So it’s three months today. December 20, a day that started with a doctor’s pronouncement: “She’s stable, but…”
I haven’t been moved to write lately. Thank you to those who have been concerned and checked in. Honestly, at this point, it’s not any easier. It’s harder. Every day I try to unpack at least one box, and every little thing is a reminder.
I’ve also started to go through all the cards. We are so grateful for them, and I have postcards I want to send to everyone. But it will likely take months.
An interesting and comforting thing: three of us have seen very well-regarded mediums and Caitlin has come through… with concrete, distinct details, many of which no one but me could possibly know about….
I am ruminating on all that and will probably write about it at some point.
I will say that in my session, Caitlin conveyed that she would like her writing to be heralded (her word.) So I’m going to continue to post her musings.
Here are some email snippets that she sent to a friend she never got to meet, a young woman who had a successful lung transplant a couple of years ago. Renu has given me permission to share them. I’ll just post a few for now.
ive done a lot of soul searching (cheesy term but true) the past year, and ive read a few things that have been helpful. one thing i re read was emerson’s self-reliance which i only remembered from college and high school, but its cathartic to just read the philosophies that are so aligned with what i feel like i know i can trust fully and have full faith in – that is – myself, my intuition. and also Gilead by marilynne robinson. i am always fascinated by people who are really intelligent and intellectual and yet still very christian – or return to religion after a lifetime of academia (that is not me, but it interests me how those two opposing sides manage to come together). also this book Tolstoy’s a Confession. its really small and he wrote it at the end of his life when he was practically suicidal because he was driven so insane by his inability to have faith, and his in vain attempts to arrive at it logically. i’ve re-read that many times over the years.. (it has a good conclusion)
and what you said about surrendering – i completely agree that the moments when i have felt most free, most OK with what is happening, and least anxious, have been those moments where i am able to let go and surrender. interestingly, those moments seem to work in tandem with my faith in myself. i know i can trust myself to get through something, to hold on, and ultimately i can just let go of the rest. so i guess since we have no idea where we come from, and where that strength comes from…that true belief in yourself and your intent to be a good person is sort of divine in itself, no more or less divine than believing in something someone else told you to believe in. i have always believed in goodness and i know a lot of people say that, but it does feel undeniably essential, and i don’t question it. as humans we somehow know that we should aim to be good, and where does that come from. ? if i can follow the fact that i can trust in the importance of goodness, then i can maybe trust that goodness will come of goodness…. if that makes sense. kind of like karma points. i have never felt like “why did this happen to me” as I am sure you haven’t either. it isn’t even because of some virtue that i feel that way, it just has never occurred to me to be “pissed off” about my lot in life, or to think that there was some unjust reasoning behind it. (instead i honestly feel lucky sometimes that i have gotten to feel and experience things that others have to struggle longer and harder to learn).
omg plato’s republic. if i was home i could rustle up my paper on those. i have a weird question for you – since it feels like i went to college SO long ago ….does everyone bring computers to class now? or still notebooks? i feel like a weird old fogey asking that…
haah ok, and btw, you totally echoed what i wish we could do too…go to a museum and wander around and have tea! do you ever get to the MFA? I like it, but I was just thinking about it yesterday because I was reading about the Met and how they redesigned their logo and everyone hates it. And that they are redesigning a lot of it to make it “more accessible to first time visitors”. They did that recently with the MFA, with all the changes, and while I can’t say the changes are bad…I have to say I miss the old MFA….and the article about the Met brought this up too…..that people who used to enjoy getting lost in the old one will miss the new organization. That’s exactly how I felt…I used to love certain areas of the MFA that were totally desolate and quiet….certain asian rooms, off the beaten path, that no one would go to unless they were specifically interested in or knew them. The buddha room, which is still beautiful, but now always so much more crowded because its so easy to find. Last time I went, I found that there were people in every room, there didnt seem to be anymore hidden spots anymore. It made me sad. I remember taking drawing classes there as a kid, and sitting in a quiet room somewhere in the corner…wayy off the main egypt rooms, sketching egyptian carvings on a carpeted floor. Now its bright and accessible. I don’t know that that’s a good thing? Maybe I’m a scrooge.
Anyway, I’d take any museum right now. !! Let’s do that sometime, when I am better.
Patience….its being hammered into me i guess. ha this was the best line — ” it feels like limbo with a stopped clock and you just want to scream and throw things but that might make you tired, so not worth it.” — hahah. i laugh when i see people talking about great outlets for stress – running! just yell! go for a brisk walk! punching bag! dance! im like, well i have no voice and no lungs to propel my body…im not someone who wants to smash anything and then just clean it up….so i’ll just sit here and keep in all inside! hahah. i don’t really feel that sorry for myself, but you know. i remember once when i was younger, maybe about 13, and upset about something (non health related) i took a dish outside and smashed it on the patio. it was like i knew people sometimes smashed dishes when they were mad and i wanted to do it. but it was like i was watching myself do it. i picked a dish i knew no one cared about. and then when i smashed it i remember the deflated feeling of just being like, well, i guess i’ll clean it up now. i guess im just not that angry of a person 🙂 more of a hysterical sobber.
ON TO OTHER THINGS. I hope I didn’t bore you with my novel about what’s been mentally going on in my head. Right and wrong and everything in between. I am reading Primo Levi’s Periodic Table right now, and every night its like a tonic – i only read one chapter – one element. Do you know it? I share a birthday with him, and maybe i know too much about astrology and am unfairly influenced, but i can’t help but feel an incredible kinship to and relation to his writing. I have read his other memoirs of being in auschwitz. they are hard to read yes, but more i feel like a window into a study of humanity that most of us will luckily never see…but should at least read about.
Hi! I’m so glad you wrote. I’ve been wanting to write all weekend but haven’t. And now I’m sitting in my room just hanging out. We are in DC actually. We came here for thanksgiving. Andrew and my mom and I drove from Pittsburgh on Thursday and my dad flew in from Boston. It’s fun! No real reason. We just like DC. I went to GW for two years so I know th city. And my moms new book is taking place here so there was some research she wanted to do. Anyway it’s been nice to do something different from just being relatively alone in Pittsburgh. Staying at the hotel is really relaxing. Room service etc. Today I took it easy enough that when we went out to dinner later I felt really “good” …for me, and we went to this great French bistro. I love classic French food. And I was so hungry for once and had a great time and just felt a few hours of like I was actually having fun and not just trying to be a participant for the sake of making an effort …