I almost lost my wife, Clare, twice in the last two years because of internal bleeding, which we later found out was a result of H Pylori. The bacteria was causing large ulcers to eventually burst and drop her hemoglobin so rapidly that she would pass out and stop breathing. Each time, I was there with her – forced into the fragility of life – caught between getting her to breathe again and realizing that she may not breathe again. It’s not a place any of us want to be – where we are watching our partner slip away. At one point her hemoglobin was a 4.4 and her BP was 55/27. She was barely alive. I was terrified.
We were lucky. Clare recovered both times. And we got answers.
After ten years of being in stomach pain off and on, after two years of a roller coaster ride that consisted of that “always in the back of your mind” worry, and after round upon round of antibiotics, treatments, and testing…Clare is H Pylori negative!
The other day Clare shared with me that her dad came to her during one of those in between moments when she was passed out and not breathing. He told her it wasn’t time for her to leave her body and he told her to go back. She didn’t remember this experience initially, but it forged its way to her memory right before she heard the news that she was negative.
She remembers feeling so expansive in those seconds…seconds that felt like hours to me. She wanted to remain in that feeling but her dad told her that she could find a way to feel that expansive here on Earth. Hearing that has made me think about how I can feel expansiveness in this life. We have both been pushed to dig deeper into our spirituality through all of this.
We live a world that is at war with itself in so many ways. We’ve forgotten the part of us that is expansive and free. We've forgotten how to accept. Not just others, but more importantly, ourselves. I believe that our expansiveness lives within.
I’ve struggled with my own expansiveness lately. Maybe because of all that is going on the world. It’s impossible to not be affected by the tension, the hurt, the pain, the loss. Quarantines, fear, and arguments galore - we’ve got to find a way back to what makes us expansive…connection and communion with one another. I’m starting by making a conscious effort to really be with those I love and want to build relationships with. I’m pushing myself to expand by reaching out more. Will you join me?