Friday, August 30, 2013

Ahnung ... a week ago today the walls came crashing down

Ahnung last Friday (8/23/13)
A week ago today Ahnung woke me up with a purposeful, intentional scratch on my bedroom door. I share more about that morning on a blog post I wrote last week ( No matter how much I have tried to prepare myself for the day I would no longer have my sweet girl, I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready to see images of her x-rays showing her body ravaged by Cancer. How could it be that just days earlier, despite 7 large golf ball size tumors in her lungs and a massive tumor in her abdomen, that she was out in the backyard racing with her baby brother Legacy (and by the way, she wants the record to show that she beat her brother to the backdoor!). I posted the photo on the left on my facebook wall .... "With a breaking heart I share that the Final Walk has come to an end ... The Cancer has taken over her body." I always knew in my gut that Ahnung would live life to the fullest and when it would be her time to go, she would go quickly. She gave me the gift of over 2 years after her initial diagnosis with cancer, and 9 months after we learned her cancer had metastasized to her lungs. There is no question, she defied the odds and was in my eyes, and the eyes of so many who loved her, a miracle girl.

On Sunday, in the same way she brought a community together, she was sent off with so much love. I think my girl knew how much her mom needed to be surrounded by a community. There are many stories and signs she sent to me a long the way ... with all my heart and with all my soul, I listened to her. Dear sweet girl, I hope you feel I heard you. I hope you know that in the same way you are cradling my heart, I was cradling your heart and wrapping you with all of my love, and the love of so many of your friends. You had a magical way
of building bridges, connecting people, breaking open hearts ... On Tuesday as I prepared to head up to Grand Marais, I received a heartfelt email from my dear friend Merry Sawdey who has led the healing prayer circles for all of Ahnung's Celebration of Life parties ... her email touched me deeply and I had to share:

"I'm sending love and thinking of you and Legacy as you head up to Grand Marais. My heart aches so much for you guys as you weather this earthquake. I'm keeping you guys in my prayers and holding you in my heart with love as you make this pilgrimage for Ahnung. 
Ahnung and Merry - 1st Celebration of Life party (April, 2012)

My heart has felt so heavy since Sunday. I miss her so much. I have the photos of Ahnung and Legacy plastered all over my desk and a rock from the last Celebration of Life next to me. I was changed and will continue to be changed by knowing and loving Ahnung. 

I know nung-nung is still with us in a new way, a glowing star in the sky, a jolly, healing, guiding spirit who is with us always and there is great comfort in that. But it doesn't seem like quite enough right now. Our beloved dogs teach us to love and live our lives in a deeply physical way, appreciating all the smells, sights, and sounds all around us and just letting ourselves be on the earth in a rich and delicious way. When we have to let go of their physical bodies, it is so deeply disorienting. When I lost my dog Angus, I felt like my molecules needed to re-arrange and I needed a detailed map just to navigate life without him.  

It has been such a gift and such a deep honor to lead the prayer circles for you and Ahnung. Doing this has been as much for me as for you and the gift is that you invited me and let me do it. Leading the prayer circles has been like cool, clear water to my thirsty soul. If you want to continue to have Celebrations of Life for Ahnung and for any other reason or need, I'm on board.
Ahnung and Merry's son Ian at her 2nd Celebration of Life party!

You already know how deeply loved you are and all the people who are supporting you and surrounding you with love. You and Ahnung have created that, Marilou. It is because of who you are as well as your love and commitment to the humans and animals all around you. Ahnung broke our tough ol' hearts open and let us spill all the soft, sweet, sloppy, goopy bits all over her. She received our love with grace and returned it a thousandfold. You are receiving back what you and Ahnung have continually and abundantly given to others.

Safe journeying. 


"There is a crack, a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in. " –Leonard Cohen

And last night as I laid in bed ready to close my eyes and praying for a night of sleep (I haven't been able to sleep since last Friday) I could feel Ahnung's presence stronger than ever. I could hear her telling me she is with me, in my heart, and in the hearts of so many people. She will live on in the hearts of many, and her legacy will be the legacy of love in the hearts she cracks open and connects.

As I was leaving Grand Marais yesterday, she was working her magic once again. I had packed my car and Legacy was waiting in the car for me ... the weather was cooler and my car was in the shade so I felt comfortable leaving my boy in the car. I had wanted to visit an art gallery in Grand Marais while I was there but because I had Legacy with me did not want to leave him alone. Well, when I went to check out, the person at the desk had left as sign, "Am gone for a few minutes. Will return soon." As I waited in the lobby I looked around and saw all these small pottery art pieces shaped in a heart. Last Christmas, my dear friend Terri had given one to me (and Jenny) ... a symbol of how much her life has been changed and moved by getting involved with Leech Lake Legacy and how it had cracked her heart open. Ahnung IS the spirit and essence and the fire behind Leech Lake Legacy. And as I stood in the lobby my sweet girl placed 4 of these hearts (all in different colors) for me to see ... I then felt her calling me to walk to the art gallery so I did. The first art piece I saw as I walked through the door was a ceramic bowl which read .... "Two hearts ... Two Souls ... One Love." I picked up the bowl. And when I went to pay for the bowl in front of me, on the counter was a small wood container in the shape of a heart and a rock, also shaped in a heart. They were both calling to me. I turned them over to see if there were any price tags on them. Nothing. I asked the woman if they were for sale. She said 'yes' and she picked up the wooden heart and as she slid the top of the heart open she looked at me and said, 'it's broken. You can have it, and you can also have the rock shaped heart.' She handed the wooden heart to me, and I smiled. My last morning in Grand Marais was very hard ... my heart was broken .. Ahnung knew it and she wanted me to know she was with me. She surrounded me with hearts all morning.

And on the last morning I had with my sweet girl, as I laid on the floor crying ... I turned on my phone and the first post that appeared on facebook was a poem by Rumi ... my girl, once again, speaking to me ...

Ahnung .. forever in my heart ....

Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.
The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same.
Every wonderful sight will vanish, every sweet word will fade,
But do not be disheartened,
The source they come from is eternal, growing,
Branching out, giving new life and new joy.
Why do you weep?
The source is within you,
And this whole world is springing up from it.

Ahnung - Final Celebration (August 25, 2013)
Thank you sweet girl for choosing me to walk with you in your journey on earth. Thank you for all the lessons you have taught us; for cracking wide open so many hearts; for your trust in me and for being my guiding star, and the guiding star for so many. Your spirit, your essence, your wisdom lives on in every cell of my living, breathing body ... Our journey together has not ended. A new chapter in your amazing life has just begun. Teach me to learn a new language, to walk a new walk, and to Be in the nung-nung way.

So, a week ago today, the walls came crashing down on me. Nung-nung's response to me ... the walls are down so you can see the stars mom. I am here.

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