Wednesday, 29 January 2014

notes from the brink of death

Staring out over the sea, feeling a bit woozy just watching its lulling waves and listening to the crash of the tide beneath me, I sit upright for the first time in thirty six hours.

Little did I know that the lazy I was feeling and the unwelcome belches escaping during the prior day were heralding the coming of a death-virus; one that felled our household in quick succession.  

If we only knew.  If we only could have prepared.

Illness can bring me such introspection.  The feeling of every ache in my body-- the muscles under the bends of my toes screaming out, a rawness in my ears that goes through to my brain,  my insides feeling like they are vibrating fire-- sensations that make it impossible to rest easy; impossible to rest in peace.

Repositioning myself every few moments, I attempt to fight every thought of, "Oh, I'm so sick," with "I am healthy, I am healing."  I attempt to slow my pain-induced erratic breathing into even breaths.  It all helps.  I can feel a difference, but a sudden cure it is not.  

I send love out to all of those that are crossing over at that moment-- the hundreds, the millions.  Bless them.  Bless their ability to cope with their bodily sensations so that they may go in peace.

At times like these I think about my own death and what it might feel like.  I put in a plea-- can it please not feel this horrible? If it's going to be painful and death is imminent, can someone just give me something to gently rock me to sleep?  

Awakened a couple of hours ago by a business text- can you talk now?  I respond, give me 10 minutes, and miss their contact attempt at 8 minutes while trying to adjust to vertical.  I gather my notes, put on my acting voice and make it through our tele-meeting.  

Now I wonder how long I can survive on the fat in my body because I can't imagine ever ingesting anything solid.  Head still heavy and sore, spacey, this must be what bad-stoned feels like.  

Again, my heart goes out to those suffering so much worse-- the children suffering, elders fading away all alone, the mothers hanging on to their last moment so as not to bid their children farewell, agonising pain from an accident.  

It's like the stories of birth we share so joyfully when mother and child come through unscathed.  The miracle of surviving such an unpredictable physically intense event that brings some to the brink of death paradoxically then ends with the anticipation of the unknown-- of how we will pass on from this world.  

When one can announce, "they went peacefully in their sleep," we all respond as if a lottery was won.  And rightly so.

Feeling so ill brings it fresh for me.  I would not be able to write this tomorrow, because that protective thing that dulls our memories, enabling us to continue to have babies, also occurs after we have been horribly ill.  Our mind protects us from our memories of physical suffering and pain.

All of this pondering brings me to the question-- can we get the government out of our deaths? (and births, writes the one that had to go underground for an "illegal" home birth.)  Stop telling people how to die.  Stop telling people what their suffering feels like.  If it's inhumane to let an animal suffer, than why in the hell is it not inhumane to let a child or any human suffer.  

Let it be gentle.  Let it be kind.  And as we are with our animals that we refuse to let suffer-- let it be humane.  

Yes, when it's that time- please just give me something to rock me gently to sleep.

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