A Dead Deer

A Dead Deer

A Dead Deer


I came upon her body,

Lying on the asphalt,

Irregularly shaped pools of crimson liquid under her neck.


A sunny day, not too hot,

Already beginning to bloat

Or might there be a fawn inside?


Clearly the doe was dead.

I didn’t like her exposed like that.

I wanted her on the grassy side.


As I contemplated touching her

An image of her leaping up and

Attacking me jolted my mind.


Timidly I approached her hind legs,

Wrapping my hands around delicate tawny ankles

Above her now useless hoofs.


She lie now in the shallow ditch and I felt relief.

Aligning her with the earth’s curves

Dried grass and weeds were her last bed.


Three tiny dandelion flowers placed on her neck,

Three where the front legs met her chest

In that indentation, as in our bodies.


Three more carefully arranged on her hindquarters.

I thought I was done,

but the blood on the road disturbed me.


A tiny bouquet of yellow flowers now graced her blood,

please forgive our fast-paced lives.


My work was done.


If there is no death

If there is no death

There is a spiritual truth that “there is no death”.  Clearly life is eternal and though bodies die the essence of that person continues on forever.  I have been aware of quite a few people after their physical deaths.  There was the man who I tended to after witnessing an early morning head-on collision in which he died instantly of a broken neck.  But that did not impede him from following me home and frantically trying to connect with me.  He didn’t understand what was happening and I was aware of him for weeks after that tragic crash with a drunken driver.

My sister came to me the night she died to remind me I was light.  I knew the gorgeous yellow and rose apparition was my younger sister though she only appeared as a being of light with no semblance of her physical appearance.  My mother came to me after her death to let me know she loved me.  I have been intermittently aware of Jeff’s presence since his body died at the end of January in UCSF’s palliative care suite.  I believe he is always with me but I am only aware of him when I tune into him.

I find it very comforting to know that “deceased” beings are very aware of us.  I am fascinated by how they communicate in their unique “spirit ways” that are often quite subtle.  I know they continue to love us, assist us and guide us. I have heard that people who believe in life after death find mourning easier and that completely makes sense to me.  I have, in the past, attempted to comfort distraught grievers by informing them that their loved one lives on and that they can learn to be aware of and validate these communications.  Spirits communicate in a myriad of ways and often appear in dreams, visions, feeling sensations etc.  Now however, having experienced Jeff’s passing, I will no longer attempt to tell this to people as readily.  I will be more likely to just acknowledge  their intense pain.

Jeff’s death has forced me into the very human experience of loss and the heartbreaking period of grief as we “survivors” attempt to adapt to their no longer being physically us. Jeff may live on but he will never again kiss me on my lips, come to greet me when I arrive home or carry up the 5 gallon bottles of purified water.

After my friend Mick died two months after Jeff’s passing I spoke to a mutual friend.  He was excitedly sharing his knowing that all beings are immortal and live on.  “There is no death, it is an illusion” he informed me.  I told him I knew that but there is also the very human experience of them being gone.  We need to honor all of it.  I read him the following poem I had written a few week into my “grief times” after my sweetheart and partner left this world.

If there is no death

If there is no death,

then where have you gone?

If there is no death,

why am I alone in our home,

my only comfort small dogs?


If there is no death,

why am I here and not with you

and my younger sister,

and my friends who also left this place, this realm?


If there is no death,

why is there no one to cuddle with at night

or to listen and help me sort things out

like you always did.

Where did my reliable companion go?


If there is no death,

what am I doing here?

I don’t like this world.

I remember another more sweet and loving,

I remember one that was easier, more blissful.

Deeply connected, not alone like this.


If there is no death

I don’t get it.