Kevin and I have just gotten home to our cat, after a horrendous time. Wednesday at 3pm I got the call at work that my brother Andrew had collapsed, was being rushed to the ER and there was no pulse.
Driving from Fort Collins to Swedish Medical ER in Denver was a complete dream. Somehow we all arrived at the ER within minutes of each other - my mom and dad from home where Andrew had collapsed, Kevin from our home, and me from further north. We were together when they told us that they had been unable to resuscitate him. We were together through the nightmare.
Kevin and I spent Wednesday night, Thursday, and Friday with Mom and Dad. It feels like a bad dream. I keep expecting to wake up and find that Andrew is okay - happy and smiling.
So now the living are left, bereft trying to piece "it" together. I am not sure what "it" is. We are left trying to make arrangements, make lists and try to navigate through this. I never thought I would have to talk to funeral directors about arrangements, and fee and pricing structures. I never thought I would have to call family and friends with the news. I never thought I would simply Facebook the news and the calls and emails would come. I cannot believe my brother Andrew is not coming back. From now on we go on alone without him. Somewhere (I like to think) he is looking down on us, watching, finding the humor in all this madness. I like to think that Andy is in a beautiful green valley, that is not too hot, and not too cold.
Go in Peace, my brother. I love you and will miss you always.
I think it is fitting to end this post with a poem.
Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.