Notes from the plane:
One of the books on my teacher training reading list is Robert Thurman’s Tibetan Book of the Dead. Given our planned trip to Varanasi and the sacred river Ganges where people go to die, it makes sense. And yet…it’s too difficult to go back. I read the description of the spirit leaving the body for the between state and I can vividly see Tom dying all over again. Step by step, I’m transported back to view it all over again, vividly detailed and brutally accurate.
My thoughts go back to the final weeks of Tom’s life: morphine, rocking chairs, the Tao of Pooh, anger, chocolate chip cookies, and more. How could I know that today I would be here: struggling to find comfort amid all of the reawakened pain? How?
I read Thurman’s interpretation of the Tibetan view of the stages of death. They are vastly different from Kübler-Ross’ stages of death and dying. Denial, anger, acceptance, whatever. What does anyone know anyway?
We talked of past lives, reincarnation, karma, blah blah blah. In the end, we weren’t ready. Or at least I wasn’t. Sometimes I think Tom’s anger was at me for suddenly needing him. I didn’t want him to go out. It was supposed to be a year, damn it. Not weeks.
The fact that so much pain has been stimulated is telling for how much more there is for me to let go of and heal. After all, they say that Fall is a time of release, letting go, and preparing for new growth. Although I thought I’d done all this already, I suppose another look at my grief wouldn’t hurt. What do I have to lose?