Wednesday, September 30, 2020

In Memorium: Go Forth Ed and Be in Peace

Go Forth Ed and Be in Peace
September 24, 1958-
September 26, 2020
Pic taken at the Longview
Go Fourth celebration
July 3, 2017

I've been sitting here for over an hour gazing at the pictures I chose for this momentous post but the words just won't come.

Maybe if I stop trying to tap into profound and just go with straightforward.
Just the facts man.
Ed's neighbors called in a wellness check on him Monday because no one had seen him out and about all weekend.
They found his body around 1:30pm.  Coroner estimates death as Saturday morning.
Thursday was his 62nd birthday.

I got the news roundabout.  
It was his sister in Southern Oregon who got the call from the Cowlitz County, WA coroner and she gave him her two brother's numbers Darrel in Southern Oregon and Don in Longview WA.  Darrel's wife Sara messaged me via fb messenger just before 2pm that it was urgent that I call her.  
I was still supervising Mom's lunch so I messaged that I would phone as soon as I could turn Mom's beeper over to someone else. 
That took nearly fifteen minutes to arrange which gave me enough time to connect the dots.  
It could only be bad news about someone in the family.  But Ed's mom had passed away September 2nd and no one hesitated to inform me by text.  So even if it was about his Dad or one of his siblings or their kids surely they would just message me.
So I knew before I knew that my worst nightmare had come to pass.
My blood flowed like icy-hot champagne as I took Mom's tray to the kitchen, brought her a damp cloth to clean her hands and then tracked my sister down out in the yard to tell her Mom was done with lunch and I had a message from Sarah that it was urgent that I call.
I held the home phone for what seemed forever but probably was only a minute before I started punching the numbers in as I read them off my computer screen.  My fingers fumbled and my eyes blurred tho not with tears yet just the stress.  I'm visually impaired and sometimes just a mood shift can mess with my ability to focus.
Not just my eyes either, my mind wants to go out of focus as well, which is probably due to the sensory processing issues related to autism.
Sara's first words confirmed my guess.
Joy I'm soooo sorry to have to tell you this over the phone...
Darrel got a call from the coroner...
They found Ed's body...
Wellness check...
Estimated time of death early Saturday.

Early Saturday?  OMG. Could that mean there was something more than silly memory processing involved with that dream that woke me up two hours before my alarm Saturday?
That's when the tears started and the full body tremble and chattering teeth.  I wanted to fall back into the memory of that dream right then and there but I forced myself to stay grounded until Sarah and I had each said what needed to be said.
And yet a bit longer to break the news to my sister and my mom.

Then I was free to relive it.

Just a vivid dream or a visitation?:

Something swooped up from behind.  A single strong arm gripped me around the shoulders and swung me up in the air and around into a face-to-face dancing position. The face was Ed's from circa 1985--mid twenties. 
He was smiling a full on, hold nothing back happy smile.  Displaying a mouthful of healthy teeth which he'd not had for at least three decades.
His face glowed.
No, seriously.  It was lit from within and was the source of the light that lit the landscape.
We were in a grove of trees but our heads were above all but a few of the tallest.
We wobbled in the air like a kite flown by a very young child.
I looked down at my feet and the ground that was yards below them and that's when I noticed his feet were still on the ground but blocks or miles away and the wobble was due to his trying to walk over hills and logs with legs that were long, long ribbons of taffy that were getting longer and thinner by the nanosecond.
I realized we were about to either tumble to the ground or float up into the clouds.
His joy was contagious and I felt myself surrendering to it.
I wanted more than anything to float or fly away with him.
But that delirium lasted only for a moment
Or three
Until it occurred to me that this was an undoing of all the emotional work I'd done in the last three months to unmesh my emotional thermometer from the influence of his; to learn to feel my own feelings without needing his permission, acknowledgement or approval.  
Was he always going to be able to jive talk me this easy?
Not that he was talking.  Yet I knew what he wanted.
He wanted me to join him in this ecstasy.
(This latest fantasy?)
As if to confirm that thought he put his other arm around me and gripped me in one of his signature bear hugs.
Oh how I'd been missing those hugs.  The last one was the goodbye hug after our last weekend together in mid March before our household began sheltering in place to protect my elderly mother.
I wanted to hug him back but my arms were trapped against his chest.
I wanted to snuggle my head under his chin and say
"Let's go."
But instead I pushed my elbows into his ribs and leaned back until I could meet his eyes and asked
"Have you been drinking?"
And we tumbled to the ground which felt like falling on piles of pillows on a trampoline.
We bounced and rolled apart as he let go and as I watched he morphed into a cartoon figure of a giant toddler in a giggle fit.
Whatever this is, I thought (or maybe he was thinking it into me)
"This is better than booze"
Then he winked out and the light went with him.
I opened my eyes to a window lit by pale dawn-light hours before my 9am alarm was to go off.
I never got back to sleep but I remained in a dislocated state of mind until late afternoon or longer and well into another big sort and organize project. 

So was that just a vivid dream representing the mental and emotional sorting out I'd been doing?  Or did Ed's spirit visit me on his way out of this world an hour or so after dawn? 


I'm going to close this out with part of the last email I sent to Ed, September 2nd. I began it as my attempt to break the news of his mom's passing the previous night as his family had been unable to reach him and so reached out to me to try my avenues.  As you'll see I never did manage to tell him.  I didn't have the heart...or the courage.  I just closed the letter with a P.S. that his family were desperate to reach him.

The reason I wrote such a long preamble to the intended reveal is that I hoped to give him the sense that he didn't have to suffer this new blow alone, that he could choose to let those of us who loved him share the burden.  I wanted him to know..... well just read it:

As we enter the month of september we approach the string of dates that hold the most emotional angst for me. your birthday, my birthday, election week, our anniversary, holiday season, inauguration day, valentine's day, the last sleepover mid march.. 

my heart did not go cold for you nor burn with anger. i still care about your well being and always will. sometimes I am still struck breathless by the realization that I have no way of knowing whether you are still alive and that if you are you don't believe I have the right to know.  because either you can not or will not communicate even to keep the last promise to bring the rest of my stuff over here.  not knowing which monkey wrenches my emotions.  but the anxiety is no longer 24/7. it is not even every day.  I apparently broke my addiction to you so I am confident that what is left is the bedrock of the true love I had from the beginning

breaking the addiction was probably aided by the fact that my Mom had another stroke July 7 and everything changed here.  There is little extra time for thots about things not related to her needs.  she no longer goes to Portland for weekends.

some of the hardest moments since June 7 have been when I encounter the kinds of things I would automatically want to share with you.  this video is the latest:

I wish with all my heart that I could send this Native American Musical Shaman back to the side of your crib in the late fifties to play this song-prayer for you to heal whatever was broken in the innocent baby boy to cause him to grow up believing that love wasn't trustworthy and thus wasn't real.

Always holding you in Light and Love

Note: The relevance of the video is that Ed was either 1/4 or 1/8 Lakota (my memory is unclear whether it was his dad or grandfather who was half-blooded) and it was a very meaningful aspect of his identity. 

Go Forth My Sweet Indian Brave
Into That Undiscovered Country
I Was Tickled to Be Your Joy


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