Editor's Note: As part of our Bridge C-14 "5 year anniversary month-long celebration", we asked members of our Bridge C-14 community to share their story with all of you. Today I am so grateful to be able to share this beautiful piece of poetry written by Manya Brunzema.
So the day comes, the day of the unknown and the known.
It is a sunny day at least. But you don’t want your bed moved to the window. Bring flowers, many flowers. That you said. As the hours run out, small talk.
Has all been said? What is not said is felt and certain.
The door opens and the name in the emails gets a face. A face obstructed by PPE. But a soothing voice carries through, making the final consent sounding like the holy solemn oath it is. So she will be the one.
Is it a privilege or a curse to be present here? I was not given a choice.
Should I feel guilt? Because after all, we are playing God, aren’t we?
But my God is a merciful God. My God is receiving what has been broken. My God is free of dogma and doctrine. And his child, his old, frail child, has been faithful to the end.
In this sacred room with its dingy carpet and the ugly medical equipment, divinity is present. We are letting her go. Home to rest.
There is no fear in this room.
Can I be angry? Because I never wanted to be part of this, and because anger can be so liberating.
Do I feel jealous? Of the courage this took and of the peace that she feels?
At the end of the afternoon I have known that stranger in her PPE with the soothing voice for an entire e lifetime. We seal our bond with a forbidden hug.
Empowerment is what prevails. Not guilt, not anger, not jealousy.
Empowered yet drained as her energy has left us. And taken some of ours with it.
“You know this custom of opening the window to let the soul escape?”, I ask the doctor. She is busy collecting her tools.
Drained, but empowered.
By the rare privilege of being a witness to this end. What a lesson.
By the privilege of witnessing mercy and belief.
Empowered by having made it through.
Empowered by the privilege of living.
Empowered by having been strong, I must learn to let my guard down again.
To allow tears I was afraid of showing.
To allow myself to become vulnerable and small again.
The invincible matriarch has moved on.
Big shoes to fill.
Too big for me, because today I must be small.
She tried to prepare us.
She knows we know how.
Like we knew today.
The dingy sacred room already no longer holds her presence
as she is well on her way. Her very own way home.
And I can close the window.
Submitted by Manya Brunzema, Bridge C-14 Member