Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rest in peace Ahnung ..... shine on brightly

On Sunday evening (August 25, 2013) I posted the photo on the left on Ahnung's facebook page and wrote the following: "This afternoon was an incredibly powerful afternoon as we celebrated the life of Ahnung. What an overflowing room full of love, support and light, for Ahnung and also for me. I think Ahnung knew I needed the support of a community ... a community she helped bring together in her kindness, gentleness and love. Despite her body being ravaged by cancer she held on ... yes, taking care of mom till the very end  And I promised my sweet girl, I would let her go when it was time. It was time. She did have some cake today, however  As my sweet girl took her last breath she was surrounded by love ... pure, unconditional love. And I could feel myself being carried by the love and support of our friends ... I know the days/weeks/months ahead will be hard. But I know I am not alone, and my heart is full of gratitude for the gift of Ahnung and the gift of such a wonderful community. Tonight, I ask that you look up into the night skies, and look for the brightest star out there .. it will be our Ahnung. She is our northstar ... sweet dreams nung-nung. Come visit me in my dreams anytime  Love you with all my heart."

 The response and support from an absolutely amazing community my sweet girl created touched me deeply. There are so many memories, so many words, so many images I want to share ... yet at this moment, what I must do is to listen to the spirit of Ahnung, listen to her wisdom, listen to my heart.

On Sunday at her Final Celebration, I shared 2 previous blog posts I had written on Anticipatory Grief (one from December, 2012 and one from March, 2013) and a new one I wrote on Saturday, August 24, 2013 when I knew the end was nearing:

Anticipatory Grief: Making Friends (December 27, 2012)

Grief walks up to your front door. It’s not time yet, you say. Yet she keeps on walking. She walks past the rose bushes in your front yard. She walks past the boulders you’ve carefully laid in her path. She walks past the detours you’ve planted to steer her around you and away from you. This time She is focused. And the rain is pouring and thunder is booming as the earth shakes and vibrates.

Please,” She says, “I need shelter. I need to come in -- if only for a moment. “

Reluctantly, I let Grief in. I offer her a cup of warm tea. We sit by the fireplace.

Why have you come?” I ask. “It’s not yet time.”

It’s time. I am by myself tonight. Tomorrow I may not be alone. I may bring thousands of Me and there will be nothing you can do. We will break down your door. We will drown you. “

She pauses for a moment.

She strokes my dog Ahnung.

Sit with Me now.”

We share stories. We cry. We laugh. Ahnung lays between us. A calm breeze permeates the room.

It’s time for me go,” Grief says.

But we have so much more to share,” I say.

She smiles. She rises, and Ahnung walks alongside her. Ahnung stops at the front door as Grief turns around to face me.

I will be return. I may come alone, or I may bring a friend. Now, go be with Ahnung.”

We melt into the breeze coming through the open door.

Anticipatory Grief Visits Again (Mar. 3, 2013)

You came to visit me again last night.

Most days I see the clear blue skies, I catch my breath when I look up into the night skies, and I walk with my feet planted solidly on our earth.

Is it too much to ask for the World? For the Universe? For eternity …. For strings of days to never end with my sweet Ahnung? Is it too much to ask for Cancer to step to the back of the line? Is it too much to ask for the Love, the Wisdom, the Resilience, the brightness of Ahnung to shine on forever?

Dear Grief, I respect you. I honor you. I know you have a place in this world and in this universe. I know it’s not my place to negotiate with you. Yet when the earth shakes below my feet and when the ground moves and the tremors knock me off center, I desperately grab onto Ahnung. Last night, it was just an earth tremor. How many more tremors will I walk through with Ahnung? How many more tremors can the ground beneath us withstand until the inevitable quake on the horizon arrives? How many more tremors will I be blessed to endure before the ground beneath us splits open and swallows Ahnung? And will I be swallowed too? Will I be swallowed by the pain of You, dear Grief, as I desperately hold onto my soul, my Ahnung, as she slips away from me?

How? How do I accept, with grace, this Final Walk?

Grief looks me in the eye.

When the earth shakes, and the ground beneath you falters, look up into the skies. Look into Ahnung’s eyes. Look up at the North Star. I gift you with the tremors.”

Ahnung is in your heart. You are One. She is in your blood. She is in your bones. She is in the Earth. She is in the Air you breath. She is the Fire inside of you. She is in the oceans, the rivers and lakes, the rocks. When she is gone, she will live on in you.”

I hold onto Ahnung as the earth beneath us stops shaking. I bury my face in her thick neck. I hold her. I hold her as tightly as I can. I hold her again.

Anticipatory Grief … Here to Stay (August 24, 2013)

Grief knocks on my door again. Ahnung greets Her at the door. This time she arrives with bags in hand.

“It is time.”

She opens the door, takes my hand and leads me outside.

We get down on our knees. She places one hand over Ahnung’s heart and one hand over my heart.

And she repeats to me what she said months earlier:

Ahnung is in your heart. You are One. She is in your blood. She is in your bones. She is in the Earth. She is in the Air you breath. She is the Fire inside of you. She is in the oceans, the rivers and lakes, the rocks. When she is gone, she will live on in you.”

I look into Ahnung’s eyes.

Grief takes my hand, “It is time. We must begin the walk.”

In the dark, we are guided by the north star and the beat of our hearts.


So yesterday I returned to Grand Marais with Legacy. To the place where Ahnung and her bonded little brother Legacy spent time. She has called me to return here to scatter her ashes. She has called me here to heal my shattered heart .... so much of me wants to run from the pain because the pain is unbearable. But I hear my sweet girl .. I feel my sweet girl's spirit cradling my heart ... i feel her spirit telling me to fall into the hurt, the Grief, the anger .. i feel her guiding me with her soul telling me I have to carry on the work she began. I feel her asking me to lean on the community of support and friends.

At sunset last night I walked along the beach. The same beach she walked with her baby brother Legacy on our trips here to celebrate and honor the time we had left. I paused as I got to a spot on the beach with two large rocks .... Here. Gateway to my north star ... gateway to Ahnung, to all she is and as a friend and Leech Lake elder shared with me yesterday, "Marilou, know you have love from us here...north shore is a beautiful place...proceed through your ceremony of sending Ahnung back to Creator ... I'll put some asemaa, food, water and a treat out for her and will ask my son to be watching for her as she arrives...peace & love". So shortly after sunset, I released her ashes back to the Creator as I stood between the rocks. And I then tossed as far out into Lake Superior a rock from her auntie Jenny and a rock from me. And in nung-nung fashion, she made sure I knew she was listening. I stood on a dry spot on the beach between the rocks, and after I released her back a large wave came crashing against the rocks and I stood between the rocks with my shoes and socks soaked. And along with the force of water came 3 rocks. I smiled. Sweet girl, you are here. I gathered the 3 rocks, closed by eyes, and gave thanks to God, the Creator, the Divine for sending me the most beautiful, wise spirit and trusting me to be her guardian for her short time on earth.

And when I returned, I came back to my studio, to an email from my dear friend Jenny who had created the most beautiful tribute to Ahnung ...

My sweet girl gives me a high five on Saturday (8/24/13) when my friend Dorothy comes to take photos :)

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