“At least I know how I will die. You have no idea.”
We were walking down the steps at Pier Park to put our wedding lock on the fence, amongst the others.
“Oh, but you are wrong,” I answered. “Because of your death I know a lot about mine. I have witnessed your fear and pain, and I will know what an assisted death is like. Sure, I won’t know how it feels to pass. But I have learned a hell of a lot that will inform my own choices, when it’s my time.”
And so I am changed. And what am I to do with that?
I have grieved and I have felt peace and I have begun to step back in to life again, out of the box that my counselor called dying. I see how I am changed – that which is no longer a part of me and that which unfolds before me. I’m trusting.
But this time that I have been through of which you are on the other side now, how do I pick it up and carry it forward so that it grows? I ask the question and hear it answering itself.
My own discontent. Watching yours was a particular gift, as it was painfully clear that what is unresolved comes forward and becomes a part of dying. I want to go out with a firm step, and so it is not for me to be looking toward my death. No, it’s my life that needs me to shake the discontent from its back.
This process I have witnessed. I know it has something to say that is far greater than me. I see that unfolding already in what your living wake and choice of assisted death have given others. But it strikes me that I can no longer translate for you, no longer build stories that are not mine to tell.
Now it is time to speak for me, of me. And I have something to say about death. I have something to offer death. What I went through with you is now finite Beardo. But what I live and feel now, it extends. And the truth of having laid in your spoon is something of me which I need to explore well beyond the words I have spoken, to date.
So you move on, into that peace of yours. And let’s see what’s behind this door of mine.