Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ars Moriendi: The Art of Dying (part 1)

Last week is still a little blurry...bear with me as I try to put things in perspective. It all started on Monday when I did a Tarot reading for myself. The Death card appeared in my reading, in the "final outcome" position, that always gets a giggle out of me...for obvious reasons! The Death card rarely predicts a physical death though...it represents an important ending that will initiate great change. It signals the end of an era; a moment when a door is closing. At such times, there may be sadness and reluctance, but also relief and a sense of completion. Death is a powerful energy...a symbol of Transformation.

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When this card appears in your reading, it may be an invitation to embrace change and transformation, especially as it refers to your consciousness or past lifestyle. As such, it represents the quintessential example of "letting go." It's appearance may encourage you as you are clearing out the old and making way for the new. After my reading, I drew a bath, added sea salt and hyssop oil....and surrendered to the Powers that Be. After hours of contemplation into the wee hours of the night, I composed a mental letting go list. Starting with bad habits, broken dreams, a few people. I signed up for a new life years ago...at this moment in time I've reached the crossroads ...absolute faith and bravery required! I trust that some greater good will come to me as I surrender to change.

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By Tuesday a fierce cold had taken over my whole body. I felt it coming on for a while but I was fighting it. I think my "letting go" affirmation triggered a release of some negative experiences (we store memory at a celluar level) and toxins I had stored. I rarely get sick, so it's about time I purged. By Wednesday my 2 year old son had become very sick too. It was horrible...I wanted to sleep it off so badly. My baby boy was sick and feverish (100 degrees) my own temp was at 102 degrees. (I'm a single mom, when things fall apart I don't have any back up...I have to go into survival mode.) I bundled up my two kids (it's freezing in Chicago!!!) and headed out into the to the grocery store to stock up and on food and cold medicine. By the time we returned home I was delirious and my son was screaming bloody hell! I set my 10 year old up with everything she would need to eat and entertain herself, and turned off the phone for the next 24 hours. Me and my baby boy snuggled up and got some sleep thanks to NyQuil Children's Nighttime Cold Medicine! By Thursday afternoon I was feeling a little better so I turned my phone back on. My mom had left several frantic messages to tell me my little sister Laina was dying...the final phone call in a calm but devastated tone she told me my sister had died. She was 22 years old.

7 years ago, Laina had a drug overdose...a combination of tranquilizers and heroin. It was her freshman year of High School and she fell into the "wrong crowd". It was a case of being insecure and easily led...not an act of rebellion. She was the sweetest, most innocent child I ever met...just like a little lamb. She was always kind, even to people who were cruel to her. Laina just wanted people to like her, she wanted to "fit in". She quickly succumbed to peer pressure... Herion is an epidemic amongst teenagers that no one wants to talk about. Heroin addiction sets in immediatly, she turned into a completly different person. Within 8 months time she went from being a little girl with dolls and teddy bears on her bed to a teenage drug fiend. Things that you can't even imagine happened to that poor child. My mom took out a loan on her house and sent her to a fancy rehab for a couple months. She spent the rest of the summer with my Grandmother in San Antonio, Texas. When she came home...the first thing she wanted to do was get high one last time before school started. She was to attend an all girls Catholic School...I think that might send any teenager over the edge!

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( Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre )

My mother got accustomed to checking on her throughout the night because she was always sneaking out. At about 4 am she went to check on her. My mom found her lying on her stomach, blue in the face, and hardly breathing. While in the ER, the fucking idiots didn't respond to the emergency properly. Because of the lack of oxygen to Laina's brain before the paramedics arrived, her brain was tramatized and started to swell. They should have put a shunt in her head to drain the fluid immediatly...but they did not. So while she was in the ER she suffered major damage to her brain. The people in the ER treated Laina, my mother and step father like shit because it was a drug overdose. She was in a coma for two months before she finally regained consciousness....if that's what you would call it. She never really came back around. She was completly helpless; couldn't talk, was completely paralyzed and blind. She had to be cared for around the clock. For 7 years it has been a living hell for Laina and my family. They've endured an incredible amount of pain and suffering. It has been a nightmare that I've kept quietly to myself...but it's finally over. Laina died smiling, with my mother, stepfather, and youngest sister, Sage, by her side. She was buried on Saturday...I believe Laina was assisted by Angels to help her crossover...and I know she's in a better place!

14 comments:

Leila Marvel said...

Oh my Lavona, I had no idea. I am truly sorry for your loss, though it is a true end to her suffering. It is truly strange about your reading. I wish the best of healing to you and your family. You will be in my prayers.

fanciful said...

This story is is so tragic. Before I was medicated and became stable and functional, I was so suicidal every second of every day and did narcotics for 3 years... but by sheer chance survived. Whereas Laina... by chance...
Anyways, this story was devastating. You are so open and upfront, your posts are amazing and always a revelation.
I really admire you, your esthetic, your blog, your hard-earned (it seems) peace and your strength.
I can't tell you, w/o sounding nuts, how much I love reading your blog. I check it every single day. I love how sometimes it's like a little lesson, just for the sake of sharing... The beautiful art, the pictures....
Thank you, Lavona, so much.

Tecu'Mish said...

My condolences and prayers of light to you and Laina and your family.
Regards,
Tecu'Mish

Mon Petit Fantome said...

Dearest Lavona...
I'm so so sorry to hear about your loss. I'll be lighting candles in her memory and for love and strength to you and yours.
Love you sweetie...
xo.

Verhext said...

oh honey, i'm so sorry. i'm glad she found peace at the end, and hope her transformation is light filled.

Renee said...

I have no words so I will try not to say any.

I am so sorry. Very very sorry.

Love Renee

LADY LAVONA said...

Oh thank you sooo much everyone! I believe Laina was assisted by Angels to help her crossover...I know she's in a better place!

Krista said...

Lavona, I am so very sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Layer Cake said...

I'm SO sorry! After my grandma died late last year you were the sweetest and so caring toward me when I started falling behind getting things done and sent out. You don't know how much that was appreciated!

Now that this has happened to you please let me know if there is anything you need! I'll help however I can.

I know Laina is in another, much more beautiful place now. As you told me to do for my 'Granny' - I will light a candle for Laina.

Aldetha

Christie said...

I am so sorry to hear of your great loss. I wonder if the person who is leaving a broken body feels relief and freedom when they pass?I hope you and your little boy are recovering from your illnesses.I am sending you thoughts of peace and healing.

Blood Milk said...

i hope there is some peace for you soon.

katy said...

I am so so very sorry for your loss. Although those words do not do any justice to something like this...there really are no words in any language that can.

6 years ago, my older brother Trey (my only sibling) committed suicide. He was 25 years old. He had been severely mentally ill (and on and off meth) for years. Honestly, his sickness began to show itself when he was only 13, so it was a part of our lives for a long time. When he died, I couldn't help feel some kind of relief, because I knew he would never be sane in this life and knew that he was finally at peace. A death in the immediate family affects you in ways that you can only know once it's happened, but time is the great healer and I know you and your family will get through this, as mine did.

Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. You and your family are in my thoughts and I hope peace finds all of you soon.

Bailey said...

I may not know you, personally or otherwise, but the pain of tragedy knows no bounds and I offer my sincerest condolences to you and your family.
I hope that it brings you joy in some way to hear that I love reading your heartfelt and belabored posts. They bring me happiness and peace (I cannot successfully practice my faith nor my interests as I'd like for fear of ridicule and abandonment.) You make me feel like I am not alone.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and with your sister that she may find peace.

zoe said...

i am so sorry. i wish you strength and love. i am hugely impressed with your strength and openness.