6.08.2009

Sitting on the edge of my bed, my hands gripping my husband’s arms; washcloth, cold, on my head; all the pain relief I needed. She grew in my belly, and I tried not to disturb her. No – no tests, no needles, no scans, no – this is life and love and my baby, and my body. My body knew what to do, how to grow my baby, how to protect her and nurture her and keep her safe. And it knew how to send her into my arms, and we needed someone only to catch her, cut her gently from me after the blood had stopped pulsing. My body kept her warm, nourished her. No – no drops, no pricks, no tests, no needles, no. This is life, looking to burst forth and we don’t need anybody else; we don’t need help. We are here, and we are together and we are safe and we are alive – the body and the mother and the child.

***

Cancer made him look taller. It stripped him clean to the bones and he looked taller, teetering on shaky legs, propped up by a cane and by our love and by pills and pills and pills and drinks and needles and poison. He smiled and I saw him and help him please, my love is not working, my smoothies, the best smoothies, he told me, are not enough and they cannot keep the cancer from taking what little is left sticking to his bones. This is death, looking to claim him, and where is everybody, we need help. Please, please, please, a new pill, a new doctor, a new plan and we are together and we are not safe and we are not healing – the cancer and the father and the daughter.

***

And one year and nine months later I am starting, just starting, to try to let death live in a peaceful, natural place, without interventions, with acceptance and strength. Just beginning to understand why, in birth, I push away that hand, strive to let my body do what it is meant to do, and yet facing death, reach for it desperately. Each a dance; each graceful, and willful and necessary, if only you stop and let life’s natural rhythm finally, furiously take over.


***

6 comments:

  1. Sometimes I get close but I don't think I have a personality that can really accept death.
    I think the medicalization of death, our belief, our need to believe, that a new doctor or pill can ward it off does us a disservice.
    My goal for myself and my girls is to leave this world the way bee entered - at home.

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  2. This post was just agonizing - and yet beautiful, too. God, I'm sorry.

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  3. A beautifully written post that very much reflects my own feelings about these issues. Thank you.

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  4. I want to commment, but I truly am speechless.

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  5. I am too. Speechless, I mean. This was absolutely exquisite.

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Talk to me.