…staring into shadows, looking where I know I shouldn’t and letting forbidden knowledge seep into my bones. It’s a quiet kind of spirituality, rooted in the Earth and bonded with Death. I make no claims to fancy titles and have no pretty sounding official name for what I do every day. It’s just My Way. And I realize that while I walk my magic alone, I manage to find and touch the ones that really need me. Do they know I need them too? What use is all the beauty found in the other world if you don’t have someone to share it with? If you want to know me, then you should know that this is how I live my life every day. I peer into the shadows, the darkness, and the places I should not, and then I share the beauty I find with you.
When I was four years old, I lost someone very close to me. Someone who, to this day, I still wish was here. My father’s brother, my Uncle K. He died saving my fathers life, in a rather tragic farming accident of all freaking things. We were very close him and I… I can still remember what the world looked like from his shoulders 🙂
His death was hard. But, his funeral… well, I was far too young to deal with what happened on the day of his funeral. I was a very sad little girl… but it was not just my own sadness I was feeling. Somewhere along that day (that very, VERY long day) I had started to soak up the sadness and panic of those around me, feeling things and knowing things that were far too much for someone at that age to feel. I know I will never forget the sheer, gripping fear grabbing at my throat as I started drowning in other peoples sorrow though.
Nor will I forget seeing the man who made the fear go away.
At the grave side service, when I was very certain I was going to die of panic, I saw a man standing alone among the head stones, not so very far away. He was tall, slightly pale, and had dark wavy hair that just reached his shoulders. His eyes were steel gray, and he wore a dark colored sweater that seemed to be far too soft to be real. His eyes caught mine in my panic, and a kind of calm set over me. I could hear him softly whispering above the cries and words of the congregation around me.
“Give it to him little one. He can still hear you.”
I can imagine my four-year-old brow knotting up when I whispered back “Give him what!?”
A smile that was cold and frightening and somehow comforting all at once.
“I’ll show you.”
And he did. I can only describe the feeling as being used as a funnel. An emotional funnel that had one end in this world, and the other in the afterlife. But I *felt* every single thing as it passed through me. Pain, fear, anguish, doubt, guilt, anger, heartbreak… It became mine for a moment before it went through.
And thus, I met Thanatos for the first time.
I was 15 the first time I looked my own Beloved Death full in the face. For two weeks I had a Doctors words ringing in my ears. “It might be cancer.” I had been in pain for weeks. Moving hurt.
I remember just not wanting to think about it, not have to deal with it, and not having to be afraid. But somewhere was also a voice, very tiny at the time, that was telling me to come to terms, to think about it, feel it and own up to my fear.
I walked up the side of the rocky, cacti strewn valley that was home until I reached the top, and then I sat.
I remember sitting for a very long time.
The fear and the horror of it all washed over me time and time again. I could die. At 15. Having never realized a single dream, having never tasted a single thing I yearned for.
And I remember a sudden breeze… it pulled my hair away from my face like a lover would… a touch that was more than just the wind.
And Thanatos loomed over me again at that moment… Not fearful, not frightening, but reality-shattering REAL. I could feel the afterlife and Him waiting for me, patient and loving darkness who would take me into his arms some day.
“Not yet.” He whispered and was gone as quickly as he came, leaving a sobbing, stained little girl in his wake.
That moment changed everything, colored everything that came after. At the very core of myself, I understood that me and Death would always dance this little dance of close calls and near death and quiet-scary moments far more often than would ever be comfortable.
Years later, after being a mother and lover and a woman who very much felt like a lost soul, I faced Thanatos full in the face yet again. This time, physical death was used as Initiation. This time, I was unsure if I would be allowed to come back.
“My death came in threes.”
First came the death of my ego. The loss of the face I knew… the loss of my beauty, and the start of my pain. Nine Days. Three times Three. The Irony was not lost to me.
Second came the death of my strength. For the first time ever I failed and faltered. For the first time ever, I lost the physical power that had always been mine. For the fist time ever, I turned to weakness and loathing. I allowed a monster to take root of me, a monster that only pretended to help the pain. To slay the monster I had to kill off my anger at my loss.
Thirdly came the moment when my body, ravaged by infection and medication and pain, just…. stopped. My heart, caught up in a seizure, allowed me to be present for my death.
I was pulled apart, three by three, watching her reconfigure me.
The fire in me now is of Her… I cannot ever be the same.
Reborn, so brought to Life. Not much left of the woman before… Do I mourn her beauty and light heart? A little perhaps.
Loss is always loss after all.
But I grow tired of that morning.
So now, I shall walk among the starlight as I am meant to be… And I will make no more apologies for not being *her* any longer. Mourn her if you feel you must, but know that the woman who stands before you now is far stronger, and far more willing to live than the other ever was. ”
People sometimes ask me if Im afraid of dying.
I always say no.
I know who is coming for me, whose arms I will find myself in. In a way, I yearn for that… but I also know I have other obligations (most notably, to his Beloved Mother Nox) that will keep me for as long as needed. And while I may be unafraid of Thanatos, I still have many a thing to live for. And that is a much sweeter thing to be alive for.