Monday, May 4, 2020

Dying into Death: Alive as Ever





5 a.m. with my
journal and strong-as-I-can-stand-it-coffee
pajama-clad in
her pajamas
the ones she tossed  me
when she opened the package to
discover eight nightgowns and pj's
she had ordered weeks ago.
It was two days before new moon.
Are you going to change every few hours? I joked.
She laughed
threw one set at me
and chose another for her final earth-bound moments
her deathbed outfit
to match her coral-painted toenails.

It is the one year anniversary of her death.
Cancer's fatal kidnap.
Flame flickers on my altar
sage smoke curls and wafts
carries my drumbeat
into the cosmos
mixes with memory and
the certainty that she is with me this morn.
I rarely drummed without her, afterall.

The poignancy of our final hours
is seared within --
It's just my luck this new moon is late in the day
she sighed.
I smiled. Reminded her
that moon's birth time once forced me
to be married at 5:30 a.m.
She cast me a shoulda-slept-in-grin.
Come help me in the bathroom she said.
An honor.

One-by-one
we gathered around her
twelve moons ago --
husband, soul-sister, older daughter, younger daughter --
stuck like glue
there was no place else to be
except in her final waking presence
rendered complete by her admonition
stop sitting there staring at me 
with laughter-soaked tears
our tether was cutting us loose.

So I sat at her feet, rubbing and humming,
watched the woman who lived for spring
and towers of seed catalogues
raise her eyes and gaze to the sky
as if to discern her personal portal.
Bring me some dandelions she said
eschewing the explosion of cultivated blooms
in her garden beneath the window.

I cleaned and prepared her altar mid-day --
sage stick, Bald Eagle feather, Venus of Willendorf
Green Tara at the center
open eyes on Her palms
bottoms of the feet
and center of Her forehead
the focal point of Carole's morning meditation
tucked between morphine and body's decay. 
The Tarot death card sat upright in a shell.
We agreed:  it was time for it to go.

Linear time tagged Luna.
Or was it the other way around?
The moon was about to birth
our dying mid-wife was called to witness.

We final four encircled the bed
Time to smudge, Christina
cleansing smoke for the primal brain
sent oer Carole, dr-friend, daughters, husband
accompanied by the near-by heartbeat of drums
the sister's journey song.

IV drip prepared
dr speaks
the legal necessity
reserved for those
with no promise
of an earthly
healthy tomorrow

you can 
stop
the lethal process
at any time
do you know what you are about to do?
Thus
Carole's ultimate struggle
to keep morphine balanced
with lucidity
an orchestration of perfection
so she could answer
a resounding
yes.

A daughter at each foot.
Husband and Soul-sister at each shoulder
one by one
she looked into our eyes

I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
My Perfect Love

the silent slip
into death

peace


















17 comments:

  1. How beautiful, made me cry!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Just wow! What a powerful tribute. So much love, and honoring. Such a spirit must be present still.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nance. She is indeed. Love to you ...

      Delete
  3. So grippingly precious. Thank you dear Christina. ~Ann

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautifully said, we should all be so lucky to have such a friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debbie. I believe we are lucky if we have one such entity in our lives. I am blessed.

      Delete
  5. Perfect remembrance. Carole is so present. She and I never met, other than by phone, yet she hovered here awhile also. đŸ’•

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Em. Where there is love, there is Carole.

      Delete
  6. I am at a loss for words but yours have fulfilled any need. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As the scent of sage and smoke drifted upward, so did Carole, cradled in each of your love and her awareness that "there is no death"; but the vibration of a life well lived and that will continue to live in the minds and hearts of those who loved her so dearly. May your remembrances of her surround you Christina as you continue on our journey. I'll be you can hear her laughter ringing out among the stars some nights. And I am sure she is more than delighted (and of course had a hand in) the place you now call home. Sending you muchos abrazos from over on this side of the mountain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of the above. Your words bring a knowing smile. Thank you. Much love ...

      Delete
  8. No words from me....Just love

    ReplyDelete