6/19/09

Illustration Friday - Drifting




Not drifting,
But resilient.
Open,
And not close.
Feel and be real,
But my heart can no longer break...
It has to learn to stretch so I can embrace the corners of the globe to envelope those I love in times of sorrow, in sympathy for the personal losses of my dearest Bella Sinclair in Japan, Diana Evans in Canada and Arija in Australia. This month! It has brought me great joy and sorrow alike.

I am not superstitious. I am used to death and dying. It is to me, no matter how a life ends, a part of the circle of life. I do not judge death as fair or unfair. It is what it is. Life has no guarantees, no templates and no known script. However, I give myself permission to react whether in anger or in sorrow. I have seen death as a child, deaths of my playmates from trauma in front of my own eyes; and of classmates from illnesses, of children ran over by motor vehicles in the city streets and later as a student nurse, I wrapped my first dead patient when I was 16 years old. There were many more deaths to come. One day I performed three post mortem care procedures and filled three death certificates as a trauma nurse. I have also filled birth certificates followed by death certificates with the same birth and death times. It gets heavy and my resilient mind and heart have learned to empathize with the loss while being present for the living and allow me to focus on the tasks at hand.

Death can be beautiful. It was in the case of my beloved Mother. She died while my sister and I held her in our arms and each of us kissing her forehead. We have done all we could. We nursed her day and night for three weeks. She was defiant, refusing to talk to the priest and approving our plans to take her home where she was to settle with twenty-four hour home nursing care. Then one day she agreed to talk and asked me to pray for her. The day before she was scheduled to go home, her physical suffering seemed to have ceased and my sister awakened me from a light nap by our Mother’s bed.

My sister is blessed. As a nurse in the intensive trauma unit she and her fellow nurses have learned to skillfully monitor patients with great clinical skills and as a human being, she is blessed with an enormous capacity for love, generosity and empathy. She is also a spiritual being. She is cognizant of the signs of impending death that are not written in textbooks; the spiritual signs. In the early morning before I clinically declared my Mother’s death, there was a harbinger of news. I did not know then and I was apt to dismiss it as a coincidence. My sister told me to let it be and to focus on facilitating my Mother’s passage with comfort and prayers.

I have learned to be open now. On Saturday when my dearest sister-friend told me of the tragic news, the same messenger came to my bedroom and furiously circled around me and all over my project notes and papers. I was wrapped up in sorrow and pain as I physically felt my heart breaking to pieces, meanwhile the messenger taunted me. It continued to do so for half an hour and then I remembered my sister’s words. It finally stopped and left when I verbally acknowledged it and said “Yes, I know.”


For Bella:
Many of you have expressed interest in supporting Bella through this difficult time. if you would like to contribute a letter, poem or piece of artwork to a care package for Bella (no financial contributions please), contact Aimee at Artsyville (at) gmail (dot) com.

.
I have said all I can. I must now retreat and proceed in silence...

32 comments:

Renee said...

Ces......

Love Renee xoxoox

Deborah said...

Oh Ces, you write so beautifully. You are beautiful. I am so grateful to have met you. Sending you all my love, Deborah P.S. Thank you for your prayers yesterday for PFC Ryan and his battle buddies.

Sarah said...

Oh hon....take your time and know I am here for you. Sending calm and healing, Sarah

Marie S said...

This post right here is why I did it my Sweet, sweet Ces and you do not have to do anything.

Silke said...

Ces, words fail me... Sending lots of love, Silke

Tammie Lee said...

So kind of you to honor your friends at a very tender and sad time. Your drawing and its meaning is so wonderful. You are all so gifted with love to have one another in each others hearts and lives.

Marie S said...

Insilin!!!!
Come back I have something for you to see! You might want to join in on this.

Connie said...

The wonderful drawing conveys your love and care.

Marie S said...

That's OK I meant to type Insulin!!! LOL!

Renee said...

Ces this drawing is so poignant. It makes me want to cry, how you are holding yourself.

