Where Did My Little One Go?

Where Did My Little One Go?

Where did my little one go?

Intense struggling one moment, gone the next.

An empty body lies there,

My sweet one gratefully freed her Self.

 

Covered now with a clean brown towel,

Lying on her soft oversized cushion,

I drag the bed to my room,

Our pack together, our last night.

 

God never made this world of impermanence.

I am assured repeatedly Source loves us.

Would a caring God create a world of immeasurable pain and loss,

Where we lose everything we love?

 

No, my Creator is never cruel,

Eternal Gentleness, Eternal Life

Death unknown,

Our Source is pure Joy and Love.

 

Chichi is the brindled Chihuahua mix. She arrived in my life March 5th, 2010 from a shelter. When I bent down to connect with her for the first time I was surprised with a french-kiss and she was obviously destined to be mine! I realized quickly this little lover greeted most people in her intimate fashion. Foxee arrived six months later to provide Chichi a companion when I was working in the prenatal clinic or was serving overnight at the medical center. I hadn’t suspected July 4th, 2017 would be her independence day from an ailing body. She departed 11:28pm.

Photograph by Joy Porter of windingroadsimagery.com was taken on the sandy banks of the South Fork of the Yuba earlier in summer.

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Pale Moon of Honey

Pale Moon of Honey

A grief wave unbidden washes through,

Having been shared by a dear one’s wise heart.

Sorrow too much to bear on our own,

I reach for others to help carry this moist load.

 

Wending into the near night,

Amongst my ever present  friends- the tall trees,

Listening deeply to the gentle rustling forest through the wind,

Separation melts, we are one.

 

A full moon of pale honey bathes us all,

Sweet and quiet light soothes my open soul,

My sweetheart walks with me,

As promised not that long ago.

 

Today, June 7th is my partner’s birthday. When he was healthy and strong we often walked with our dogs in the forest where we live. As he lay in his hospital bed dying two days before his transition we shared a private moment undisturbed. With my grief-laden voice I asked, “Will you walk with the dogs and I?” He looked into my teary eyes and replied with one definite word, “Always”.

 

White Sand

f6zfrd5vmiflllhv0hkaWhite sand was all that remained.

Settled into the folds of that rock eddy,

Small flowers whirled away into the river,

I washed bits of ash into the spring snowmelt.

 

White sand.

If someone came by,

They would never know,

This was your last resting place on Earth.

 

Now you were rushing ecstatically,

Towards the Great Bay,

Towards the Golden Gate,

Headed for Home.

Strange Gratitudes

Strange Gratitudes

This Gratitude Weekend I am grateful for things I normally wouldn’t have thought to feel thankful for. Of course it is easy to be appreciative for the well built home my partner left to me surrounded by natural beauty, a healthy body, the availability of wholesome food, the health of my family, good friends etc. But I am also grateful (filled with greatness) for painful experiences this year that were profoundly challenging. This holiday weekend, a year after my partner’s first hospital stay, I am grateful for his unusual illness and death because it humbled and crushed me in a way not many experiences could have.

I met with Francis Rico, my spiritual mentor, four months after my sweetheart had transitioned. We sat in the backyard of a nurse friend’s in Santa Rosa. It fittingly happened to be Memorial Day. “I have no idea what this is all about”, I exclaimed to him with dismay. I was feeling victimized and still in shock from Jeff’s passing which had been an ordeal. He replied quickly and a bit casually, “I know what this is about, it has brought you down to your foundation”. I heard myself utter, “Huh?” as my head cocked as a trying to understand dog would. “Grief is the foundation of this world” the most fulfilled being I may have ever interacted with declared. “Foundation of the world?”

I expected an accomplished spiritual guide to say, “Peace is the foundation of this world” or love or happiness but not the dark, moist heavy cloud of lament which most modern humans seem intent on trying to avoid. “We live in an impermanent reality. Here people, places, things, conditions and circumstances are forever changing so we are constantly grieving. We are continually losing things we love and cherish. Grief is the basis of this world”. I sat there on the lawn chair stunned.   “But you are the most joyful person I have ever met!”. I knew his beloved cat Angel had died around the same time as my sweetheart had. When I reached out to Francis with my pain he would share his. Francis was deeply affected by Angel’s passing and had even sent me a photo of the gray creature. “I know you were heartbroken when Angel died but when we were in Mexico in March your energy wasn’t heavy like mine”. He never mentioned his “pet’s” death to the group while on our spiritual exploration at the pyramid complex of Teotihuacan. I did notice he frequently used cat analogies in his lectures which I had never heard him use before. He was obviously still processing the beloved feline’s passing from this realm. “That is because I completely accept my grief”, the talented shaman shared which pointed to the resistance of mine.

