David R. Weiss – August 17, 2022

Mom has barely eaten for a week now—nothing for the past four days. Barely had anything to drink either—maybe two 7 oz. cans of Coke and just a couple sips of water. Over four days. Barely left her bed—only a couple hours in a day. And some days not at all.

After a decade long slide into dementia, she seems barely herself anymore. But these last days she’s barely alive.

And yet I wonder. Is it maybe … somehow … the opposite?

Is it that we can barely sense the hunger that growls in a stomach with a growing appetite for other food? That we can barely sense the thirst that rises in her throat for drink we cannot offer? That we can barely gauge the fitful energy just waiting to set foot somewhere beyond here? Her full self now deeply cocooned inside pathology, but about to be split wide open?

Barely alive? Or is it that we can barely guess at the Life about to embrace her whole and release her shimmering soul to what comes next? The poverty of our perception says, “dust to dust” and “ashes to ashes.” But I think stardust and fire will carry the day.

And no “barely” about it.

NGC 3324, star-forming region in the Carina Nebula – James Webb Telescope

* * *

David Weiss is a theologian, writer, poet and hymnist, doing “public theology” around climate crisis, sexuality, justice, diversity, and peace. Reach him at Read more at where he blogs under the theme, “Full Frontal Faith: Erring on the Edge of Honest.” Support him in writing Community SupportedTheology at ww

2 thoughts on “Barely

  1. Hi David, my intern is with her father now who has been in Memory Care and is declining rapidly. I recommended the book Final Gifts to her. It helped me watch and care for my parents as they were passing away. Also, on my way to work this morning two songs came on that are uplifting and realistic and are in line with to hell with heaven piece… Peace Train by Cat Stevens and Where are the Lions by Bruce Cockburn (sp?). Peace be with you. Kate

  2. David,
    My condolences go out to you and yours. I know about your mother’s final trip into a new beginning where I am sure she shall want for nothing, and be guided for her next incarnation.
    Peace be with you, your father that took care of her in time of need. The circle of Life is never ending, but is a constant journey of birth, life, learning, physical death, review and rebirth. Please look for signs that she has let you know she is ok. Deepest condolences, Lee Stoddard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s