The day after Death comes to take a loved one away is marked like no other day on the calendar. This day after Death has visited brings a slow-motion rhythm of heavy-laden legs, heavy feet shuffling, heavy eyelids. Sit for a while, wander for a while. Have more water. Distract and repeat.
That time before sun up
In the early morning hours after this death occurred, it found Crescent Moon hiding behind a small cloud. Her true friend, Venus, shone brightly, waiting for the intruding cloud to pass so Moon could reappear. This early morning, after this death, I am searching and waiting too.
Your body is away from me
But there is a window open
from my heart to yours.
From this window, like the moon
I keep sending news secretly.
The day of
The day after is not like the day of death. The day of death is throat filled with adrenaline, swallowed down with a glass of this can’t be happening, and another swallow of this can’t be real.
Lottie Chantel left this world as she came to us. She brought with her a twisted sense of dignity and otherworldly resolve. Where did she get that? It was that solid resolve that compelled me to do my best, to try hard. She gave the kind of trust I would never want to betray.
A sophisticated party girl with scruples
She was a head toss, hair flying girl, dancing at the party with a Cosmo in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Knowing her moves on the dance floor got eye attention from the sidelines, she flipped and twirled. See this move, she’d say, as she twerked and worked it. And with a hind kick exclamation point in the direction of the spotted little shit behind her, she’d show him what she was capable of if the need arose. But she needn’t worry.
You might have even wanted her to be your girlfriend.
A complimentary pair
She was the opposite of her sissy, who was ever so serious. She did a phffft to the number of years she had on the planet. Who can be bothered by such things as age, she seemed to ooze. Sweetie, are you kidding? Age is just a number. When you look this good you only need to cop to age to a point. Seriously, honey, have you seen my summer coat?
Like a box of Cracker Jacks
They’re all special. Every single one of them. All special. And, depending on how they’ve been treated, each one will bring a different package to unwrap. Inside the package is a surprise. The trick is to unwrap the package gently and find what is hidden. The prize is surely always there. Always.
We needn’t unwrap too far to find Lottie’s prize. It was right there under the surface. Her trusting heart was her gift. Her big, beautiful, trusting heart. And she gave it freely and generously as a fierce beacon of love. And we are the better for it.
Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance. ~ Kahlil Gibran