Early one forlorn morning after this heartwarming session with my mentor, I sat back at my empty home with my notebook and pen. I quietly asked Spirit, “What is this intense time about for me?“ A very long list flowed through the pen: His death had began my publishing debut of my writings and poetry; a friend had set up my first blog for me a month after his death. I accepted deep in my gut that physical life is temporary. I had realized fairly early that trying to spiritually bypass my pain wasn’t going to work no matter how hard I tried to be feel better. I learned I could prolong my anguish with common thoughts such as “This shouldn’t have happened, or he was too young to die, or he should be here now or what did I do wrong to deserve this?”.

Another gift was learning to love more with fewer conditions. I had strove to be a supportive partner and meet Jeff’s many needs as best I could but I also had ample opportunities to accept and be with my own fears, fatigue, overwhelm and despair. I realized how dependent I am on others since I wouldn’t have even survived without the loving support of innumerable others that I reached out to several times every day during this grueling process.

How can I convey the anguish of living with an emaciated man who could not eat for the last two months of his life, who was barely surviving on the liquid food being pumped into his veins and whose neck was a horrifying chartreuse? A previously very athletic and active man now sat day after day staring at “Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives” and other curious food shows all day long pre-occupied with when he would be able to eat again.

I had a myriad of reactions to the bizarre situation we were in and how drastically our life had suddenly shifted. I had never realized how difficult it is to be living with someone who is severely ill; I often required reminding that the physically distraught can be dismissive, demanding, irrational and not uncommonly do criticize their intimate caregiver’s best efforts. I also had to learn to silence the internal voice that would harshly comment that I wasn’t meeting the voice’s idea of what an ideal selfless saint should be like.

But on this Thanksgiving I will be grateful to have loved and shared a life with someone who became gravely ill six months after I had moved in. I am grateful that I learned that there are many physicians who are uncomfortable with death and see their role as a “death-fighters” even when that perspective causes more distress for the patient and their family and wastes billions of health care dollars. I am grateful that wiser and more loving physicians are to be cherished and supported. I am grateful for us having been surrounded by nurses that were accepting of dying and death as a natural process and were technically skilled and emotionally helpful. I will be grateful for this peaceful and beautiful home and the other ways he made sure I was taken care of. I will be grateful that probate will be coming to an end soon and that I am motivated to teach people how to avoid the expensive legal process of mind-numbing paperwork; the last thing grieving families need is coping with boringly complex paperwork that can be avoided. I will be grateful to have more experience in communicating with spirits and accepting their ongoing love and support of their earth bound cohorts. I will be grateful for all the meals, housing, errands, caring conversations that were bestowed upon us. I will be grateful for his lovely memorial on Valentine’s Day this year and all who shared their shock, grief and love with us. I will be grateful to have been thrown into this “aloneness vision quest” that has brought me deeper into myself and taught me how to better support people in the throes of loss.

I learned I cannot connect with everyone through happiness but grief is a universally shared experience that all relate to. I am grateful to have accepted that some people couldn’t be there for us because they were unable to deal with the intensity of our pain and that I worked to not take it personally. I am grateful to know that anciently based cultures are wiser with helping their members move through the process of dying and mourning. Some of these cultures relieve these distressed people of any responsibilities for one year as they keep an eye on them and care for their needs. I am grateful that I have come to realize that life is not the opposite of death. Birth is the opposite of death. Life is greater than both of these. And my list could go on.

The Course in Miracles states, “All things work for the good except in the ego’s judgment”. I am glad I kept this beneficent thought in mind even when it was almost impossible to believe.

Hideous Me

Hideous Me

Hideousness hesitantly attempts,

A breath through her rigid and dust filled throat.

The quiet scratching of bloodied cracked nails begins inside the cheap coffin,

Long decayed and rotted flesh claws through the heaviness of earth.

