‘Cut the bonds with the moon’

It was a snow moon last night. As usual, my phone fails to capture its magnificence. But here was my rooftop view, with the ocean serving as a hidden horizon.

My good friend just lost her mom. My soul is aching and all I want to do is curl up under my desk with the lost pumpkin seeds and dried-up kale chips and just cry for the next eight hours.

Which, you know. Like usual.

A slow hurt.. and it breaks us..
And so down,
Down, down and so plain
So down
When you play some more it seems so
And my friends are past this game
Of breakdowns
And our friends that are lost at sea..
Throw down
And I’ll break the wasted space

— Glen Hansard, “The Moon”

It was much the same situation. No healthcare … then a terrible diagnosis … then a bureaucratic boondoggle that prevented her last days from being productive (or at least pain-controlled) … then, today.

In other words, something I face each and every day. That I’ve endured with countless relatives who came before us too.

And fuck everyone who comes up with their shitty “in a better place” refrain and “the pain ended.”

No, the pain DOESN’T end.

The pain lives as long as we do. Maybe even longer, since I am convinced it attaches itself to the walls and floors and ceilings. It stays with articles of clothing and jewelry.

Once I bought a ring from a lady who looked down on her luck. Gave her a $20 for a sterling band with a big sparkly red Austrian crystal heart.

I swear, I never had a good day as long as I owned it.

I didn’t even have to wear it — it sat in my desk drawer and work was an absolute nightmare that year. The day I threw out the ring, and all the sadness it seemed to carry, things improved.

So, yeah. I take with me this woman I never met, but whom I seemed to know like my own mom.

I take her yearning for travel and her longing for the love of her life who preceded her to the other side.

I think of her frame wasting away and I think of how many millions of times I have begged, prayed and pleaded with the universe to help me make my body smaller.

Her illness/descent reminds me of everyone I was ever related to who was sick for a long time, but the moment they sought treatment, things came to an abrupt end.

So is there relief in that? Maybe. To the extent that your life was “only” uprooted for X number of days/weeks/months while they were hanging on. But then to go back to a world that COMPLETELY CHANGED … how do you do that?

There’s a line in the movie “Anywhere But Here” where Natalie Portman’s character says of her mom Susan Sarandon that the world will be flat without her. I say that to my mom all the time. But I’ve since revised it to tease her about the dent in my couch where she sits when she has her dizzy spells.

Now I say the world won’t be flat. It will always have her little dent in it. And in that, I think we both find some humor if not comfort. But I know it won’t be enough when the day comes that it’s all I have left.

I’m sorry, to my beautiful friend, that your world caved in today.

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