It seems fitting to me that most of the photos I took during this trip were of clouds, sky, and water, from the plane. From space, about space, and about movement, change.
My parents are at the end of this life cycle. My mom is 94, and my dad is 92 and they don't have many years left on this earth. For me it's a celebration, a coming home to their essence, a shedding of this body and a transition to a more peaceful place. But neither of them believe in an afterlife, at least not consciously.
Most older people seem to be suffering needlessly: my parents' lives revolve around their perceived lack of health, and create in their minds future dismal scenarios that have to do with one of them or both losing control of their physical body. To me it translates as the fear of losing control. The ego is terrified of finally losing the battle, so it struggles till the end.
It's been a sobering time for me, and certainly a blessing to see them in their old age, relatively healthy and still in charge of their lives compared to most 90 plus wise people out there. It seems they have become children again, and all they can talk about is themselves, and all they can focus on is their condition. There are very few questions about others, or what is happening in the outside world. The world has become smaller for them, it's about what to eat, when to go to the bathroom, and what to make for dinner.
I have only seen them a handful of times in the past 35 years I have lived in the US, except for a short year when I lived in Europe while going through my divorce. My brother and his wife have been the ones close to them, and their children, now grown and scattered all over the world. Now I feel a need to be close to them, to feel them a little longer in their frail bodies, before the bodies are no more.