On Death and Dying

So last spring I picked up "On Death and Dying" by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and I've finally started to endeavour to read it.  I'm going to post a fear that started shouting in my mind upon reading, and also a poem in the introduction. 

I'm terrified of hospitals.  I'm terrified of what can happen in them, afraid someone will take me to one against my will (again), and afraid of what the people can do inside them.

I need to work through a specific event that happened to me while I was inpatient in 2006, but I don't know if this is an appropriate venue for that fear.  It's deeply personal what happened, and I don't really know how to work through it.

But anyway.  I don't know why I decided to read this book now.  It's been highly recommended to me for many years because for as long as I can remember, I have feared that darkness.  Anyway, out of the growing stack of books I have queued, this was the lucky one.  It's going to be quite the journey.

Let me not pray to be sheltered from 
dangers but to be fearless in facing 
   Let me not beg for the stilling of
my pain but for the heart to conquer it.
   Let me not look for allies in life's 
battlefield but to my own strength.
   Let me not crave in anxious fear to
be saved but hope for the patience to
win my freedom.
   Grant me that I may not be a
coward, feeling your mercy in my 
success alone; but let me find the grasp
of your hand in my failure.

~Rabindranath Tagore, Fruit-Gathering


"This is a Farewell Kiss, You Dog!"

Who freakin' roffled when they heard about this?


If you're out of the loop, just type "Bush Shoe" into YouTube.  Too fabulous.



I asked Mom for Aunt Anna's address, even though it was unlikely she would acknowledge me or respond. But I needed closure; I needed to go into the farmhouse. She said to wait and see if I could come with them when the lawyer gave them a date and time to finish getting the rest of their things out.

A quiet event, me, Mom, and Dad, right? Well, Aunt Shirley invited everyone. Which was fine, I didn't mind so much, but I didn't want anything. I just wanted to be there. Just for a little while. Walk through all the rooms, say goodbye to them.

I couldn't even drive up the road without choking up. I'm over 380, but it's still hard. And bridging that hill, god.

Everyone was rushing everywhere, and I felt like I was in the way most of the time. It was so perverse, so wrong that we should have to scavenge during this two-hour window, and only then. It was too quick, too everything.

All I had to do was step across the threshold and I was crying. I'm too big, I grew up, I don't fit in the house anymore. And it holds none of the warmth it once did. There is literally crap everywhere, and while it's true Grammie was a packrat, everything has been dissected by Aunt Anna, first and foremost, and then her children, and then us. I could immediately tell what rooms had been gutted for what they were worth, Grammie never had the attic clean.

I was so distraught through the whole thing I only have about half the pictures I took; I could kick myself. I know a lot of other people took pictures though.

The woodstove in the dining room. Not crackling, but cold and rusty; lifeless. No snow clothes hanging by it, no snow clumps sizzling to steam on its surface.

The stairs, from the second floor to first.

I will have to explain this one, and likely won't be able to without choking up: one day I found these rollerskates in the storage shed, and proceeded to stress Grammie to the max by rollerskating around the kitchen and wash room. After that day, she hid the rollerskates, and I was never able to find them again. Until today. I'm glad I at least still have this picture, this dirty closet wouldn't have meant anything to anyone else.

I couldn't focus for most of the time; everything was loud around me. Dad was entirely focused, and he had to be. Lawyers and legalities forbid he be allowed in the one place that was everything.

I ended up with the handful of things I randomly found, no rhyme or reason to them really. I found a hat in her bedroom, a tiny basket I was looking for for my car, just stupid things, and the things people pressed upon me. All the paintings were already off the walls or claimed; I might've liked a familiar scene. I half thought about taking one of the scruffy, disgusting rugs that she had in the living room. Not practical though.

I guess I don't really want anything, other than my childhood back, my jostled memories intact. I had a revelation from right field the other day, and it made me feel somewhat guilty: here I am, out of college, being blue collar and taking care of these animals at the shelter; feeding, mucking, tending . . . if I didn't have such a difficult teenage life and a better relationship with Dad, things could have gone so much differently. I know it's silly, but maybe if I had known then what I know now, I would've stepped up. It was too much work for two people, but Dad and Grampie did it.

It was just an idle thought, but one that brought me sadness anyway. It's stupid to think such things in retrospect, but that farm isn't going to be the S. Farm much longer. Some rich fuck is going to undercut what we're asking for and do whatever he wants with it. Demolish it, develop it, take it.

Never to romp, to wander, to sled, to hide, to explore, create mischief, chase cats, step on pincher bugs and ants, to avoid cowpies, to poke at the grain that fell through the cracks, to get lye everywhere, to climb haystacks, never. Never again. Not there.



So can I say, I am so stoked to give this Christmas gift? It is awesome, if I may say so myself.