Ann’s Fashion Tarot, Isolation Edition: Death.

Welcome to the happiest card in this whole reading right now, because in tarot, when Death shows up it means you’re fiiiinally able to let go of a thing you know damn well you should have quit/lost/forgotten some time ago. For me, that’s six (6) layers of eye makeup before I can walk out the door. I’ve tried this breakup before but always drifted back and then felt trapped and lately also betrayed by the trend of cat-eye wingedness, which I cannot master. I’m so seriously done this time. My Tarte Double Liquid/Pencil in Dark Brown just now texted “u up” and I did not reply.

This is how you know the Death card does not foretell your actual human death. If you’ve ever had the privilege of being up-close to that, you know that an actively dying person’s thoughts aren’t about letting go. They’re about travel. When I learned this in my training to be a hospice volunteer, I thought it was a sweet metaphor made up to make onlookers feel better. But actually no. On one of my first assignments, the woman asked me to clean her tub. She was bedridden and unable to sit up, let alone walk to her bathroom and bathe. But a clean tub made perfect sense, because she had a wicked-good shoe collection spilling out of her closet and a dresser-top full of fragrances, and obviously a clean tub is a thing you need if your brain believes it’s time to fancy-up and head out for the trip of trips. I cleaned the tub and also the rest of the bathroom, thinking the more Comet the better so the smell would reach her down the hall and she’d know her prep space was fresh and ready.

Another woman asked me to go get her wallet. She’d ceased eating or drinking, had been unable to sit up for days, her extremities had begun to swell. But I will be damned if she didn’t strain to whisper “wallet, wallet, wallet” until I went and got it from her purse and tucked it under her hand, at which point she relaxed and I realized everything in that training that had seemed mystical or exaggerated or flaky was, in fact, basic factual fact.

What the hospice trainers didn’t cover was what causes this, like, what exactly makes a clean tub or a wallet feel imperative when a body is shutting down for good. My husband is the most expert traveler I know so I asked him what that feeling is, when he’s in the throes of packing for a long time far away. I’m like, what IS that, what’s the feeling at midnight before a 6:00 a.m. flight and you’re triple-checking to be sure you have your wallet. He said it’s the feeling of gathering yourself together. Your essentials. It’s a restlessness that feels so good you almost can’t stand it. It’s like, no offense, everyone, but I have somewhere to be.

Death says, time to let go of the thing you know is done. Essentials are easier to find, after that.

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