Buddhist Prayer of Forgiveness . . .
“Will you forgive me?” you said. Without resistance. After fighting for hours without my participation.
“I’m not so much of an asshole,” you said, when our counsellor asked you if there was anything you wanted me to know.
“I appreciate everything you do for me.” I was freshening your side of the bed and you had just put a shirt on. I said nothing. Let it drift between us.
When you were diagnosed you had nothing left. Your cup was empty, just freshly glazed for a refill. “You wouldn’t understand,” you said, when I asked if you believed in the naturopathic treatments.
“She’s not well,” you said. After listening to a former relative try to convince you not to receive assistance in dying. So often, it was more important that the other felt understood. And then you sat with your pain. Quietly. Body screaming.
You said nothing as I leaned over and kissed you. Handed you your rings and told you I loved you. Crawled into your spoon, in my wedding dress. Made sure I was not laying on the arm that held the IV.
I realize now that I was the only one who understood the slurred question about your ashes. “Yes,” I said, “Your mom will take them with her when she leaves.”
I spoke to myself then. Hold Nana’s stone with the same pressure you are placing around his thumb. Match his breathing. Ignore what his mom is doing; it’s her offering to her son. Listen. Allow.
Your breath broke. Silence. Your mother sobbed.
The eyes of the assisting doctor were round, blue, and fiercely focused. She said something to the nurse that I don’t remember, but knew it meant you were gone. I asked the time. 8:35 am.
I thought I would write my way out of you and back into myself, but I am so damned peaceful. “Never stop fighting for yourself,” you asked me. And then you began sleeping with your back to me on the other side of our king sized bed, pillow between us.
I grieved you alive. You dove into the discontent of your life and are now this peace that washes over me.
The peace makes it easy. Tenuously new. Each day opens more connection. Each day opens more. Each day opens . . .
I’m going to write about us, ok? Beardo? You and me, we deserve to be known.
Bring the Joy.