Helping my father through hospice these last two months is like living in a time warp. Sometimes it feels like a trap, and sometimes it feels like a gift.

It feels like a trap when I think about my own home life, 500 miles away, which is not just in limbo but falling to pieces. I never expected to be here this long. I’ve had some major legal and financial issues break open and I’m not there to take care of them. My house is full of dust, my gardens full of weeds. I was in the process of moving, and that has come to a halt. I’m living out of a suitcase. I don’t have any friends here, no one who knows me. My personal life is dead.

It feels like a gift when I remind myself that these are my father’s last days, that he is comforted by having me near, and I am comforted by Loving him. Some days are just amazing, when I see the room full of angels waiting for him, when I witness him traveling up the tunnel of white light and then coming back, when we talk about what that’s like for him. He exists in a slow-motion world, sleeping between sentences, sleeping between bites of food. I have to breathe, and relax, and function in a suspended time zone. It’s a reminder to slow myself, to let go of my busy worries, and just Be.

This is Real Life, magnified. How I feel is determined by where I rest my attention: the trap, or the gift.