death. i have known death since before i could walk or talk. i have known death in my heart and my body. i have known death in my spirit and my mind.
i could have left death alone. i could have continued to pretend that she was not standing there next to me. i could have abandoned her in the desert. not offered a seat at the table, a hot cup of coffee. i could have been inhospitable, turned my back and pretended. there is only life.
i am mexican.
through my young life my father always taught me death. through the animals we raised. through his visions when his grandmother passed. through my own young attempts at dropping my body.
there is a tradition. there is a path.
death was patient and kind until i could see that i was already dancing with her and i could remember. we mexicans embrace our teacher, our guide, our dear friend. there is nothing to fear here. death is self. death is life. death is spirit.
when i finally turned toward death with open eyes, my world expanded. i could more clearly see through my physical experience into the reality of spirit and eternity. these are uncomfortable lessons, but these are the lessons that make life LIFE.
befriending death does not make today easier. it does not take away the grief, the pain, the huge hole that seems to be vibrating in my chest. the vast sea below my feet that opens its giant maw and sings my name with every ghost i ever gathered intact.
i think when i first began my quest i thought it might. that i would somehow lift up into a different experience altogether. but no. i still have my body and my heart. when the family tree splits open and falls over, i am still there to feel the roots pulling against the earth.
my dear friend death teaches me the song of grief. teaches me to open my mouth and sing. open my skin and vibrate. open my heart and feel. she tells me how strong i am. how deep and true.
i do not love the lessons death brings me. death is with me today. right this minute as i write. i just confirmed sadsad news. great loss. life altering. i could be devastated, but i have learned. i feel myself transforming even as i type these letters into words. howling. singing. typing. being. i am becoming something wholly more myself living my LIFE.
i trust that i will understand the purpose of this great loss someday.
i will endure and live to know how to greet death with greater and greater grace. how to invite her in. knowing that she is me and we are friends.
i live as if i am holding hands with death and we are walking gently on mamiearth, learning what we learn and being true.
through this season, my consciousness will expand. i will walk lighter. i will create. i will endure.
i will give birth to birds.
because i am sky.
and death told me stay.