 

Wounds dripping with gangrenous ooze,

Maggots feeding on the ancient debris of torture,

Putrid crusted scabs,

A heart so fractured it is incapable of relating.

 

Precious pieces driven deep underground,

Tormented parts frozen autistic,

These aspects I have worked hard to keep locked away,

Silent screams of agony longing for my loving touch.

 

Confused and deformed me,

Dragging her limp foot along the dark streets,

Revealing what most work desperately to keep at bay,

Abandoning seduction to lure them in.

 

Women parade their glamorous and sexy selves,

Black feathered elegant creatures or even an iridescent jellyfish

Flashing her sublime azure-white light,

My blackened jagged fangs staring at them.

 

This Samhain I embrace and celebrate Death and Horror.

Warmed by the growing cultural fascination with zombies and vampires,

Who acknowledge shattered skulls none can ever reassemble.

Can you smell the nausea of putrefying flesh?

 

Amber leaves are falling with eternal grace this morning,

Tall pines dance and sway with the stormy winds.

My sky a comforting mottled moist gray,

Destruction, followed by the inevitable and expansive renewal, is well underway.

October 15th

October 15th

I heard of my sister’s death just twelve hours before.  I believed back then that suicide did not end your pain. I had been taught that to take your own life was the most grievous of sins, a deplorable act against both God and humanity and that your despair and personal hell stayed with you on the other side. I was imagining she was still in intense emotional distress that was now worsened with guilt and remorse for the additional wreckage she just left behind for us, her friends and all who knew her from years of past involvement in recovery.

 

3am

I awake

Pitch black

Alone in the small rectangular spare bedroom of loving friends.

 

I want to crawl in their bed and be held,

But not sure that would be welcome.

 

Freaked out,

Desperate for comfort,

I phone a sweet and loyal friend.

Shocked, she struggles to absorb and empathize with my news until

I am again somewhat calm and let her go.

 

I lie on my back

In that dark room

Unable to see anything but gruesome images

Of her last moments flashing over and over again in my mind.

 

Suddenly the room fills with brilliant Light.

Gorgeous rays of yellows highlighted with pale rose,

Indescribably more subtle and vibrant than any in our world

Fill me with beauty and awe.

 

The apparition is completely absent of form

But I know

This is my sister.

 

She is thrilled,

Beyond thrilled.

I lie there stunned by how happy she is,

She is back Home.

 

Without word or thought,

She is clearly more than okay.

 

Later her message dawned on me,

“You are Light,

Remember you are Light”.

 

 

My sister died

My sister died

My sister died,

7 years ago tomorrow.

A dramatic passing,

She left the way she had always lived.

 

“So tragic”, they said over and over,

All shocked and completely horrified.

My younger sister took herself out well,

This beautiful woman wasn’t calling out for help or playing games.

 

The neighbors heard firing of a gun

As she used her artistic garden’s statues

As targets

until she was satisfied the kick of that weapon was mastered.

 

An upscale sunporch in northern Georgia,

An elegant patio chair,

Her last Marlboro,

Pools of blood and bits of brain is all she left.

 

October 14th, her beloved granddaughter’s 6th birthday.

The young child lived there with her.

My determined sister was found in her cozy blue and white fleece pajamas

when they arrived home on that gray and drizzly evening.

 

My sister died,

7 years ago tomorrow,

The shattering by her dramatic death,

Invited me to stay open, be vulnerable and become more real.

 

Maureen Frances Siegfried Moltz killed herself in northern Georgia after a four year secret relapse into opiate drug addiction after having a hysterectomy. She decided that life on codeine was easier than life without it and being a nurse was writing herself illegal prescriptions. Maureen had been clean and sober in AA for eight years before that surgery. She had returned to 12 step programs a few weeks before her demise but found withdrawal exceedingly difficult and painful. Demoralized by her inability to withdraw successfully in addition to all the personal problems that were building in her life I imagine she thought she was doing her family a favor by checking out.  Or maybe she had found a way to express her unhealed rage?  She died three months before her 50th birthday. This unique, adventurous, willful, energetic life of the party was living with her husband, son and granddaughter at the time of her death.

We hold you in our hearts and honor you today Maureen and we love you…