A Love Letter To Alex, On the Anniversary of His Suicide

Dear  Alex,

Today, January 27th, is the anniversary of the day I found you dead on your bed in 1988. My elderly cat has been sick, and though I love him dearly and will miss him terribly when it is his time to pass, my weeping was so intense today, and my feelings of guilt and shame so pronounced, that I knew what I was feeling had to be about earlier losses, too. Hence this letter.

It’s not the only letter I’ve written to you, by any means; for years I struggled with the persistent notion that I could have saved you from your suicide; that somehow you had killed yourself because I had failed as a partner and lover. Now, so many years, therapies, 12 Step programs, and heart-openings later, I know that your story was not my story. Had I opened the door that night at 10pm when I returned from work to find the light on under your door, I might have delayed your death, for the coroner told me you had died around midnight that night. But in the end, if death is what you wished for (and your ex-wife told me over the phone you had attempted it before, during your marriage to her), you would have found a way to hasten it. After all, a month before you died you warned me what was going to happen.

We were in the car going somewhere, you driving, me in the front passenger seat. You said, “I had a funny dream last night. I dreamed we were in a hospital room. I was lying in bed in a coma, and you were sitting on the chair next to the bed. And I knew that you were all right with my condition, because I’d told you many times that the place where I go when I do deep trance is so beautiful that some day I may not want to come back.” Maybe it was that dream (if it was a dream and not your way of hinting what was to come) that prompted me on some level to realize our time together remaining would be curtailed, for it was in mid-January that I sprung on you that surprise birthday party, where all our friends gathered, and we played a game, and you had cake, and laughed, and said, “No one has ever had a birthday party for me before.” Less than two weeks later you were dead.

My inner child has always been terrified of death. Death, in fact, is my Life Theme, the greatest truth this incarnation of mine has been learning to accept, assimilate, and adapt to. Maybe that’s one reason I was attracted to metaphysics after my rationalist upbringing and my ensuing 7 years as a Fundamentalist Christian—I sought to find evidence that the body is not all of us; that physical death is not the death of something deeper and more core in us; and that somehow Tarot, trancework, channeling and so forth would console me in ways that conventional religion failed to do. And it has helped. After my little brother Jeff, you were the greatest spiritual inspiration in my life. Your deep-trance channelings, which I (suspiciously at first, then more and more credulously) helped you attain with my guided meditations, changed my life completely. My entire spiritual world view has evolved from the talks you gave in your spirit-persona of  “Alexandra”, and I’m not the only one you helped by any means.

I can still recall clearly the sense of peace and nurture that flowed through your Alexandra persona to me and everyone else who attended our meetings in Key West, Florida, Ireland, and later Santa Fe, New Mexico, where you died. And I can recall vividly that the morning I found you, the moment I put my hand on your doorknob at 10am to rouse you for a meeting with a client we had scheduled for 11, I knew you were dead. I opened the door, saw you on the bed, and felt you and Alexandra—not the same person, but two personas—”floating” near the ceiling, witnessing me. I’ve had spiritual experiences since then, several in which I caught a glimpse of that Heaven of Light and Sound which made you so blissful whenever you tranced. But the experience I had that morning was my Lightning-Struck Tower.

Thank you for all you gave me. Thank you for my sense of your continuing presence in my life. I have loved other men since I met you, but you remain uniquely precious.

P.S. Please watch over my cat, and help me release him to the arms of Love when it comes his time to rise. •

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Moving Day

In two days I am returning to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I lived for 24 years before coming to the Denver area late in 2011. When I first came to the Denver area, my health was poor. I was in shock from the sudden death of my beloved husky, Blessing, and the sudden loss of my home, job, and mobility. Had an Aurora friend not invited me to come and stay in her house, I would have been homeless.

ImageNow, nearly a year and a half later, I am moving back to Santa Fe. The new friends I have made in Colorado are not happy about this; they fear for my economic stability, returning as I am to a state with widespread unemployment and a vast gap between rich and poor. It is also a fact that New Mexico has one of the highest rates of spousal abuse, child abuse, drug abuse, animal abuse, and drunk driving fatalities in the nation. Public support is available to assist the underemployed and the ill, but that support has dwindled under New Mexico’s present governor, a well-to-do Republican with little sympathy for those who seek “entitlements.”

Moving is never easy. It is particularly difficult right now because I have had a falling out with the friend in whose house I have been staying, and I am ashamed and saddened by this. No one is at fault particularly; we have simply discovered that our private wounds make us incompatible housemates. But it is hard having to acknowledge that another’s life has been improved by my leaving it. I will also miss my friend’s dog, a black Labrador who has been a hugbuddy and companion to me during my mourning over Blessing.

Sudden, painful change is built in to physical reality. It is represented by the Tarot cards Death, the Lightning-Struck Tower, and the Devil (which I have renamed Pan). These three Tarots are not necessarily cards of moral evil or physical destruction, although they can be. At root they signify the powers and influences over which the human will has no conscious control, powers and influences that trigger physical, emotional, and comprehension changes that one must acknowledge, accept, and adapt to or die. It is human nature to resist such transformation even when part of us longs for it. But in some circumstances, as the Daleks might put it, resistance is futile.

My story is by no means a tragedy. I am moving into a house with good neighbors in a safe neighborhood, and I have been overwhelmed by the loving support of friends all over the country, who with their contributions of time, money, and encouragement are making this move possible. My cat, Urdwill, will like it there, too. And I am looking forward to reuniting with old Santa Fe friends.

But I can no longer deceive myself. No change is permanent. Reality is both a particle and a waveform, and life is a balancing act. And when you are old, as I am, you must give up the fantasy of total self-reliance and total independence and embrace interdependence, community, and mutuality. As my friend Jerry told me the other day, “It’s time for you to accept the love people want to show you.” How strange that this is so difficult.