The Death card says, you thought this was an ending but it’s just a state-change. It’s fragrant, it’s a verb. Pay attention.
The tub containing my organs stayed in the fridge for quite a while, like more than a week. I figured this was fine because someone had written “50% alcohol” on the outside, which I guessed would preserve it for a good long time. Then again, I didn’t want it preserved to the point of being pickled or whatever. I wanted it buried ASAP. My kid said he would do it. I asked mostly because he had access to a post-hole digger and we all agreed it should be buried it deep so the dog or a deer or something wouldn’t dig it up. Not that I would care about it being consumed but at the same time I wanted the full effects of full-on decomposition in a spot where I could monitor progress, progress being the growth of sumac, which is what I thought maybe we should plant on top. Sumac because it’s red and it grows fast.
My kid knows a lot about plants, all of a sudden, somehow he has become this knowledgeable plant person. I asked about this a while ago, like, what’s with plants now? He’s like, well, it’s real-life Pokémon. Powers, state-changes, et cetera. This made sense and from that point on I was totally trusting of his thoughts on plants. He said sumac was perfect because it likes to take over wounded areas and fortify and heal them. Everybody says it’s invasive, but it’s not, it’s the opposite, it finds vulnerabilities and then it roots and flowers and just generally propagates in a way that’s like hey, I got you.
Into about the second week of this uterus floating in fluid in my fridge I was like, hey, can we get this thing buried, can you come over with that post-hole digger? He says, sure. But then he shows up without the digger because he’s like, I think this would be a better ritual if we did the digging with a shovel. This was fine with me. This was a Friday night, the first truly beautiful breezy day in a damn long time.
The Death card says, do not miss big endings. Notice the colors even if the thing has made you so goddamn mad. This is perhaps the opposite of “let go and let God.” It’s like “get this thing out of the fridge and bury it deep and bring me its head a few months from now in the form of red red flowers doing their best to turn a dead thing into the next thing.”
I can relate to the ritual for your organs. Although I didn’t get to take my lungs with me, I did get to go down to pathology and see them. It was a truly emotional experience. They were so small, shriveled and scared that I couldn’t believe they kept me alive for as long as they did. Right there in front of the Resident, I thanked my lungs. Then, when my husband and I left, we just held each other and sobbed. People don’t realize how much grief can come from having a body part removed.
OH Debbie–“so small, shriveled and scared.” Yes. So glad you got to have a moment with them.