Posts tagged “Death

R.I.P. “Rabbit” with Love, Mouse

My friend
My friend with cancer
My friend
My friend who had chemo
Three runs of chemo
Two surgeries
My friend who was cured
Whose cancer had gone
My friend who was cured
Who wanted to write a book
Who wrote to me often
Who listened to me with Heart
My friend
Where did he go?
Why did he die?
Why when he was starting anew
With his wife who stood by him
Helped him when he was sick
Why did he die?
I want to know
Where did he go?
I want to know if the chemo
Killed him
It did not help my father,
My mother, my brother
My best friend
I thought I was wrong
I thought this time it helped my friend
Yes, it helped him alright
It killed him!
Why did he have to die?
My friend, “Rabbit,” Rest in Peace
Love forever, Mouse



Death of Fear and the Beauty of Death

over fears
of what’s to come
Husband such a
precious soul…
Stay in the present
Enjoy every moment
of together
It is fleeting…

Bipolar mind
fight living
in the present


So unZen
Why can’t I
just be
like before
breakdown and
before medications


Why can’t I
be jolly with he
whom I worship

Why the constant
chatter of
loud thoughts
Would that I could
go with him
when it comes time

And if not
hope that I can
help with his
last breath
I want to
be the first
to go
quite selfishly
He who cared
for so many
deserves that I
care from me
for him
and more

Would that
each moment
were not filled
with looking
at Illness
Old age
and Death
and the fragility
Of having a body.

Life Eternal

On this sad day

13 years ago

unspeakable things happened

to uncountable thousands

we have gone on

aching for those lost

Let us affirm life today

and always

By going to the One within

Good Friday Prayer

In death, decay


blurred tears


yet the promise of new life


Overloaded Circuits: a Poem for World Bipolar Day, March 30, 2014


I’m in somnia

with jackhammer brain

a buzzing mind

a humming with emotions

thoughts and pictures

memories of joys

lost to death

spirits close to my heart

seemingly worlds away

guilt, loss and happiness

sickness and death

as well as

breathtaking beauty

a bedfellow with

gnawing worries

and gnashing nerves

fleeting images from films and

music playing at high speed

in the library of my mind

voices of today, yesterday and

fears of tomorrow

vying for an ear

asking me to listen

to them all

all at once

a cacophony of sounds

in the humming silence

of the specter-filled

haunting darkness

with fearsome death dangling

its loathsome threats

before my darting eyes

afraid not for myself

but of losing him

as he lies beside me

breathing noises

breeding worry, sorry

dashing thoughts of love, passion, doubts

a scarily-still lump beside


manic me

finally arising out of

maudlin months

of dismal darkness

and deep, dark despair

when death smelled sweet to me


I get out of bed

to lay my face

upon the windowsill

to gaze at the mystery sky

full of twinkling stars

glittering to the rhythms

of the pulsing universe

my only hope for some

semblance of somnolence

my only chance for peace.

For info on my Bipolar memoir, please see:

Cowboys and the “Dallas Buyer’s Club”

About three minutes into “Dallas Buyers Club” I just knew I was going to love it.  Well, I more than loved it. I absolutely adored it and watched it twice. Why? Apart from being a highly meaningful piece of art with political overtones with which I concur, here was a film about the cowboy in my life. My brother.
No, my brother didn’t die of AIDS or HIV. He was not a drug addict and he was as straight as they come. I was the one with the homosexual experiences in my family.  My brother didn’t even die of cirrhosis of the liver, though God knows he drank enough. No, my brother died of lung cancer at age 57.
Let me back up and give a synopsis of the film from Wikipedia for those of you who are not familiar with it: ‘”Dallas Buyers Club” is a 2013 American biographical drama film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack. Matthew McConaughey stars as the real-life AIDS patient Ron Woodroof, who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them effective at improving his symptoms, distributing them to fellow sufferers by establishing the “Dallas Buyers Club” while facing opposition from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
Like Woodroof, Tony was a hard drinking, hard-living, tough-as-nails cowboy who worked on thoroughbred horse farms for awhile as a groom. He got into trouble from time to time but he was blessed with a good, big heart. And, unlike Ron he lived long enough to turn his life around and live an exemplary life I cannot begin to touch.  He married, settled down, became a wheelchair artisan and adopted three kids. He wound up doing volunteer work, too, therapeutic riding with handicapped kids. Things Ron might have done had he had the chance. Ron has a line in the film where he talks about wanting a family. But he died too young.
So did Tony. His cowboy life in Michigan was cut short when he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at age 54.  He was given 4 months to live. Dead set on fighting and aiming to win, he had chemo and radiation.  I sent him doo-rags when his hair fell out. I did Reiki on him.  And he did his God-damnedest to stay alive. All for his kids. He dropped down to 90 pounds, walked and looked like a dark-skinned, Latino Ron Woodroof at his most emaciated. It was heartbreaking to see this once rugged, handsome cowboy wearing long sleeves in the middle of a blistering summer so as not to scare people with his stick-insect arms.
Damn, the movie had guts! Power, too, in spades. Just like Ron Woodroof and his beautiful transvestite partner in business, Rayon. Just like my brother, and just like so many fighting for their lives.  Ron outlived the 30 day sentence the doctors gave him when he was first diagnosed HIV, and he lived some seven more years.  Tony lived three years after the initial prediction of four months. Chemo was hell for one week out of the month followed by three relatively good weeks. Relative is the word here. Tony told me time and again he was doing all this for the kids.
The Rons, the Rayons and the Tonys of the world– they are the unknown, unsung heroes of daily life. Ron Woodroof became famous  thanks to the producers, writers, actors and all who made this movie jump from the page to the screen to brilliant, vibrant life.  I thank them for telling the stories of Ron and Rayon. Stories that needed desperately to be told. Ron Woodroof made good in his own hustling way. So did my brother.
It was great seeing Tony again, even if only in metaphor. I cried plenty from the get-go and again the second time around, but even aside from my brother, would have anyhow. The characters, the movie was THAT poignant, counterpointed by humor, too. What a fantastic whirlwind of a life was portrayed in this outstanding, almost phantasmagorical film.

