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Life Talk
by Mieko Hayashi

Most people might assume words are the only way to communicate each other. But actually we communicate by eyes, touching, body expressions and movements, and surely by heart, don't we?

My mother had stayed home since she was diagnosed with dementia ten years ago until she died in my arms at age 89 this past May, communicating with me the whole time.

She used various communication ways such as, words, growling sounds, body movements and expressions, eyes, touching, hugging, as well as being together, and by heart, which is used still now. I'd like to share with you here how she and I communicated with each other.

Words were sometimes difficult for her to put in a sentence, so she uttered only words, one after another. Not only such words, but also between these words I was able to understand what she meant, with her expressions and body movements as signals, too.

Her growling sounds used to make me surprised at the beginning, thinking she was angry at me or in a severe pain. But it was her way to express joy by an upward growling sound. Downward meant to tell me to calm down. When she growled straight forward, she was in pain which needed to be healed. When her growling sound waved up and down, she was trying to encourage me.

Body movements were made by moving her fingertips and eyeballs, turning her head or neck, flailing of her hands and/or legs, and her body's shaking. These body movements were often made in responding to my words and/or non-verbal expressions.

Even though my mother could not do it, jumping, repeating the same movements, or continuing the same movements for a long time can express some feelings or desires.

Body expressions were also made by her face, posture, body relaxation or tension and how she breathed.

When her upper body lurched forward, she had a pain in her stomach mostly. When her mouth, neck or shoulders were tense, she was in agony because her feelings were not being understood or she was nervous. Fast breathing meant joy or anger. As you might know well, some expressions are easy to understand, but what they mean might differ according to the situation and/or the person.

By touching each other, we felt like our lives were being connected to each other in love. The warmth of her body meant to me her that life was being next to mine. Hugging made our heartbeats and breaths synchronized, and we were one Life.

As it is said, "Eyes say more than the mouth." Looking into each other's eyes, we could have a deep understanding. True and sincere thoughts and feelings were shared. When she was about to end breathing, I breathed out with her softly, echoing some deep sounds. That was what I could do as my best way to bless her and see her soul off to another world.

There might be nothing more blissful than living together, I believe. Beyond words, feelings, past thoughts, this togetherness moves us joyfully from the bottom of our hearts which are the source of life and love, even without a physical body, I believe.

I am still selfish enough to wish that she were together with me physically, instead of the fact that we have been together and communicating by heart, even now.

Well, my mother and I have communicated like this as Life Talk, so to speak. I am sure anyone can talk like this or better, with anyone/thing else in a life form.

Mieko Hayashi is an Alakai of Huna International living in Japan.

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