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Posts Tagged ‘death’

Bicyclists in Arizona no all to well about goat heads, stickers and hot tar. Eros, the lovable floppy kitty does not seem to care but does expect a through combing from his human slave after every outing. In case the human slave is not readily available or is completing another task, Eros seeks out the human slave’s bed. After a long day, the human climbs into bed with only panties on to discover stickers and goats now in her back and legs. 

The combing commences.

Michelle Campbell, a friend of ours and who witnessed the baby Eros first cuteness died two days ago after suffering an asthma attack. 

She was on life support for four days and when her daughters came in I had the honor of picking them up at the Phoenix airport. I didn’t know Michelle as well as our other friend did, one of those parties that brings people together. We met once, twice then had phone numbers exchanged and our little family grew by a few more people.

Although she died peacefully, the process of watching people through the death was intensely strange. The reactions ranged from quiet brooding, flamboyant gestures, secrets professed to strange sadistic jokes about her toes needing a pedicure; badly. I knew no one who came to the hospital save our friend Cynthia who introduced us to Michelle. She had known her for over 20 years, their children grew up together. 

In the end, the girls decided to end their mother’s life due to almost no brain activity. The decision is hard to make without some idea of knowing what the person wanted. Michelle had discussed it with Cynthia and her daughters and they knew that pulling the plug on her life support was the decision she wanted. 

We showed up for the support of one of the girls, she requested we pick her up and take her away from the hospital. She didn’t want to watch. We arrived at the hospital, to wait on the doctor only to discover a surprise.

Your mom is an organ donor. If you wish to honor these wishes, we will have to conduct tests on her body and organs. This will take another 12 24 hours, here is the salesman to talk with you about the process.

The relief to come at her passing was suddenly ripped away and they sat in a conference room with a man who facilitated the process. 

Did you know that in order to verify a body able to donate you must  take them off life support just to see how fast their blood pressure goes down? After that, blood is drawn to see if tissue samples, tendons and other parts of the body is available for transplant. Then when its time, the family is called in for their last goodbyes, morphine and anti van are administered via iv, and the plug is pulled from the wall. The patient is supposed to die within 90 minutes in order to give their organs, the prep team is standing by to put Michelle into surgery. 

That was on Thursday.

Friday we crept through our yard, over spent with emotional energy and tired from driving through Mesa. (Its a hot state). To which we walked inot our home only realizing that the grocery trip was forgotten. Placating the animals with the last of the dry food mixes. we climbed into beds ready for a well deserved sleep. 

“FUCK!” 

The human slave yelps as she leaps from the bed. Vigorously sweeping the sheets with her hand to remove the stickers, muttering under her breath. Eros jumps lightly onto the bed, flicking his tail deliberately. The Human Slave cocks her head while placing her hands on her hips, the verbal conversation ensues. Eros looks at her for a moment and then rolls over softly pawing the air, the Human slave tells him cuteness will not save him. She then picks him up to carry him to the living room and commence the grooming ritual. 

Such is the life of a cat, he always gets what he wants, always.

 

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Watching someone die takes on a new meaning to the gruesome horror flicks that give us the view of death we have come to accept. It is a Hollywood fantasy which we scream, cry and feel but in the back of our minds there is the though, “this is all made up. I will see this actress in another movie sometime down the road.” We continue to watch the films and enjoy the reaction of being scared. Still there is no real conditioning for the act of death.

I used to turn from it not wanting to know what it looked like or felt like. I wanted no part of death or dying. It was an emotion that I refused to entertain. I was an emotional wreck and the thought of anyone in my family dying was enough to break down in a pool of tears. I have fantasized about the day when some family member’s will die, even to the point that I would cry. It’s absurd to realize that I was going through the emotions when no one was hurt or even close to dying. This is called; Not living in the here and now.