An Apparition


Here one second,

the next, gone,

with traces only in our hearts.

The ephemeral nature

of all life.

Our loved ones,

people and creatures,

here with us

for a pause in eternity

and gone for seeming eons.


It is as the Hindus say

all “Maya,”

a dream of life,

an apparition,

some form of us

awakens one day


we know not

when or where or how

right now.

An Insecure Security

Gemutlichkeit* of

a rainy October morning

dry chilly warmth

in our little barn



you perusing the paper


me pumping poetry


rain tip-toeing

on the metal roof

a tymphanic symphony

outside the window

a masterpiece of color

yellow walnut leaves

and red sugar maple

the steady drip-drop of water


what bliss is this

precious moments of Now

a heavenly haven

from a frightening, tipsy-turvy world


I wish to always be

in your aura of calm

and the beauteous bounty of Nature


for sure

death will come


 please take us together


find us in each other’s arms


blessed bliss

pure peace


true security

the everlasting Now

only exist

in the presence of God.

*German word meaning “coziness”.

Stages of Being

P1120427 copy

Beauty in Life

September 1

In denial


Death in Life

October 1



Beauty in Death

November 1


DSCN0719_edited-2 copy


December 1


Just Renters


The house that we think of as “our” house does not belong to us.  Not because we are still paying the mortgage on it. Not because it, like so many others, is in foreclosure.  No, though it is still “our” house, we are just renters.

This becomes evident one morning while sitting in a moment of calm before the day has begun, watching the bird feeder which my husband is lovingly filling.  He has dumped out the seeds too big to fit through the wire mesh of the feeder.  About 10 little birds, sparrows and juncos and sometimes a dashing male cardinal, are feeding on the seeds on the leaf-covered ground.  They are not scared off by the lone squirrel who comes to eat the peanuts from the mix.  Larger birds flock to the now-full feeder. The largest birds, too big to land on the feeder, sometime take over the small bird territory, eating seeds on the ground.

Rain is falling as we prepare to go to work, cleaning up the kitchen and locking up the house.  The birds fly around in my mind.  So vulnerable they seem yet so brave, so tiny yet enormous in their freedom to take to the air.  I want to hold them in my hand and stroke their soft, downy feathers, give them love.  But truth is, this is purely a selfish wish on my part for they don’t need my love.  They don’t really even need the bird seed my husband religiously puts in the feeder.  There are bushes out back with berries which they love.  It is we who need them, to make us feel happy, to make us feel loving, to make us feel alive and connected to something larger than ourselves.

As we pull out of the driveway I take another lingering look at the birds in the brightening light.   And then it hits me.  They get to stay there all day as we drive off through the rain to our respective jobs in the cement jungle of a nearby city.  We drive past horses, grazing in a neighboring meadow.  They get to stay home, too.  Often I make an effort to remember the birds and the squirrels and the horses to bring calm to a fraught work day.  Yet I usually get so caught up in my frenetic, little life that I forget to think of them.  Or if I manage to conjure them up, the image of them in my mind is thin, pale and lacking in substance.

I imagine the animals laughing at us as we have to drive off to go to work.  Our house belongs to THEM.  Sometimes they even invade our living quarters.  When we first bought the house, it had 50 or so little brown bats in the attic who would occasionally fly around the bedroom at night.  One year we had a pair of squirrels.  We even had the company of a milk snake one afternoon.  And every fall as the weather turns frigid, the field mice run in.

A little more thought on the subject reveals to me that in actuality we own nothing.  Not our house, our spouse, our children, our pets, nor even the body we inhabit.  All of these things are on loan to us, rented to us if you will, by the Maker of the sun and the moon and the stars.  Such a wealth of beauteous bounty is there for us, ours to enjoy for the mere act of attention.  The trees, the summer breeze, the blanket of snow in winter, the flowers of summer, the butterflies, the deer who eat our lilies, the possums and ground-hogs, the ever-changing species of birds, the occasional coyote and the thousands, if not millions, of insects underfoot in a terrestrial universe.  And the universe above our heads with the planets, the sun, the moon and its trillions, gazillions of stars and whispers of other universes beyond what we can see.  And yet we are so caught up in the dramas of our mundane lives that we fail to duly honor the ever-present gifts except in periodic snatches, when we turn our attention outside ourselves and our little lives.  We may pay a sum to rent a piece of the earth but that piece contains a seemingly infinite multitude of gifts given just for the taking.  Or rather, I should say, for the renting.