Montana Wolf

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Damn Death and Distance

The new moon splits the sky at dusk. A sliver as delicate as the emotions that teeter on the soul when  someone special has died. My cousin Deac. Aunt Clara's son. A man, as my Aunt Barb wrote, "always felt like the comfort of an old slipper."

From the time I heard that his cancer-ridden body would not  return to a normal life, to when he entered hospice, was about 48-hours. I tried to call him but could not get through. And so I resorted to messengers from another realm. I loaded up my snowshoes and drove to the mountain trail that would deliver me to Grandmother Tree.

The day was crystal clear. Taos-blue sky, empty of clouds. Chickadees flitted and chirped as I strapped on the snowshoes. I turned and faced a wide swath knee-deep snow. I was surprised that no one had cut a trail. No snowmobiles. No skiers. No snowshoe tracks. I felt like I was the only person in the universe. Me and Teak, step by slow step, headed up the mountain for a meeting with Deac.



GM Tree, the Ponderosa Queen of the forest, stood stately off-trail, as if she was expecting us. I made my way to her, slipped off my snowshoes and leaned belly-first-into her as tears flowed.  She has received me for years. She has comforted me. She has kicked my butt when it needed to be done. Today, she simply was, in all her healing power. Of course, she communicated, she would send my prayers to Deac, from her needle top through the heavens to his bedside.

I removed my jacket and plopped myself down. Leaning against her thick bark, I gazed from time to time into her towering branches. I spoke to Her and  communed with Deac in the sanctuary of the wild, trusting that She, Deac and I were on the same wavelength.

I made my way down the mountain in shirt sleeves, loaded up the truck and decided to head out to the mesa to a location I rarely go. I wasn't done yet, but wasn't sure why. I came over a little knoll and there they were, the largest group of bighorns I have seen thus far.



I pulled off the road and began to walk. I stopped and stood in amazement when a ram broke from the group and slowly walked towards me. His large golden eyes met my blues.

Distance is a strange companion to mourning. One does what one can to communicate. To reach a vibration that will touch and enfold. There was something in that ram's presence that told me all was well. Indeed, a cousin would tell me later that she was able to talk with him in his final moments, that he was in good spirits and told her that, "I'm going to ride this pony wherever it takes me." Quintessential Deac.


This new moon's for you, Dear Man. Thank you for those rides across the Iowa prairies to the old cemeteries  For laughing when ten-year-old me ordered a piece of pie at the Maid-Rite for breakfast... and for letting me do it. For ambling across the street to come and see me whenever I returned to Iowa, for looking me in the eye and asking how I was. Damn, what I wouldn't give for one more sit-down.



15 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I am glad to know of this man.
    May the blessing of all that's wild
    comfort your heart.
    Nance

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    1. Thanks, Nance. It just dawned on me that Deac probably doesn't know what a blog is... but he'd get a kick out of all my gorgeous friends reading and posting about him. I can just see his sly-shy smile.

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  2. From Emilie, who still can't post directly: Cousins. Closer to me than anyone but my sister. I recall so clearly when Cousin Dave died. Ill, worse, gone. Fast and so very unexpected, leaving a chaos of emotion and pain behind for all of us who miss him so dearly. You certainly chose the proper company on this day, Sister.

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    1. Thanks, Em. Distance is such a conundrum. We could be there physically and yet be so far away. Or, in this case, be far away physically but try to bridge the spiritual distance. His funeral is Friday... I want to pay homage. I wish I could be there.

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  3. While, I, too, would like to be at bedside for departures, I believe that your walking into wild nature might be even more soulful. Safe journey, Deac. Blessings -- J

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  4. FROM CAROL: Sooo heartfelt. It brought tears to my eyes and a sigh to my heart.
    It is always a treasure to hear from you and to see your photos, no matter what is relevant in your life, at the moment. Love and compassionate hugs,

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  5. "I'm going to ride this pony wherever it takes me", would be a great epitaph for a tombstone/urn. You will, you know, get the chance for another sit-down. XO

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    1. I believe I will, Babette. Thanks for the reminder. xo

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  6. My brother-in-law who lost his young life to cancer used to wear a bracelet that said "Cancer Sucks". So true.

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    1. A courageous young man. I would have loved to have known him. Thank you for this story.

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  7. Thank you for this lovely post. With my own old roots in Iowa and several kin and friends to whom I have needed to fly spirit-grams, I'd like to lend a gentle hand to the comfort winging your way.

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  8. You write such profoundly moving essays and books. You writing has a way of cracking open the crust around my heart and soul and letting the Light in. Much heart-felt appreciation.

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    1. Words like yours is what makes it possible. Writing is my personal revolution... thank you for being an essential part of my life.

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