If you're having a drink so am I. As a matter of fact, I am not stopping at one.

And to make you happy, I will even make them.

xoxoxo

Renee said...

Okay one drink for you with 2 umbrellas, one stogie as requested for our dear Bella, and a tall rum and coke with lime for me.

I am going to bed, I am so beat.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Omi said...

What a beautiful post! The drawing, the words, the love behind it all.

Omi said...

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Poor poor Bella, I have only realized this evening and my face is raw from crying. I didn't know her and have only recently been watching her blog but she comes across as such a sweet, lovely person and my heart aches for her and her children.

Ces said...

Thank you Rene.

Thank you Deborah. I had to use my last remaining brain cells though.

I have been taking my time Sarah, that's the problem.

Marie, this post is the reason why you stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

Ah Silke an "F" for you!

Tammie that is true. I am very proud to say so. I love Bella Sinclair. She is my sister-friend.

Marie, thank goodness you did not mean insolent.

Connie, thank you.

Renee, please make sure you don't spill your tears on my drink! Oh the umbrella will catch it.

Omni, it is undeniable. Bella is extraordinarily special. That she has affected so many people all over the place is a testament to her very nature.

Thank you very much.

Marie S said...

What cookie??


Yes, it is that sweet.

I would never exhibit such impudence!

ching ching!

Coreopsis said...

This is lovely. You can SEE the strength and quietness being shared between the man and the tree.

Ces said...

Marie! The cookie!

Coreopsis, that is not a man, that's a girl. Hehehe.

Marie S said...

a strong girl though.

Where is the cookie?

Sorry I was clinking glasses and toasting with you guys and got carried away.
I must have missed the next cookie.

Ces said...

Oh Marie, you took all the cookies. They're gone. Strong girl, but sturdy tree.

Marie S said...

The tree is very sturdy and will hold the girl up very well.
Its roots go deep and show the girl how to bend not break.

Snowbrush said...

I can only think of a death as beautiful by comparing it with how horrid it might have been. I'm sorry for the losses of your friends. I wish them solace.

Dusik said...

i am sorry for your sadness. i totally understand though. i am with you

Indigene said...

Ces, you are amazing! I hear you and I know that pain. Thank you for sharing and I add my love to yours for Bella; she is indeed a remarkable woman! Beautiful, moving tribute.

Arija said...

Ces my love, my heart aches for Bella and you.
You are so right about death, it is THE most natural part of life, we when we are born, we place our feet on the journey home, to death. It is we who are left behind who grieve for those who are no longer there for us.
We really need to be grateful for those we have had for however short or long a time, instead of grieving.

The funeral is postponed to Friday, apparently, since he died at home, a coroner's report is required. So now we leave on Thursday.

Love you girl. Don't try to carry Bella
s pain, only she can do that
and we can hold her and her pain locked in our love.

Arija said...

Ces, I love the way you and your sadness meld into the strength of the tree.

Lovya

Renee said...

Ces check out the last comment on my post I sang a song.

Love Renee xoxo

Ces said...

I know, I know, it's not my loss. I am just sad because Bella is sad. Thank you for your kind words.

ArtSnark said...

So sorry for your sadness. You've spoken with grace & elegance and your illo is beautiful

froggie said...

as always, ces, very well said and expressed. and now i MUST gush about THAT BANNER!!!!!!

in another life i hope i get to wear those wingtips and polkadot socks! annie hall meets fred astaire! :)

heaaven!! lah-di-dah, la-di-dah, i'm in heeaven! and my heart beats so i just love her feeeeet!!!

Tessa said...

How very, very beautiful. Both your words and the drawing move me to a silent sorrow....

ValGalArt said...

I see that you drifted from your drifting image but it makes it all the more beautiful. I was sorry to hear about all of these women's losses and you write a comforting post to them will make the heart hurt a little less :(

Arija said...

Ces dear, when I walked on the wildside I photographed with you in mind, I hope you enjoy them.

l.o.v.e.