricia xxoo

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