June 28, 2012

That, finally, is all it means to be alive: to be able to die

-J.M. Coetzee

In Preparation for a Death

 

So this is the labor:

scooping up the dry

bodies of flies

from beneath the meditation mats,

watching the dark

cluster in the dust pan,

I’m thinking about the time

I barfed on a subway platform.

It was very late, and I

imagined the person

who would take care of my vomit

before the morning commute. She

wore orange pants. Her fingernails

were clean. Her hands were very strong.

I wiped my mouth and got on the train.

In this way we are all the same.


21 responses to “June 28, 2012

  1. gosh. my son has a neurological disease called tuberous sclerosis. it’s terrible. brain tumors, seizures, no cure, no treatment, no hope. everyday is more difficult than i can say. but i come visit your blog and feel such gratitude for my life. feel such agony for your family. i don’t have shit to say that means anything for you and your pain. but when i come here, i feel cracked open. i’m so sorry doesn’t cut it. but i just wanted to say i wish your beautiful son all the peace and ease possible.

  2. Ah Emily. I’m so sorry. I keep you all in my prayers.

  3. I am so sorry. I will pray for you all.

  4. You are in my thoughts, Emily.

  5. Oh Emily, not yet…. I need more strength!

  6. Thinking about all of you, and Ronan most of all. When I see his pictures, I think of a line from Galway Kinnell: “his face gleaming with satisfaction at being this very child.” What a life: to never know anything but love.

    thank you for sharing him with us.

    • maybe the one consolation…. I have never met Ronan or his family but there is no doubt Ronan knew love, love, and more love, unconditional, every minute of every day.

  7. There are no words. I’d just like to hold your hand and let you know that you and your gorgeous man have touched so many people – surely this is the definition of a life well used. My son has mitochondrial disease and I know we are facing this too. Your words about loving until the time you have to let go have kept me much stronger than I’d ever expected. We wish you strength and serenity. With love from the UK.

  8. Even though I don’t know you, I carry you, Rick and Ronan in my heart. I am so sorry. I wish you strength, and send you all much love.

  9. Thinking of you and Ronan a lot lately. I am here for you if you want to vent, yell, or scream. I will send you all my prayers.

  10. Alma Luz Villanueva

    Nicole said it all, la verdad, the truth…as you, moment by moment in your daily life with your beloved Ronan, prepare for death, prepare for transformation…the strong woman in the orange pants, with the strong hands…you’ve become her…”We are all the same.” xoxo

  11. I am thinking of you, and sending you all healing vibes. Nicole’s post said it so beautifully. Though not a dragon mom, I am a ninja mom: my son was born with complex heart defects, then developed a serious rare lung illness – 4 yrs of hell. He continues on, partly for the friends he lost along his journey. I now spend my time working to make our hospital better for families. My heart is heavy. In this moment, Ronan’s beautiful, fierce dragon Mom, know that everyone who’s heard and been so moved by your words, your story, your love, sends you whatever you need: Love. Peace. Strength. Rest. Support. Comfort. You are easing Ronan’s journey. He is a part of you. We out here on the other end of your story, receivers of your words about your Little Seal – not the same as you – are broken open in this moment. We feel for you. My heart reaches out to you, and holds your other hand, in friendship, kinship, love, sisterhood, motherhood.

  12. Stephanie Quinn Westphal

    Emily, you, your husband, and your beautiful, beloved son are in my thoughts. I echo what Alma said. There’s so much shit and pain in life that we don’t want to deal with, but to face it all with love, graciousness and strength? That’s formidable. And I wish you did not have to face this at all.

  13. Our son has Huntington’s Disease and is slowly slipping away from us. You and your family are in our prayers.

  14. I have nothing to offer but my prayers and caring for Ronan, you and Rick. I offer them sincerely and with love. samm

  15. Prayers every day for all three of you, and all those who love Ronan.

  16. I am so sorry.

  17. Listen! My beloved!
    Look! Here he comes,
    leaping across the mountains,
    bounding over the hills.
    My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
    Look! There he stands behind our wall,
    gazing through the windows,
    peering through the lattice.
    My beloved spoke and said to me,
    “Arise, my darling,
    my beautiful one, come with me.
    See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
    Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
    the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.
    The fig tree forms its early fruit;
    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
    Arise, come, my darling;
    my beautiful one, come with me.”

  18. Despite the pain for all of you, I still believe Ronan has had a life worth living. Think of all the people he has touched with his sweetness; all the people who care. We pray for strength for each day. Becky Richardson, author of “Craig Richardson, A Life Worth Living, With Disabilities.”

  19. Jeannette Moss Ren

    Dear Emily,

    I am just so deeply sorry. I always hold Ronan in my thoughts–every single day. There are so many strangers like me, people whom you’ve never met, who love your son, but I know this helps not at all.

    I want to put my arms around you all…

    Love, Jeannette Moss Ren

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