Back in January I applied for the perfect public health job for me. A fellowship - so they'd be teaching and training me. An amazing project on a cutting edge aspect of health care reform. With a top notch non-profit with a 15+ year proven track record. Flex time for working hours. 1/2 hour free during work hours each day to exercise. Healthy stipend hiring range.
I got an interview, and as they're in Chapel Hill, they humanely let me do it on the phone. I was really sick that day, but took some of those decongestants they make meth from and was able to breathe and think so did okay. I got a second interview, this time with the CEO, and again they humanely let me do it over the phone. This time I'd had a killer day in Hiveworld, and with the phone interview at 4pm, I drank a big mug of green tea beforehand, which made me a little manic, but again, I did okay. They narrowed it down to three candidates. For the third and final interview, they asked me to come in person.
The week before, my boss in Cubicleland asked me to apply for a permanent position with them. The interview time of course was scheduled for the same day. I talked to my boss, and this is what a genuine prince he is: he let me take the day off to drive to Chapel Hill, and allowed me to interview for Cubicleland the day before.
After the Cubicleland interview, my boss called me into his office and said he hoped the Chapel Hill job went terribly and we had a good laugh. Then he said: seriously, there is opportunity for you here, in a couple of years, you'll be in management and in a great career for yourself. I thanked him, genuinely thanked him for all he's done for me, and told him I'd keep it all in mind.
I drove up to Chapel Hill, taking a half tab of a beta blocker my doc had prescribed so that I wouldn't have to manage that god-awful heart pounding that kicks in in interviews for me. (I used to be queen of the interviews, but now that I hate talking about myself, interviews are murderous :) And it worked. I met for a group interview with four people, plus another staff member teleconferenced in. They started out pretty guarded, but by the end we were laughing and making jokes and sharing inside comments about feng shui. They rocked the casbah. I actually had a good time at an interview, and was able to tell them and show them what I genuinely had to offer them, let them see what I'm genuinely like to work with.
The following Friday I got a job offer from Cubicleland. And on Monday, the non-profit. As crazy as this sounds, I told them both I needed to think about it. Because on Thursday, Jacinta got sick. (I didn't tell any of them what was going on, just that I needed some time)
I had a feeling I'd get the public health job too, but on Friday I made the decision to accept the Cubicleland job, because a move would be too hard on Jacinta. I looked at my sweet sister and got: f*ck the perfect job, let's get you healed.
But on Saturday, I faced how sick she was, and looked at the big picture. Not just what I wanted in the moment. But all of it. My life, the lives of the kittens, and Jacinta. After her treatments and tests, I was down to $2000. That's it. After that, if my car broke down or Baby Wallace's virus flared up again, we were toast. And accepting the public health job was out of the question, because there'd be no money for the move.
And it wasn't that I didn't want to go into debt for Jacinta, it's that what I had left wouldn't be enough. The next round of tests and treatments they wanted to do - another ultrasound $375, a feeding tube $600, tests and treatments for her lungs - would have used most of what funds were left. And if those three things didn't work, we'd be done. Not just Jacinta, but all of us.
And so in the early morning of Saturday, tears streaming down my face, I asked the vet: should I do it? Will it likely cure her? And she said that the other two vets she'd consulted with said that a case of pancreatitis this acute didn't bode well, at all, and since the treatments so far weren't working, at all, there was most likely an underlying condition like Cushings or heart disease, which would mean a whole new area for tests and treatments, which at that point, we wouldn't have the money for.
And then I looked at my friend, my sweet sister, and saw she was dying, she had been for days, and in that moment I saw the way through. I didn't like it. But I didn't grab ahold of her and cling for dear life like I had with Grandma, or The Hoon. Instead, I let the whole of the situation flow through me, let the truth of all of it, wash through me, inform my heart and brain and limbs.
In that moment, I felt an adulthood I'd never experienced before. An ability to truly see my own living in the light of What Was Really Going on. I could see through Hope to the Truth that lay beyond it. For a flash of a moment, I was a warrior on a battlefield, and I saw that this was a battle that was lost. I could stay on the battlefield with my dying friend, and die with her, or I could help her die by my hand, not at the hand of the compassionless enemies coming for her, collapsing lungs and heart, or what Wallace, Emmaline, Malcolm, and I would face without resources.
