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Dylan Calm

No Stopping

No Stopping

As I drove Sandra home the night of my second float I turned to her and said, “Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we open a float center?”. She looked at me and nodded. “Absolutely”. Our minds were working in such unison that to this day I don’t think we even needed to exchange words, we still would have known what was next. I had assumed that our parents would warn us about going into business together, but the warnings never came. Instead, we were filled with encouragement and excitement from both sides of our family.

As the idea of opening our own float center began to take root, Sandra let me quit work and focus full-time on opening our float business.

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Floating Through Grief

Last week, my mother called me to tell me something about my father. She is his caregiver because he has Alzheimer’s. She called to tell me how she found him on the floor at 2 am, and how hard it was to get him up. He was really “out of it.” He was calling for the priest to come to the house because he thought he was dying. My mother and my brother thought he was, too. It turns out he was okay but it still scared us.

When I got off the phone, I was upset. “My dad is dying,” I thought. I knew he was getting worse, and the day of his passing was getting closer (maybe a few months or years). In many ways, we are all dying a bit every day. We never know how many days we have. But for my dad it is more obvious. His mind is failing. His body is failing. He is getting closer and closer.

I sometimes do not allow myself to experience the fullness of my emotions. I sometimes push things to the side. “I can handle it,” I tell myself.

The next day I floated. At one point, I just “dropped out” the way someone does when we almost sink into nothingness – no thought, no awareness. It is the kind of brain state in which one is not aware how slow they are until they come out of it. I generally enjoy being in such a slow meditative state. However, this day was different. When I realized how slow I was, I was nervous. I gripped on to the bar on the side of the room. There was no reason to grip, but I was afraid. Later, I looked at the experience more closely. What was I afraid of? Well, I was afraid of my dad dying. I was afraid of the emotions I was experiencing about his sickness, and about his impending death. I was afraid to lose control and just allow myself to grieve the passing of someone I love so much.