Death at the door…
“Somebody’s knocking should I let him in
Lord it’s the devil would you look at him
I’ve heard about him but I never dreamed
He’d have blue eyes and blue jeans…”
– from Somebody’s Knocking by Terri Gibbs
…and he’s HOT…
Actually, this thought is giving me a certain amount of chills in retrospect.
“Came the last night of sadness And it was clear she couldn’t go on Then the door was open and the wind appeared The candles blew and then disappeared The curtains flew and then he appeared (Saying, “Don’t be afraid”)
Come on baby (And she had no fear) And she ran to him (Then they started to fly) They looked backward and said goodbye (She had become like they are) She had taken his hand (She had become like they are)…”
And my point would be…?
Who said I had a point?
It’s just that I’m finally at that certain age of awareness my grandmother mentioned when, 1, I really know myself and 2, people close to me are dying off in close succession.
Well, they’ve been for sometime, years perhaps… My paternal grandparents of Alzheimer’s, one right after the other, when I was in my 20s; my father of multiple brain tumors when I was in my late 30s, then my maternal grandfather of colon cancer when I was around 40, and my maternal grandmother of heart related problems just this November past, a month shy of her 98th birthday.
I know I distinctly told her she was to live to be 130 and see her great-great-great grandchildren, but she wasn’t listening. She lived happily up to the very last, but she didn’t want to stay. She had better things to do, people like her parents, her son Grant, countless old friends, and her sweet hubby too she was wanting to see again.
A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law had a stroke but is on her way to recovering. When we were visiting her in the hospital, my father-in-law came in to see her and I was surprised to feel their energies on exactly the same wavelength as he held her hands and explained to her that she’d had a stroke, how he’d found he standing motionless like a mannequin in the study and knew what had happened.
Seeing that, I knew that if she died, he would die too… almost immediately. They were on the same wavelength not coincidentally at all, but because they were both living on her energy. She could live without him, but he couldn’t live without her.
She’s a liberal. He’s a conservative. Both were doctors in their prime. He likes to tease her. He wouldn’t be having fun anymore if she weren’t here.
Yet while she’s at home now slowly recovering with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend looking after them both, he had a heart attack and is now in the hospital with his physical survival very much in doubt.
It’s hardest in the end, I think… the pain, the fear, the discomfort, the apparent losses, the reluctance to let go. Mostly that last. What’s beyond that, however, I don’t think so bad. I don’t miss those that have gone before very much. I know they’re still here, just out of sight and hearing, but here nonetheless and waiting. Their existence has not been erased. That’s my feeling on the matter in any case.
I think of sunrises and sunsets, colors splashed boldly on the paling or darkening sky, birdsong at dawn after I’ve been up a while already; the fragrances of the forest – water on limestone, freshly turned soil, rotting wood, pine sap; the cool of a dip in the river on a hot day, currents sliding lovingly by; my cats rubbing my legs when they want to be fed and often too out of pure affection; the exhilaration of roller coasters and water slides; the flickering of candles in dew bejewelled garden beneath a full white moon; the glories of lovemaking; the crunch, fresh scent, and chilly softness of snow gleaming in the forest under moonlight; giddy dancing, stretching and flowing, becoming one with the music; running through the forest; wading through long grass; wet sand beneath one’s toes being tugged away by the tide; the infinitude of colors, scents, shapes, and textures in my mother’s garden; a perfectly charred and gooey marshmallow on a s’more by a hot crackling campfire in a nighttime forest with family somewhere; fully loaded polish dogs at Costco on a summer afternoon; the sound of rushing water; falling into smiles and laughter; deep kisses;furtive touches; warm hugs; jumping on the bed, hitting the ceiling and falling back with a laugh and a headache; cuddles; holding hands; a baby’s wide eyes and reaching fingers, taking it all in anew….
The world’s longest sentence is one of only gratitude for countless small things and great.
Those are a parts of physical existence most of us would struggle with leaving, though I’m told we find at least some of that on the other side, that’s it’s the other side hardest to leave, that coming back as a baby is possibly harder than dying…. That we come back helpless, speechless, knowing so much we cannot well express while we remember it. Our lives past and the in between is like a fading dream. We may see familiar faces but they won’t know us for who we are and by the time we can speak again enough to say, “Hey it’s me! How have you been?” we no longer remember much if anything.
We dive into this hologram existence with nothing but good intentions, very bravely taking it on when we could simply have been safe.
We forget where we came from.
We take on new roles, struggle, we strive, we have our families, our successes, our failures, and fade away again, into the sunset, the in between, the starlight. The full moon looks like the light at the end of a tunnel, an open door into another place, our truest eternal home.