Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat.

Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat.

What happens after? I recall wondering if, when you were dying, if you knew you were dying, or if some kind of benevolent mental paralysis set in and held you in a golden place as you took your last breath.

In the moment of death,were you still there or already gone–was it like a blink or a sigh? The difference not unimportant in that last moment. In high school I researched (for a debate topic, still it was one I welcomed)funeral practices and discovered some touching and some frightening aspects of how we lay our dead to rest.

Rest, funny that euphemism. I suppose it is rest in that you are no longer in motion. But can you be said to rest if you no longer have the ability for motion?

I have greater knowledge of how the body disintegrates and how the mind follows quickly in staggering step. I don’t just wonder now,  I have met with  with, death. Because I’ve been learning, since losing pregnancies , just how close death always is. Death isn’t the other side of the life coin, it’s the exhale that is the match of the inhale, the river rushing to waterfall. All parts of the same moment. That which is likely birth is as likely death. And it’s good that you don’t really know this, in your own white skeleton, until much later. It’s better to have the joy of flying from the swing to snatch the clouds from the sky or that audacious adolescent surety of purpose and victory. Being bulletproof.

I can’t have oh time, the life just moments past, back so I have to give it to her. There are times  I wish I could have it back just in moments, just a taste like cotton candy in the summer, a third that very first kiss. My cliche, her future.

As I watch our daughter grow and learn I feel pages turning like a hackneyed expression of time passing. But I also feel a giving,-each moment new she has of experience- I wrap the equivalent of mine and hand it to the wind, a bequest, a movement away from me and to her. But my fingers can’t help but hang touch– just the ribbons as they fly away.

I’m not just missing moments now. I’m missing friends. I like to think somehow they are still around painting fantastic pictures with giant handfuls of sun, riding on balloon powered bicycles, becoming mermaids and staying in the fur that suits them best –oh and one day I’ll hold them all again young and strong and even more gorgeous than I could tell you in hours upon hours. Skin and fur each day I miss you.

I still find the easiest moments in the library or a cemetery.  They share a similar feeling, but it isn’t sorrowful, rather one of possibility. In the library it’s the possibility of knowledge, so many words falling around you–just reach out with open hands and spin them to you. In the cemetery? The possibility of what we thought lay beyond the moment of loss. The possibility of greater comprehension, the possibility of a hope more immense than any we could have understood. Or finally and simply nothing more than rest. No more striving, no more suffering, no more regret, no more fear. A nothingness as soothing as a loving mother’s touch to a fevered child’s head.