From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 12: the moment of death

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart.


Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life

Part 2: Practice Dying

Part 3: Preparing to Die

Part 4: Dying from the Common Cold

Part 5: Renewing Evolution

Part 6: Famous Last Words

Part 7: Fear of Fear

Part 8- Noticing

Part 9: A Commitment to Life

Part 10: Fear of Dying

Part 11: Fear of Death

Part 12: The Moment of Death

1. Journal exercise:  What are you saying goodbye to today in order to expand?

I am saying goodbye to NYC 2017.  Can’t afford it. Wasn’t meant to be.  But I say hello to what NYC truly means to me.  Deep in my heart.  For I am an artist.  That is my NYC.


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2. Capture chapter highlights:

Some say the moment of death occurs when the heart stops.  But the heart never stops, for when it is no longer contained between opposing ventricles it expands slowly into its inherent vastness without missing a beat, expressing the truth it has embraced for a lifetime…

Death like birth is not an emergency but an emergence.  Like a flower opening, it is nearly impossible to tell exactly when the bud starts to become the blossom, or when the seed-laden blossom begins to burst and release its bounty.

– Stephen Levine 

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3. Explore another source regarding listening to the messages from the heart:

Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.

If you want to be a brilliant tech entrepreneur, but you can’t handle failure, then you’re not going to make it far. If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the 80-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.

What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Are you able to stay up all night coding? Are you able to put off starting a family for 10 years? Are you able to have people laugh you off the stage over and over again until you get it right?

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually.

Might as well pick one with an olive.

– Mark Manson


4. Today’s angel card(s):



To live until we say good-bye. Tobey: Jan. 14, 2000-Dec. 23, 2015

December 23, 2015 3:52 PM

As I write this, I await my brother to pick me up to take Tobey to the vet.  I awoke yesterday with a painful heart, knowing it was time to help Tobey let go.

My nephew and Tobey, Stanley Park, 2014.

6:36 PM

I said goodbye to my sweet Tobey at 5:45 PM. So much love and gratitude for my companion.  


Tobey with my father, October 2012, shortly before my father passed away.


Recall: Can a dog live forever?  In this case, yes.

Tobey by my street wall, Downtown Eastside, 2012.


Tobey loving to run at the field at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, 2011.


Tobey guarding his master, as we await Hollyburn Funeral Services to move my father’s body, October 25, 2012.


My “life-partner.”  Always present.  My buddy.  My comfort.


Getting shampooed- again…


Tobey would always come along- and I’d look to my right while driving and see this face.


Deep Cove.


Tobey was my father’s dog initially. He’d always be with my Dad and I at the Lion’s Gate Hospital cafeteria.


Remembering him digging in the garden at Evergreen House as Dad and I worked on our book.


Tobey this morning. December 23, 2015.


  I love you, Tobey

Special thank you to my brother Anders and to Dr. Caroline Wark and the kind staff at:

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Home is a place in the mind. When it is empty, it frets… #sayinggoodbye

Home is a place in the mind. When it is empty, it frets. It is fretful with memory, faces and places and times gone by. Beloved images rise up in disobedience and make a mirror for emptiness. MAEVE BRENNAN, The Visitor

With gratitude, exhaustion, wonder, and excitement, we said goodbye to our North Vancouver home last Friday. Such incredible memories. Such incredible life it held: coming of age, divorce, stroke, cancer, death, birth, expanding of wings, clipping of wings, tears, laughter, food, family, pets, mayhem, smorgåsbords, great TV, tons of creation, so much created, written, researched, so much discussion, communication, love. GROWTH.

And now it stands empty. Now we no longer have keys. Now it belongs to someone else. Wow.