Tag Archives: death

12/27/10 – Marilyn’s last day

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5 years ago today was my Marilyn’s last full day on earth.

I suppose she watched Charlie Rose and then Murder, She Wrote. Cooed to Rudy as she got up and shuffled over into the kitchen to pick out today’s tin for him. Glanced outside at her patio, her chairs and a couple storage tubs in disarray under the snow, thinking about the clean up and little improvements out there I was going to do for her come spring. Frowned, horrified and heartbroken, when she clicked through the channels stopping for a couple minutes on news of the tsunami disaster that had happened the day before.

And she probably fell asleep in her comfy chair, in pain from the MS and her slowly healing appendectomy a month before, to wake up in the middle of the night. And knew something was more wrong that usual…
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12/25/10 – random thoughts

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Lately I’ve been thinking about the realization that I’ve forgotten more then I remember. I cannot for the life of me remember what I got or gave two Christmases ago, and all but a handful of the presents I got from and gave to Marilyn.

Maybe I’m just at the moment experiencing the inevitable letdown, or lowering of my guard, after my – for me – hectic and full week and Christmas weekend.

I think about each of our uniquenesses, even my uniqueness, and that that uniqueness will be muted, and eventually dissipated as we will be.

Somehow, I think I am looking at this the wrong way. Or rather, that there is a way to look at this in a way that will create value, and even hope, in the face of it.
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10/16/10 – random thought

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“If you give this man a ride, sweet memory will die” – Jim Morrison, “Riders on the Storm”
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I am sure everyone my age has them, but those moments when, through some strange linkage of thoughts, I realize I have forgotten more than I remember, that I now remember conversations with no recollection of the other’s face, I feel so chillingly nervously close to the emptiness of death.
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poem 4/8/10 – your Book of Days

This slipped away from today’s readwritepoem.org April poetry challenge “unusual love connection” metaphor prompt.  But then again, this is poetry, not coding.

I wonder what Marilyn would think, if she saw all I’ve written, and will still write, about her.  Flattered? more, stunned?


your Book of Days


Some rainy days
Now that you’re gone
I’ll sit quiet, touching eternal
holding your big Book of Days

Its thickened heft on my lap
all the leather cracked and noble
the pages filled dreaming inside
the warm brass lock
you never bothered to snap

I think you forgot about it
in how you rushed to leave
but I found it

Under all the ownerless things
squatting in your apartment
in the days after

Your mother and sister just
wanted to drop it
in a gray generic Hefty bag
lug it out to their car
so maybe later getting
away from here
too burdened they think
they’d release a knob
the amber light a door is ajar
quick close it the air whipping in
all your things all that bag spilling out
dashed to the edge of the road

Smacking in the gravel
the binding cracks
the innocent pages muddied
while your sister and mother
slip away angry or guilty
back to Columbus

and be done with you

But when they were picking
through the meds and curlers and oils
on the counter in your bathroom

hissing at your daring

I grabbed it
pushed it to the bottom
of the box I was carrying out
seven books, a carton of incense
postcards a scarf a little pillow
other things they wouldn’t understand

They couldn’t be bothered
with your Book of Days
and I wasn’t sure I’d understand
but at least I’d thought I’d want to

It’s raining today
and my thumb caresses
the warm brass lock
you never bothered to snap

thoughts on death and a ghost in a bathroom

(Caveat: yes this is a post-a-day blogging project, and this is what you get sometimes.  But as I am working on a funny Valentine’s Day story for this weekend, I give a little glimpse of how my mind pounces on one shiny thing after another before it’s finally distracted from the screen and keyboard…)

I think about death.

I think about death a lot.

Every waking hour I think about the fact that my years, my days, my breaths and my thoughts, are limited.  A thin line of moments marching-

Into where?  The Buddhism I practiced for 27 years – albeit unorthodox – says your life is like the foaming whitecrest on a wave; you may appear distinct, but you are always of the ocean even.  Your essential nature – your soul, if you will – travels through eternity, sometimes subsumed, dormant potential (ku) ready to explode and appear again when the time is right and circumstances are fecund.   Still, you can’t remember your previous moments you manifested (basically because our minds aren’t built that way).

My Christian friends would probably tell me I will face judgment before God, either the moment after my final heartbeat or after a sleep in the grave til Jesus returns to Earth. Whether they (you?) see one’s Final Reckoning as literally standing before God at the Gates of Heaven, or a self-examination through the Eyes of God as your life flashes before your eyes, or the good you have done and the bad you have done slipped onto the twin trays on The Scales of Reckoning, I don’t know.

The times when I am most aware of my definite death?

When I am sitting on the toilet in the bathroom at work.

The bigger bathroom, of the two on our floor.  The offices where I work is an old huge mansion.  The bathroom is an awkwardly big – but not quite spacious – feng shui-less space, retrofitted, the angle of the eaves imposing on the upper third of the walls, the pebbled window set off in a nook about two feet off the floor.  Of course I don’t know why it triggers me to have morbid thoughts – the decades of life filling it, both family waking and sleeping and love and loss and the later decades’ energies women and men with a passion to help children and those children and parents themselves; the short pile of National Geographics sitting on the enamel tiled counter windowing the wide world, a sympathetic resonance with the pitch and frequency of the ceiling fan, or with the bieges of the room?

Or it could be the womanly ghost who’s said to haunt the mansion – people have wondered if the story, which I haven’t really been told, could enhance the mansion’s profile – trying to whisper some Truth about death in my ear.  But why she would wait til I’m sitting on the toilet, and not come to me while I’m sitting in my office, where I tend to keep my pants up…?