Just as I sat here, thinking I should write a blog. . . but about what, about what. . . my phone rang. It was H., my friend and Jungian therapist, telling me she’s sorry she’d been out of touch the past couple of weeks, but her husband, who has been suffering terribly from dementia for the past decade, passed away. It was peaceful. She assured me she’s fine.
I’ve been dreaming about her the past couple of nights, and in Jungian terms . . . well, that sort of synchronicity is just the way of things.
H. says she feels C.’s spirit all around her, in a way she hasn’t for many years. For so long C. has been the everpresent-absence. Now, she feels as though their relationship has been restored, that she is in the company of the man she has loved for many decades. The agonizing anchor that tethered him here has finally been raised; he has set sail and is free, but he hasn’t left her behind. He is more present than he’s been in a long time.
You can see why I value her wisdom so very much.
We talked a little about death, and it reminded me of how my relationship with my adopted father has improved since he died in 1992. Strange to say, I know, but it’s the truth. Hours after his death I believe he visited me, and then again in dreams three times, and at Christmas (his favorite holiday) the following year. Since then I have sensed him with me as I got sober (he got sober in 1972), and continue to feel him with me whenever I reach out in that direction.
I feel the same way about my brothers, who both committed suicide — one on Easter Sunday, the other on Good Friday, a dozen years apart. It’s not that they’ve gone away, it’s that they’re close, and the need for explanations has been removed.
Having had a birthday recently – one of those that takes you undeniably into the latter part of a decade — I’ve been thinking of mortality quite a bit. As well, a friend landed in hospital quite suddenly, a neighbor’s dealing with a life-threatening illness, another friend’s sister died, another’s brother-in-law and my 92-year-old mother is never far from my thoughts . . .
I don’t know what death is. I don’t know whether my personality will survive it (or even if I want it to), and certainly the crushing sense of loss that comes with a loved ones’ passing isn’t lessened by the sense they’re still with you, but just not quite with you. Every time I look at my dog I fear the day I’ll lose him so you can imagine the agony I felt the time My Best Beloved had to be rushed to the hospital (it turned out to be nothing) in the middle of a ridiculously stormy night. It was nothing that time, but as I lay in bed that night by myself, wondering what the next day would bring, I couldn’t help but think even if he was going to come home this time, one day it would be different.
Having someone walk into the next room and stay there, just out of sight, out of touch, is impossibly painful. But it is also part of the human experience. Unavoidable, unless one dies first.
In the end all I can think is what remarkable creatures we are, willing to love in the face of inevitable separation. One hopes even that separation is only temporary, and yet this is mere speculation, just a small fragile feathered thing. My friend H. says her husband’s death was peaceful. Perhaps that is what I wish for, if nothing else works out — peace at the last. Peace at the last.