4 weeks: Grief as amniotic fluid and raging rivers

August 11, 2017 Candace Morris 0 Comments

Kel -

You took your last breath 4 weeks ago today. Since then, we've grown close in your new form, and I feel a crippling amount of gratitude for this gift.

MaryBeth did a pull for us every night that first week, and girl! You came through (which feels so appropriate, you always loved tarot and are the one who made it okay for me)!

Your message is clear: WRITE.

Write and write and write and write. Write into the confusion, into the dark, into the distracting parts of it. MB said to create from this grief, maybe think of grief as my amniotic fluid holding me as I transform into the new me, as my synapses rewire.

And I ask, how do I climb into that birthplace? How can I access that place where all life begins? But I see and hear that I am, in fact, already there. So what can I do except pick up a pen and write.

The last great moment we had was this beautiful afternoon where Tice, Niki, Brad, Joel, Robin, and I were gathered on your bed making jokes. You told one! Your eyes remained closed and breath was precious gold, but you spent it to say, "Cortez! Make me a damn quesadilla." Of course, it was hilarious. You always have been.

I rubbed your feet. You wanted to be touched, always. The sweetness of it broke my heart. Tice picked up your guitar and started playing little bits of songs here and there. We were so scared, we didn't know what to do. But he followed his true self (which, you would definitely say, is always the right thing to do) and in that moment, the music was everything.

The tune landed on "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young, which Brad immediately trolled Tice for it. We all laughed, but it was actually so, so, so perfect. His and Niki's voices lulled us into the quiet place. Your face suddenly began to twist and I felt my heart jump with worry that you were in pain, that we were disturbing you.

But you weren't in pain. We weren't disturbing you. You began to cry, overcome with emotion - no doubt a mix of fear and love.

You said in the sweetest voice that I will never forget, "I love you all so much."


When things began to feel normal again, I felt like I was finally coming up for air after so many breathless weeks, weeks of being beaten around by rapids on the most punishing, unsympathetic of rivers while trying to stay afloat on a raft punctured on every side.

The ride has stopped and we've disembarked. Thank fuck that's over  - we all say to each other in shock, disheveled and beaten up. Checking to make sure everyone is okay.

But shit, we landed in the upside down world. I don't want to breath here, the air feels toxic. Can we go back? Let's make a new boat.

If I swim upstream
If I fall into the sky
If I eat water
If I stay awake all night and sleep all day
If I do everything backward...

Will it bring you back?

But the river,
the river is gone.

For now, I will lie in the pasture of my shriveled soul
Hug my lover
Kiss my child
And send a lantern to help you find
the new you.

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