When you are dying, surround yourself with life

@doctor_oxford’s article on palliative care and nature struck a chord with my own experiences

Closeup of white Rosa rugosa flower with bumblebee in centre
White Rosa rugosa flower, and bumblebee, both very alive

Dr Rachel Clarke @doctor_oxford, palliative care doctor and author, has written a beautiful piece in the New York Times called In Life’s Last Moments, Open a Window. It’s about her hospice patients and the importance of nature.

My brother died of cancer in June 2006. A few weeks before he died, he spent many hours in my Mum’s garden, taking photographs of all the flowers in great and meticulous detail. I meant to post some of the photos but I can’t find them, so they are just a memory for now, as opposed to photons from life on the flypaper of photography. This is a good thing, it helps emphasise the fragile impermenance of every thing.

What I learnt from that difficult time is that the most important thing is being with someone, something, somewhere. And being with nature is being alive and present and vital. As we are all dying, some unfortunately faster than others, please take the time to enjoy your gardens and each other, and surround yourself with life.