Death and dying thoughts

Do you know the mourning dove song? The bird says, “Oh, pray for me.” This is what the song sounds like to me. I recently heard that the mourning dove reminds us to pray for the dying.

A few years ago, after my husband passed on (July 4), I have been consciously practicing a meditation on death and dying now that I am a widow and live alone. I am a mixed bag of spirituality in combination with being raised Catholic. Each night when I retire,  I practice praying for a happy death. St. Joseph is the patron saint of a happy death. Before I fall asleep I set my intentions on this meditation and I say a little prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep I pray my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. The meditation brings peace and acceptance. Why shouldn’t death be a happy experience? It is a blessing to be able to sink under a cosmic wave and just float.

I do not want to extend life by any artificial means such as resuscitation, operations, chemotherapy  or dialysis. I simply want to accept that each human dies, cell by cell, from the very moment we are born. I don’t believe in human suffering any more than I would let my dog and cats suffer an agonizing death. If I knew that I only had six months to live, I would want doctor prescribed suicide to help me leave the planet in a painless fashion as possible. I believe that being centered on ceremony is a means of bringing peace. I love to be within the sacred, be it ceremony on Earth or meditation.

I read an article about a ballot initiative that would give doctors legal permission to offer suicide assistance when a patient has only six months to live and has no hope for recovery. The measure is called the Death with Dignity Act. It will be on the Massachusetts ballot come November. I only wish it had been a reality when my husband was dying from cancer and only had six months to live. I will vote for this initiative. It most likely won’t benefit me in my life time but hopefully, it will give others the opportunity to make choices. This is where I draw the line and  follow my own truth. I am happy to be moving to Massachusetts where I can take a stand on this ballet initiative. Source: Catholic Free Press, July 27, 2012, pgs. 1-6. The article does not support the initiative.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

Advertisements

Transformation

Greetings Insectamonarca friends,

Today, Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This evening at sunset, the sun was filtering through the forest and the fragrance of woods, herbs, and flowers including scented geraniums was impregnating the air. I stood in a grassy area before the gardens by the pool and started to practice Justine Stone’s Tai chi form as I opened up to communicating with sounds of forest and happy buzzing insects. At nights I have been sleeping on the back screened patio. I love falling asleep to sounds of wind, rain and insects blessing me. A few days ago China the cat was attached by a feral  cat. She had gotten outside and has a shoulder injury. It is amazing but she and I are recuperating together. I have learned to slow down and do mindful walking to re-center my blood pressure. China is limping around on three legs. She teaches me about importance of rest. We have become fast friends.

My sister, Ann Veronica Ryall-Hohos, nickname Ronnie, has been creating a botanical paradise on 40 acres of protected watershed area in rural MA hills, near Fitchburg,  MA, during her lifetime. The old homestead dates from 1820s. The house is Colonial with shaker cedar and a hoop roof.  I had no idea of how extensive her plant knowledge ancestral connections would take her in creating a magnificent natural biodiversity environment. While Ronnie was busy co-creating her natural heaven at home, I was out in the world with my side of the shared plant knowledge DNA sharing my life’s work with the world, documenting field guides for butterflies and other pollinators and prairie restoration and other pollinators. I have come full circle and I am once again home after a life time  of travel and environmental education commitment. Two of my books are published My Name is Butterfly and Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book. The children’s environmental education books are available on Amazon.

I don’t have the life expectancy to complete in-depth documentation of my sister’s tremendous contribution to wild landscaping. I will do regular meditation and medicinal walks among the plants and record observations of native plants, vegetable gardens, berry and grape, herbal medicinal and culinary discoveries here. At the same time, I will record new insect pollinators including the monarch butterfly and bird discoveries. I always love a natural world mystery and I wasn’t disappointed today. This morning, I walked down the hilly driveway to build my leg muscles. I am recovering from a degenerative health breakdown of my immune system. It is complicated. On the positive side I can handle what is coming my way knowing  that I am not on dialysis or suffering with cancer at this time in my life. Anything other than these two categories I am grateful to say that Grace is guiding me in acceptance of impending health issues and end of life quality of life issues and independence.

There is enough time to share about the hoary vervain, fireweed,wild and domestic grapes, common mullein, four -leaf clover, heal all, and wild bergamot, lambs quarter, false indigo and possibly Culver’s root that I witnessed this morning. I saw a new species of moth. Two pink tinged moths with vanella body and white fringe around outside back wings. They were sleeping in an evening primrose flower.  Of course I need to verify the species. I don’t have my WI field guides with me and will fill in details that I find through the Internet and hopefully a visit to the library, as time permits.

UPDATE: The small and delicate pink moth is a primrose moth (Schinia florida). This was a new moth species discovery for me. I am thrilled. How appropriate. There they were sleeping in a evening primrose flower, so sweet.

