There is no love in fear.

That’s what Mom told me this morning.

I dreamed:

A message from Mom. I dreamed I’m taking care of her in her final time, dreamed I know it’s time for her to die soon. I am in her house — like the Oak St. house, two stories, but also like the Nightingale St. house in the kitchen where I sit knowing it’s time, just being with that awareness and not wanting it but knowing it. I go upstairs because I should check on her. She is all curled up in herself, her legs up to her body at the near edge of the bed. Her beautiful pale body, her long strong legs. As I approach, I smell the air close to her body to see if she’s already dying — no death smell yet.

I wake her softly, crouching, with my voice and my hands. “Mom,” “Mom.” She begins to speak to me. She tells me about her dream or dying vision — she is full of angry despairing determination. She is raving, telling me some woeful emotional finality, there is no love in fear. She says, “There is no love in fear.” “They made us sit separately, the angels made us stay separate,” she rages, and she means Dad, some part of her vision takes place in their house and that they were made to separate in their struggles and she summons all her energy to express her rage to me, her finality, despairing, a sort of triumphal disgust that there is fear and anger and nothing beneath it, no love or peace or meaning or special resolution here.

I hold her body gently and marvel at her spiralling emotion and want to soothe it, Mom, Mom, no no no no, there is a quiet horror inside me at this — but also I know different, I know this is not her death again but a communication. I let her speak, I hold her. After her long raving she pauses. There are little flecks of bright flesh blood on her lips. I’m aware that I’m not fearful, aware that I’m not calling the paramedics, it is clearly time for this moment, she clearly needs it. She says, “There,” or “Finally,” as in ‘I can die now,’ and she leans her head back against the wall and does. I can hear her breathing, it’s still going on like an after-echo, slowing. Oh, Mom. My thought is that I’ll have to call DA, a deep fleeting sadness for him.

Waking, there is the deep grief but also wonder for her, a subtle but very clear knowing even in dreaming that this is a different scene than her death itself. Waking, I wait with soft breath to see what emotion will come — mostly, and surprisingly, it’s firstly curiosity. I reach out with my spirit and can feel Mom, really Mom, her love and care. She all but reaches down to hold my hand. I flood with gratitude. Thank you for showing me such deep anger and grief and doom, for sharing your vision, for “there is no love in fear,” for letting me attend you, for letting me love you — I can begin to cry for all the anger you felt, for all the grief and despair you raged through, that raged on your body.

In the dream, she says “fear” as if it is something outside her, something that trapped her and doomed her, a structure of separation enforced by angels. It is a mercy to let death come to such a place — and that nothing of that place survives in The End. And in the dream there is the sense that 1) it was not this way and 2) it shouldn’t have to be this way. No one should have to die in flight from/embrace of such seething anger and despair but moving with their love in their hands, into love. I guess that happens when life is not a cage of fear…or separation enforced by angels…a terrible thing. Let it not be that way any more. Let that way admit to itself the blood on its lips and then die and die and die and mercifully die.

The word that rings with me this morning is “prayer.” There is nothing in the definition or etymology that catches me, though…to ask, to ask, to question, these are not my feelings this morning. The dream’s wake this morning leaves me feeling not at all in question, or even need. So I scrolled down down to the Biblical section, and this rings, this I like:

“Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all.”


~ by Arrrow Marie on January 14, 2010.

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