/Are you still walking here with us, my love.
Although we can’t see you anymore?
Are you still here on earth.
As you are in our hearts?/
I am having my breakfast Wednesday morning. I am crying over my morning paper. I am in despair over life and death and lifeanddeath. As All Saint’s Day is coming up.
I am reading the obituary of a woman who I didn’t know. Or, should I say, I knew a split of a second. A split of a second when we crossed each other’s paths in the cafeteria at the Oncology Center, I doing my yearly check up, she starting her final battle with a cancer spread in most of her body. This was in April. And now she is gone.
/An angel who was here with us.
Was given her wings too early.
Where are you flying, angel of ours?
Are you our Guardian Angel now?/
I liked her at an instant. I felt like we could be good friends. And knew that I probably wouldn’t see her again. We chatted about our cancers and swore over neglecting physicians, it was an experience we shared. But, although my diagnose and treatment were delayed I am still here. I was spared. This far I am spared. She isn’t. And we knew. In that cafeteria in April, at the intersection of life and death. Telling our stories half standing half sitting, I think I was drinking my tea, and did she have a coffee?
She was so beautiful. She was so much life. And she was so loved. And I am crying over the beauty and the pain giving up your life in such love. And the loss for those who are still here. The loss of such a loved life.
/Hearing your dancing bells in the sky.
We know it is you/.
We are alone. We come to this world alone and we go alone. The transitions that puzzle religions, philosophies, cultures and you and me waking up every morning going to sleep every night, we do those transitions alone. Facing a deadly decease, we are alone too. No matter how many people are there for us, at the core we are alone. Nobody can face my death for me. I have to do it myself.
But I can’t help thinking it must be a grace, at that unbearably lonely core, being surrounded by true human love. By close ones who will never ever leave your side. Who will keep you safe in that abyss of abandonment. Who will stay with you, day and night and strong and week and laugh and cry and shy away but hold your hand and touch your scarred and tortured body until it can’t take any more. Until time is up. Until it’s time. For that inevitable transition.
And it must be a comfort, letting go, knowing that your loved ones will be there, together, when your body is gone. Be there for each other. Taking care of each other. Loving each other. Always. Together. As long as they are still there.
/Fly free, my love. You are free now.
Until we all meet again, fare well, our beloved dancing angel./
(Excerpt from poem by family)