Veggie Voyagers

Couple travelled 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces between 7/07 and 5/08 running their 1987 Ford truck on straight veggie oil. The blog continues with a focus on the natural world and energy politics from a personal perspective

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To the other side

 
Michael and I were married for 12 years. Monday the 22nd was our anniversary. We walked out to the swimming hole in the morning and went to dinner to watch football after a little sip of champagne with our neighbor in the evening. All was well except for the fatigue.
At 9:30 pm I was watching Thelma and Louise floor that big American convertible out over the Colorado when Michael starting yelling for me from the bedroom. He was in terrible pain. I tried 6mg of Dilaudid (a lot!) and it didn't touch the pain so we went to the E.R. In the Lobby of the E.R he did some hard suffering time for two and a half hours... with pain of 10 on the 1-10 scale medical people are so fond of... it didn't help that he had metastatic cancer, he had to wait his turn in the cue to be seen(!)
Once into the E.R. he was started on IV pain meds and given relief. They also got a CT scan which showed the cancer was everywhere in his belly and liver. The jig was up. Still, we were in the E.R. all night until he was admitted in the morning. He had three different room assignments but somewhere in there met the head of Palliative Care, Dr. Brown who laid it out to him.... it was like watching a mighty oak uprooting. Once Michael got the message- You are dying. Now. He wasted no time in doing it. He came home on Hospice care on Thursday the 25th and on Saturday the 27th he left on his spirit journey after a nice bath and acupuncture treatment.
 
I kept his body at home for 24 hours so his spirit could have some transition but also to have some time for my own meditation and acceptance. I slept by his side as I had during the difficult drugged days before the end. Friends meditated in the house and sat in fellowship in a circle outside.
Before the mortuary took his body women friends cleaned and swaddled him in my favorite cloth made by someone I knew in Comitancillo, Guatemala. We all waited together until he was taken.

 
The last part of all this was that he was cremated today and I meditated in the chapel while friends created a small bonfire at home. I wrote a letter to feed it... really my forgiveness to myself for all the little transgressions of familiarity. Friends offered small bits of the food groups to the fire and offered up more Support and Love.
What made me happiest today was that the moisture of the steam of his burning body went out into the Chico air and I had a chance to inhale the molecules of him. I was giddy with breathing and it was a beautiful day.
 Selkie licked his left hand continuously as he was dying and became quite subdued when she smelled he had left... I hope he finds Sasha at that Rainbow Bridge place. I need Selkie to stay back with me.
 On the day of his death there were beautiful rainbows sited all over and a spectacular sunset. Friends from all over wrote about the beauty of nature where they were. The beauty path was wide open.
 
Orien and Keith cleaned out the truck and the cab-over and the bond of veggie voyaging is severed. I'll post one more time at the 49th day and then end this wonderful saga and cyber diary.
Thank you for following us, caring about us, sending his spirit your love and support. The obituary of my dear Michael Pike will be in the Chico Enterprise Record on Friday, Oct. 3rd. and there is a small moving tribute to him on www.chicosol.org 
I just want to say one more thing-- the right person or people came forward at every step of this journey and I am filled with gratitude to the entire community of caring people who have buoyed me up to get through this thus far. Love surround you all.

2 Comments:

At October 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM , Blogger chicomasala said...

Chris,
I'm so sorry for your loss. Mike and I were friends in Nursing school and for years after. I admired many things about him, but perhaps his moral fortitude most of all.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and adventures in your blog. You and Mike always seemed like a wonderful match for each other.

Peace be with you,
Marilyn Steinheimer

 
At October 5, 2014 at 8:20 PM , Anonymous Ginny said...

Thank you for sharing these difficult moments in your
lives. It's inspiring. My heart goes out to you all.

By the way I love the Bushtit nest picture from March 10, 2012 and wondered if we at the Mission Creek Conservancy could get a hi rez (300 dpi) digital photo for a public sign at Mission Creek in San Francisco about the local wildlife. Let me know at Ginnystearns@gmail.com. Thank you

 

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