and a SURPRISE GUEST in the Circle

I am reminded by friends of the importance of surrendering.

For the past 2 days I had to surrender to these powerful medications, as what else is there to do. I cannot fight them. I cannot pretend they are not coursing through my veins and making me feel like a huge wave just flattened me on the bottom of the ocean, and I’m not sure how I will rise up for air again.

I cannot just go outside and take a walk and act as if I’m ok, because my legs are weak and achy and my head feels like it’s not really attached to my body and every now and then I just want to lie down and scream or cry.

Surrender to the pain, to the medicines, to sleep. Yes, especially to sleep. When I am exhausted, it’s really ok to sleep, what a concept!

Surrender may be the opposite of control. When I actually lay down when I feel ill, and listen to music or imagery and stay present with my breath and my body, and visualize cancer cells dissolving and healthy, strong cells forming, I surrender to a power much much greater than my feeble human mind. When I get stuck in my “lists” of things I really should or could be doing in this “down time,” then the need to control the moment becomes a source of frustration and agitation. This is not “down time.” This is my LIFE. It is HEALING TIME. This IS MY WORK!!! It is the time it takes to re-build the cells in my body, realign my Spirit’s intentions for whatever time I have on Earth. THIS is what this time is about.

I sing Holly Near’s chant a lot these days:

“Someone was brave before me; I walk in your path”

It helps me to know, picture, imagine all those beings who have suffered in similar ways and somehow made it through these barbaric treatments.

It even helps me, knowing that many of them are dead, because I still feel them helping me.

Yes, it is true, sometimes communication with the dead is easier than communication with some of the living! I read that on a card somewhere.

When I listen to my “guided imagery for chemo” and it comes to the point of this beautiful fountain with radiant energy pouring forth from it, and a circle of “helpers” witnessing this and assisting me, I find it interesting that the helpers who always show up are my friends and relations from the “other side.” Occasionally someone who is still here on Earth appears in the crowd, but mostly not. My sister Helene is usually the “ring leader” and my parents are there, and Kim and Jo and Flame and the other day Tanya was there and Vika.

I have spent so much of my last 25 years being with those who are dying, I shouldn’t really be surprised that these are the energies that are here to help guide and assist me. And they are so kind and comforting to me.

However, the other day someone showed up whom I had never seen and certainly did not expect.

My “little brother.” The one who died at birth. David, was to be his name. His spirit would have changed my life a lot if he had lived. As it was, the trauma of his birth shaped my early time here.


January 27, 2014

The 2 year-old, chubby blue-eyed girl
stands knocking softly at the door
That is cracked open
She so wants to burst into the room
Where her mother lies whimpering
She wants to hold and be held
Love and be loved
But the door feels shut
Despite the small crack that allows for some light to enter

It is 1955
And people do not discuss
Post partum depression
Or any emotional/psychological situations
in polite circles
The woman down the street, Mrs. D, who lives in the house
with the big open cluttered porch
And has lots of kids , has certainly lost one or two as well
The thinness of her working class hands and the veins in her still young legs
Make her someone my mother can relate to
But there are not many with whom she can share this burden out loud

Grace carried David to term
And then he died
And then she almost died with him
Except for the big plastic oxygen tent where she lived for days or weeks
That seemed like eternity
To the 2-year old looking up from the hospital parking lot
Or waiting at home
For mommy to pick her up and carry her to bed

No one spoke his name for years
Tears were hidden
And I wonder now, was there a funeral?
Any acknowledgement of birth and death–
The circle usually broadened by the years of life between events

Rachel Remen says
That “life is movement toward the Soul”
Some souls take a breath and then return to where they came

Others spend years deciphering the meaning of life
or lost love
Rejection by the one who intends unconditional love
but cannot sustain it
I wanted Grace to lift me up, carry me home
Accept all my life choices
And still love me
But then,
she could not

Now, she can
And so can the Soul of the brother who never was
Joined with the Souls of the beings who are no longer

My council, my support circle,
Call them angels or any other names
They witness
The golden fountain that springs forth from the earth
And blends with the medicines pumped into my veins
To heal my body, mind, heart, soul
“Nothing is different and everything has changed,”
I hear Rachel Remen saying in the background on my computer

I can cry now
I can push open the crack between the door and the wall
And tiptoe inside without fear
Able to witness finally, a depth of sorrow unknown
inside my body until now
And then return down the dark, narrow hallway and run down the stairs
And out into the daylight
Knowing that each of us must suffer in our own ways
At our own time

and that ultimately, for each of us
Grace will lift us up
And carry us

Healing Journey, Palliative Care