I'm just back from a week in Maine with family. My mother barely made it through yet another health crisis. I wasn't sure she'd be alive when I got up there, but one morning she sat up, asked for some water, had a big lunch and is now stabilized, but pretty dramatically set back both cognitively and physically. She's in hospice care, much to the relief of my father, brother and his family, who have struggled to support her. Everyone loses parents. When I remember the teaching of Tonglen and remember "Other people feel this too," it has a way of relaxing my heart.
And as the saying goes, "Every front has a back." Reconnecting with family has been wonderful. There is a richness available in every moment as we each find our place of internal balance.
On my last visit before hopping a flight back, my mother looked at me and asked what I did for a living. It was interesting to hear myself briefly introduce myself to her, to tell her I taught meditation and lived in Washington, DC. She suddenly remembered I had a wife, asked about her, and then was gone.
It's like that, I guess. We form a narrative, then the narrative fades and there is space again.