I had them leave us alone in the room for a while, and talked to her, held her, her body just the week before sturdy and solid, now as light as a feather. Then I let go, and I helped her let go too. And I helped give her as peaceful a death as I could.
And of course, my mind has gone over and over and over everything. It wants to punish me, for the choice I made, because Jacinta is no longer here, and that is unacceptable to the mind. Someone is to blame, and because I took full responsibility for everything, because I only sought council from the vet, and only briefly, making the decision completely on my own, it knows I'm to blame.
If I would have had $5000, I probably would have tried. But I always empty back out at the knowing I had in that moment, the knowing I still have, that it wouldn't have mattered. It was the end of her life. With money we could have prolonged her living, but the quality was declining and would have steadily gotten worse.
And at some point during this week as I've been talking to her, wherever she is, I said that I hoped when it's my time, there's someone with me who will help me end my life peacefully, and that I die in their arms, knowing how much they love me. And I mean it. I hope that my own death will have the meaning in someone else's Waking Up, that hers has had in mine. Because the love that moved between us helped me grow up.
It doesn't mean I'm off the hook. I know that I'll carry that in my heart and mind for the rest of my life. I took the life of my sister. Just as I took the life of my brother. That's how it is in this world. Death comes for all of us, and sometimes it comes with pain and suffering. But it doesn't have to. But the price? You have to be grown up enough to pay the price.
And so Saturday I took her life. And Sunday the kitties and I were surrounded by a profound sense of relief, of love, of Yes. On Monday, the public health job offer came through. On Tuesday morning I picked up Jacinta's ashes, along with a small mold they'd made of her front right paw. On Tuesday afternoon, I accepted the public health job. And yesterday, I drove up to Chapel Hill and found the perfect apartment right outside of Carrboro, and signed the lease, with for the first time, all the kitties' names on it as well. (Can you imagine a place more perfect than one with a landlord who wanted the kitties' names on the lease because they're tenants too?)
I don't write much these days for so many reasons, but mostly it's because I usually don't know how to write about what I'm going through. It doesn't show up as Waking Up, but I'm pretty sure it is. It's about healing the life, about letting go into what Life wants, while at the same time, opening the arms and heart to what I want, what I feel is true for me. It's about holding the possibility, the hope, the opening, while at the same time holding the rejection, the ending, the closing at the same time. The experience is like walking a tightrope, a razor's edge, because you can't fall to either side. Or suppress emotion as it rises, nor hang on to it when it does.
It doesn't sound like much of a big deal: to hold Death while simultaneously living Life. But it's huge. It changes everything.
And there has been an enormous shift in my psychic and shamanic abilities. I've been able to use them for clients for years. But for myself? Not so much. Truthfully? Hardly at all. That's changing. And it's wild to watch.
I knew I only needed to set up the one apartment viewing, but I didn't know why. Was it perfect and I wouldn't need to look anymore? Will the public health job offer be rescinded and the landlord is so nice he'll tear up the deposit check and lease? When I got lost twice looking for the apartment, and then the landlord's home to sign the lease, I began to tone and chant, connecting to guides and animals exactly as I do when in session with clients. Driving down interstate 40, I did a healing session on myself. And I turned it over to that power I feel that's greater than myself (just like I do when with clients, so that the energy can pour through me, into them, but now it can flow into me, too). I didn't pray for the details of the How, only the result of the Yes: my ability to see what the real deal is, and then the courage to act on it, to do what needs to be done, whether it's say No Thank You, or sign on the dotted line.
And I don't know what's going to happen. I only know I'm following the same psychic and shamanic info I've been giving clients for years. Something in me finally acknowledging that I'm worthy of it.
So even posting is a tightrope act. Needing to write, to place story around what's unfolding, maybe to continue to leave breadcrumbs. But also protecting this process that I'm in, that I'm going through, from the bozos who do that to folks who are in the tender shoot rising from the earth and reaching for the sun phase of Waking Up.
I'm so grateful for you folks out there who love and send me and Malcolm and Emmaline and Baby Wallace well wishes. For you gentle folks who somehow manage to transcend distance, your love traveling down the wifi and into our hearts and minds.
Much love to you too. We send you love and well wishes too. Keep to your course, burrowing inward. Keep trusting your life process. Keep living in motion the knowing that Life is unfolding your own Waking Up through the circumstances of your daily living.
Know that you are loved. Always. All ways . . .