Your body belongs to everyone you love. It’s part of the earth and part of the universe and there is so much suffering in the world. Recognizing your body’s response is an important part of healing – not only yourself, but others.
I went into his bedroom, where he was naked on white sheets on this hot summer night, and sleeping, his small, muscled body and limbs like a starfish, and I hovered over him, and put my (hands?) on his right shoulder.
I moved through my grief, by sleeping with men I didn’t know. Through nightclubs and Madonna and sex in parking lots, from England to Rome to South America. I had sex with a priest, my therapist, an architect, and a stock broker.
All this brought me to crying in front of the coffee cart outside, making it even harder to breathe, not knowing how to ask the universe for more life, more breath, more laughter.
Denial is a powerful tool. We can forgive the people who prefer to live inside a bubble of denial, until it touches their lives.
I yelled his name again, loudly into his left ear. Do you want to live or are you ready to die?
That’s when I heard the dog growl and start knocking things over to get to me. I knew my friend didn’t have a dog,
I had the same fears and the same surgery as her. I had won the cancer lottery – that day, anyway. But I didn’t feel like I won anything.
Your younger self is inside you, involved in every choice you make, saying remember when we did that? Let’s not do that again. Remember when we went to the mountains? Let’s do that again.
The small sad sacs of my lungs filled just enough so I could cry. The diaphragm lifted so I could cry. To cry one has to breathe. To sing, one has to breathe.
Here I was on Kauai, and there she was in hospice in New Jersey, and and why would she remember our death pact?
Our breath goes out into the air, into the earth, into the universe, back to the source. Our lessons are released into the world, return home.
I had survived my greatest challenge, but I had not committed to life fully – it was like not setting a date for a wedding, so you never have to say I do.
All of your body has ears, every organ is listening deeply to what doctors are telling you – your body is also listening to what you tell yourself.
She said “we’ll pay you to write about the experience of dying”. Writing about dying was the new trend.
Yes, we are souls having an experience in human bodies, connected by an intricate, endless web of love.
My 2-year old grandson turned to me in his gravelly toddler voice and said, “Grandma – you are dying, and it’s okay”
We are all connected to each other, to every living thing. I walk miles every day – to the waterfalls, the beaches, pass the night owls and the shearwaters in a kind of meditation and gratitude.
The old Italian women created a circle and prayed for me, put water to my lips, stripped me naked and put cool towels on me, their rosaries brushing against my young skin.