I also witnessed two new small bird species, one with a yellow head the other with a yellow breast. No, they are not American finches (wild canary). Again, I am thrilled to already doing my field work here and discovering new species of plant, bird or insect. I am sure there will be wonderous surprises along the way.  I also gathered Lambs quarter and a broccoli leaf and added the greens to an organic garden fresh tomato sandwich for lunch.  Want to lower your cholesterol? Instead of using egg rich mayonnaise, try adding a spoonful of room temperature Chobani Greek yogurt. This yogurt has natural probiotics and a mix of live cultures that keep the good flora working in the digestive system. It is absolutely critical to add living culture yogurt to the diet if one is on antibiotics and other medications. I arrived in MA with a Lyme’s disease. I was bite in WI but it didn’t register because I didn’t have the classic symptoms of aching joints. Having fibromyalgia can at times camoflage symptoms. I am on antibiotics for 21 days.

I gathered wild bergamot and common mullein which are respiratory herbs. I drink a tea of these herbs for COPD. I added heal all, a general tonic and four-leaf clover which is rich in vitamin B. This was my morning medicinal tea. This evening I am making a medicinal tea of cedar leaf, a healing herb for body, mind and spirit, centering and balance. This is a well known herb used by Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa plant people of the Great Lakes region of WI. I am adding a few leaves of energizing peppermint to this mix. I found out that I need catnip a sedative or chamomoile for evenings, not an energizer, otherwise I can’t fall asleep. Since this writing, I have found Solomon’s seal which I have been looking for in WI. I am so thankful that the plants are here to greet me. It feels like old friends are welcoming me home. Early morning between 4 am and 7 am, the barred owl comes calling. I do not hear a return salutation so perhaps the owl is alone  at this time.

Be well Insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

Out of sight is not not of mind

Hello Insectamonarca friends,

Well, I have been on quite a trek. I got to MA from WI after suffering a heat stroke. It had me immobilized in bed for days with chills I was too ill even to dial for help. On June 10, I journeyed over to Turtle Lake, WI, and checked into a hotel. It wasn’t the best experience. Then the shuttle took me to the airport in St. Paul, MN. I had to take two shuttles.

Caught a plane to Chicago where I had to change planes and landed in Boston where my brother-in-law picked me up. I was feeling poorly. Hadn’t eaten all day and had minimum water just to keep my mouth dry. Then the troubles started to kick in. My body shut down. Constipation, rash all over my body. My sister took me to urgent care, then emergency. I had to start a regimin to get my body working again.

I checked myself into another hotel where I could have privacy and a bathroom. All I could eat was yogurt, a cup of New England Cham Chowder, water and ginger ale. I spend days here in my room. My brother-in-law picked me up at the hotel so I could get my hair cut.

I was here to attend my niece’s wedding today and there were all kinds of preperary celebrations, none of which I could attend. I went back to the hotel, only to have a total meltdown from the excessive heat and no air conditioning at the old farm house. Then the crap hit the fan. I started to not be able to breath, I was sick to my stocmach and felt I was going to die.

I called my sister and told her I was in trouble. The front desk called and asked me if I needed help. I said, “Call an ambulence and get me oxygen. I tought I would die for sure simply because I couldn’t breath. I didn’t even have my inhaler. I have COPD which is complicated by excessive heat and humidity.

The ambulance came and the medics gave me oxygen even though I still couldn’t breath. Then I was taken to critical care where they started me on steroids to open my lungs. I received excellent care in critical care and around the clock medical attention. The unknown skin rash is suspected to be possibly linked to Lynn’s disease and infectious disease ran some blood tests to see if it is something serious. In the meantime, I was transferred to the hospital and I plan to go home tomorrow.

This was a real eye opener and I don’t beleave anything happens by coincidence. I realize I can’t live out in WI all on my own with complicated health issues now. There is more to this story. It will take me a few years I suspect to sell the house and property. Mind you, I am completely restoring my antique redroom home which I love. It won’t be a quick move. I am just starting to flutter now and it will all fall into place at the appropriate time.

Meanwhile, my niece was married at 2 pm at Holy Cross College’s Catholic Church. They are all dancing away now at Fruitland’s Museaum and grounds in Harvard, MA. I breath easy knowing I can still flutter in my imagination so I hover around all my family and friends there and know I am in good hands.

This is the reason I haven’t written for wahile. I am now transforming into the next stage of my life. If my friends are reading this Blog, know that I am healing and doing Tai chi and Yoga even here in the hospital. I can always find a quite corner to BE.

Be happy Insectamonarcxa friends where ever you are.

Written at Univ. of MA Hospital, Fitchburg, MA. I don’t have my reading glasses so I can’t check for typos until I go home to my sister’s farm.

Memengwaa Ikway

%d bloggers like this: