Friday, September 26, 2014

Chant the Holy Name

*name has been changed in this post for privacy

"May I help you in some way?" I asked the customer who had just walked into La Maison du Chocolat.

"Sure," she replied, "I'm looking for a gift for a friend,"

"Okay, sure, what would you be looking for? Your budget?"

"Well, she is very sick,"

I was taken aback for a moment, then I laughed, "I see, and chocolate is the medication,"

"I mean, she is very... very sick,"

I grew sober, "Ah, I see." I continued to guide the customer to a collection of chocolates that was beautiful and was in her budget. I wrapped the gift and asked, "Would you like a blank message card?"

"Oh no, I have a big card here," and she pointed to a giant card in its envelope. "You see, my friend, she's sick... yes, the "C" word,"

I continued to listen with my eyes while I packed up the gift. She handed me a collection of bills of different amounts.

"She's only in her 30s, and last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she has been in treatment. Last month, though, they found some cancer in her brain. Stage 4."

"Oh wow,"

"Yes, so everyone at work has all pitched in to pay for a personal chef for the next month for her and her husband, and also to get these chocolates. Everyone signed this card. We just want her to take care of herself,"

"I see. I shall pray for your friend, may I ask her name?"


"I will pray for Diana, that she moves through this with grace,"

"Thank you so much Carmen [my legal name]," the woman responded. I handed her the beautiful gift bag of chocolates and we exchanged smiles. Then she left.

I was shaken.

Here was a woman on a crash course with death. There were so many people who loved her, but they had no idea what to do for someone about to die. They just wanted to comfort her, make her path a little smoother, a little more enjoyable.

But who cares about a personal chef and gourmet chocolate when you're about to die? From what I've heard and experienced for myself, when faced with death food tastes like cardboard.

When faced with death, I want solace. I want meaning to this life that seems so meaningless. I want truth. I want to know who I am and where the hell I'm going (hopefully not hell!).

Diana's coworkers meant well. They love her, they want to express that love. Nevertheless, all I can think is that if I was faced with Stage 4 brain cancer, I would just want people to chant the holy name for me, chant the holy name for me, chant the holy name for me. Pray that I take shelter's in Krishna's holy name.

If you are reading this, please chant the holy name for Diana, pray that the Lord protects her heart from all fear and carries her beyond this world of pain and death. May she go with God. 

No comments:

To write is to dare the soul. So write.