If I were to tell you that the air I breathe has changed, would you believe me?
Would you understand?
It happened once before, more than 20 years ago when my Dad died suddenly as the result of a motor vehicle wreck. I remember the moment like it was yesterday, a switch flipped somewhere in the universe and suddenly I was suffocating; drowning on dry land.
It happened again last week when my Father gave up his long, brave fight against cancer. I could feel the shift coming; the air worsening with each hour, and then each minute. Eventually, as his hand started to cool in mine, I knew the transformation was complete: the airs chemistry had changed dramatically.
There is no denying the change, you'll recognize the very moment when suddenly you cannot breathe as you did just seconds before. This strange new air is foreign to your body, your lungs don't quite know how to receive it and therefore your whole being is troubled by its strange presence there. Sure, your body remembers how to breathe in a physical sense, but the air simply doesn't seem capable of doing for your soul what it needs to do. This new air hurts upon its entry to your lungs, it stings and shreds every fibre of your heart and soul; it is heavy and toxic.
Moving, thinking, feeling, sleeping...all your processes become inhibited by an air that envelopes you like a fog, making the most natural of tasks seem daunting and impossible. It takes time to learn how to breathe again... for your body and soul to learn how to function with this new air.