The prompt for such an essay is my dog, Poet. He is a full bred Angora longhair Chihuahua, he is twelve years old and has been my longest living friend. At this moment he is finding a place to die. I am not being melodramatic, nor am I breaking down in tears. Poet has taught me many things in his lifetime. One of them is unconditional love, no matter what that dog and I have gone through he has always come back with his tail in a knot and jumping on my lap to receive his pets. The memories of his lifetime has spanned through many friends, family, and girlfriends. All of whom have fallen in love with The Poet. He is a handsome dog.

The action of dying is best explained by animals. They have an inner sense of knowing. It is the ones left behind that consider all the options of what a dying person or animal should want. It is in our grief that we search for meaning to the end of life. Right now I am writing while my dog is dying. I have sat with him and petted him for an hour. I talked to him about the many adventures we have had and I sent him love; through my voice and my touch. Now he is moving from the living/dining area into the kitchen. The process that he must go through to get comfortable. I thought about all the life we have spent together. There were times I felt he was immensely happy and other times he was waiting till it was over just like me.

The background noise I have playing are snippets of commercials, Ian and I recorded improvisations for you tube commercials. Poet loved Ian, spent most of his time sleeping in his room and hanging out with him. The old saying of a boy and his dog, more like a dog and his boy. They were peas in a pod. He did love our time with Aleshia and Ian, our sense of love and family was what kept him jumping and happy.

There is a part of me that is hurting, watching him shake and fight against pain. Another part of me recognizes that there is only so much a mortal can do, at some point letting go is the only true peace I can give him. The wheezing is tough on him, so we went outside where he has found a soft spot to lay down. My roommate is calling him ‘old Man Poet.’ Funny the characteristics of his face take on the old man features.

It is a few days later and I still have no concept of what to do. I was hard and fast in my judgment to put Poet down in the vet’s office. It was Aleshia that asked for the blood work, which delays him dying for two days. Later in the evening we talked and walked through this process again. She admitted that she wasn’t sure if keeping Poet alive for those two days was more for Ian and herself than for the well-being of the dog. I had two days to come to grips with him dying, where they were facing this prospect in four hours. The tears are falling and the truth is coming to light for all of us. Dealing with grief through different avenues. Ian keeps walking away, smoking and talking on the phone. It is his way of dealing. Aleshia is avoiding having to cry but determinedly staying by my side and Poet’s. I am trying to shoulder the decision to let him go, worrying about my family, and watching my son becoming more inconsistent with his movements. There are many thoughts that run through my mind, the most repeated is; let him go.

The evening found us all exhausted, emotionally and physically. I awoke in the middle of the night with fear and love rolling around in my head. The writing process has begun. I don’t know where it is going or what will come out but the process is formulating another story. It is a comfort to me, to know I can still write. Poet attempted to walk to the water bowl today and it gave me hope. Something I had not had for the last two days. I made phone calls, to my ex who bought Poet when we were still dating. My sponsor to give an update on what’s going on in my life, and my boss at work to tell them I wasn’t going to be coming in today.

There are times in our lives which we play “hooky”, fake being sick and even just take a personal day to recharge. I used to do this on a regular basis which was difficult in maintaining regular employment. Today on the phone with my boss, it was painstakingly clear that the inconsistencies that have occurred are costing me my position at work. She understands of course that these events are happening in quick succession which is unfortunate for the perception by the rest of the crew. I see her point as well. Again I am at a crossroads which tells me that I have to make a choice. On one hand its simple: damn the world, I have to work. I have bills, a roof to pay for and vet bills that are coming in at a high price tag. Then there is the other side. My gut has been seeing that I am on my way out of this work place, God has other plans for me. To make the concrete decision to quit would be paramount for taking control of my own life. That idea concept goes against the teachings of powerlessness. I am going to take care of Poet, I will go back to work tomorrow. If I am to leave then God will make the way.

I have only one outlet for these choices. It is to keep writing, keep going until there is nothing left to give. The rest is none of my business. I can’t control people, places, things or situations. Poet is still alive and we are waiting on the blood results, my job will either be there or it won’t and God’s plan will be revealed when He deems it necessary. The rest are just words on a screen.

With Love, Rochelle

Author, The Stone People

http://www.rochellefoulk.wordpress.com

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