Seeing Spirit

One of my sisters has cancer. A bad kind. With an ominous stage number and a horrid percentage to beat it.

But here’s something marvelous.

I went to see her and I saw her spirit. I saw how the cancer has taken a toll on her body and continues to knock her around with pain and nausea. But not her spirit. I saw how it is separate from her body. How it remains strong. How it shapes the smile on her face, the timbre in her voice and the light in her eyes. I saw this illusive thing called spirit and I marveled at its strength.

That’s when I began thinking about prayer. I am not a religious person. I think of  myself as a spiritual person. Someone who has a reverence for life. Someone who can sit quietly in the presence of nature and feel awe, wonder, inspiration. I think I mistook those feelings for spirituality because here is what I witnessed through my sister: Her spirit is fused with life, yet entirely separate from blood and bone. Of course, right after noticing this separation, I felt awe and wonder and inspiration but my sense of spirit and spirituality is different now.

Now when I close my eyes and listen to my breath, I follow it to my sister’s spirit and that’s when I begin to pray.

My sister in the arms of her sweet husband

13 Responses to “Seeing Spirit”

  1. Sarah Sullivan

    This post knocks me out, Lindsey. You’ve described the indescribable. My heart goes out to your sister and you and your whole family.

  2. Jennifer Harriman

    Oh Lindsey,
    I wish both of you peace. You’re in my thoughts.

  3. Lindsey

    Sarah, thank you for reading for the high praise. These are times of the deep waters.

    Jennifer, I miss you so.

  4. rob

    so well put.
    You have discovered that Life and Spirit are synonymous. That they are not separate forces…they cannot be. But it also appears you have found another Truth…That there is also no Life, Truth, nor Spirit in Matter…these things are not only not dependent on, they are also separate from blood and bone…far above it.
    Such a cool thing to have discovered through your sister’s approach to her illness. You have a very special sister…and she has a very special sister, too. Love to you both.

  5. Jack Ridley


    I am so glad that you saw the spirit.
    I am so glad that you saw the spirit.
    I am so glad that you saw the spirit.

    I read your post on Friday, and midway through the post, I started crying. They were the tears that come when something important has happened.

    Your seeing the spirit is one of life’s greatest gifts. I was also crying because your spirit was open to seeing… and receiving the gift. In the midst of great sadness for you both, Libby had given you a gift and you had seen it, recognized it, and accepted it.

    And now you share the gift with us.

    Thank you, dear friend and fellow pilgrim.


    P.S. Prayer works.

  6. Lyn

    You captured a beautiful moment, powerful and uplifting to see. This is what Libby left behind and you have shared it. Thank you.
    I went searching for a way to tell you how sorry I am about Libby’s
    passing and I have come away with a gift from you, dear friend.
    Love you, miss you and we’ll walk again together,
    xoxox, Lyn