Recently a dear friend passed and the ensuing days of processing have been interesting. Fortunately she was well aware of her pending death and was prepared for it. I, however, wasn’t prepared for her to go.
I spent several days after the news of her death wrestling with emotions that ranged from joy for her release to sadness in that she would not be a part of my future – at least physically.
I would like to think death no longer holds the fear over me it once did in my youth. As I have aged I have come to know death as simply part of the cycle and is inevitable. I know I will die one day as it is one of the few sure things in life. This knowledge doesn’t make death easier, just more palatable.
Today I sat on my back porch in a particular funk over my friend’s passing when I heard squawking overhead. A lone crow was sitting in a tree looking down at me and when our eyes made contact it proceeded to give me a piece of it’s mind. I could almost hear my friend’s voice in the caws of the crow as if she were saying, “Look at you sitting down there. What’s all this about?”
I have to admit it made me smile thinking of her perched in a tree yelling at me.
Crows have long been associated as being messengers from the void, especially at this time of year when the veil is thin. I have no doubt this is true. Today’s message from my friend seemed to be, “I am at peace, now go and find yours.”
When Death Comes – Mary Oliver
When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes like the measle-pox;
when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth, tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.