The Picturing Death Project Journal Entries from 1999-2003

The simple but effective structure for the Picturing Death Project, a cast glass table, four chairs, and journals, provide a structure for journal writing with 4 questions that help participants examine how we will choose to live with the knowledge that death is inevitable. Currently, the project table, chairs and journals reside at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan in Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Journal Entry 679


I am not my body. The body dies. I imagine that the eternal me goes home to God. In a nutshell I will go home to God from whence I came. That loving presence that stands with me here in this moment will receive me home again. I am going home to God one fine day.


On the mountain top, I choked. No breath came. For a short while I struggled, looking for help from my husband who did not realize the trouble I was in. A strange calm was going over me. I remember thinking this may be it. We may not make it. "Who was this we"? I was not alone. Maybe that is the calm. Somehow it was alright not making it, but I wanted to make it. The force of that wanting didn't come to me till the Indian guide had lifted me off my feet and pressed my chest so that the meat pressed down and air filled my starving lungs. Life, life, oh to be alive. It was the first breath of life that I've had in a long time. October 4, 2002 was a melancholy day, a Friday. Nothing really to look forward to. While I was waiting for the technician to finish my eye glass order, I watched the rain. It was pouring, wetting the earth down and showing no signs of stopping, a forever rain. I thought maybe this is all there is? I left and drove home but before I could arrive I made a bad turn. The light was yellow, the truck was stopping - thank God. I just wanted to get home. So I turned in front of the truck, my memory of the accident includes only two fragments. Oh no, I'm so sorry I can't get out of your way. I didn't feel the collision of hear it. My memory is silent. Then the light post was falling. Lastly, I remember being in a small space with very kind beings very near me. Death has been close.


That maybe the main reason why I am here at least personal reason. I am still haunted some by this melancholy, the disconnect. It has lessoned its grip on me as I have come to come to know with more certainty that my time is short. I am using up my time here and I have more growing to do. I want my consciousness to grow to the place where I am aligned most the time with God. I want to go home to God here and now. I want this to be the fine day that I am at home with God.

There is a little poem that I know that is my map.

I am

a hole in a flute

that the Christ's breath moves through -

Listen to this music.

I want to be the hole this moment and and hear the music now. I want to be the hole when I am with Russ at a time he is down, I want to hear the music when I am anxious - or remember to listen. I want my relationship with God to be so practiced and ordinary that everyday is a fine day. this is the work i have yet to complete. This is the meaning that death brings to my life at this time.


My deepest fear is that pain, confusion, not remembering God will overtake me and I'll be cut off from the eternal and lost to love's safe embrace. We die as we live, I've been told. My hope is that my closeness to God so ordinary, I will be safe in her embrace. I want to be present for my own passing. I want to be present to say good bye to all my dear ones. I want to show them that death is not the enemy but a hallway to heaven. I want to have experienced heaven on earth so that I'll see it at the end of the hallway as I step across the threshold. I want my dear ones to know it is ok, so that they might live with more love and less fear. I want to be a portal for love now, so that I will be then.

I am

a hole in a flute

that the Christ;' breath moves through -

listen to my music

poem by a Muslim mystic

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