My body knew before my brain remembered. I’d been walking around for days with this hole punched through me, like those cartoons where someone is shot by a cannon and it cookie cutters their middle out.
November 11, 2016, we’re scheduled to take Paul into the hospital to spend the weekend on the palliative care ward. The idea is to be in a place where he can be monitored while they get his pain meds sorted out. Days before he had od’ed and it was scary as f*^k.
We hadn’t anticipated how Remembrance Day would impact getting him there. The streets were blocked for the parade and gathering at city hall, and all the feeder streets that would take us to the bridge seemed to be barricaded. We were turned back at every route we tried until we were able to detour through the other side of the city.
It turns out this would portend the whole experience. This was supposed to have been temporary. Come in, get your pain under control and then go home. Instead it all fell apart. I mean, more than it already was. Everything had started crumbling when he found that first lump that he thought was a canker sore. But for a while it seemed like the pieces could be put back together. Now they were crushed, dust.
I started to feel this hole earlier in the week. And I realize now that taking Bill into care had triggered it. The institutional feel, the medicalization, the stark room, staff in scrubs. Even the way Bill’s and Paul’s gaits resembled each other as they walked through the corridors.
The Cowboy Junkies singing David Bowie’s Five Years broke me open today, tapping a deep and ferocious grief ~ a profound and alive grief that cradled love and regret, desire and loneliness, hope and joy. It acknowledged that while there is grief in the loss there is also grief in the new possibilities that emerge from that. That might seem strange. Hold it for a minute in the context of Remembrance Day and maybe you’ll see it.
Five years. And it’s everything pouring out of me. Five years. Grief for lost opportunity. Five years. For the Earth, for racism and violence. Five years. For the music that will never be. Five years. And tears of joy, for the fierce beauty of life. Five years. My body alive to possibility. . .
Five years. I love You, You’re beautiful
Centred on evocative and deeply healing guided meditations, Kimiko holds Virtual Healing Circles Monday mornings at 9 a.m. and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. pacific. Please join us. Learn more at the Good Vibrations: the Energy of Resilience facebook page, check out the Healing link on this site or drop her a note by e-mail.
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