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The deep end

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

I remember the time between floating in the suffocating blue & green orbs of light to when the my body hit the bottom of the swimming pool, felt like a lifetime. My lungs burned but it felt impossible that it could end. It was a sort of a purgatory that felt permanent. Either it was going to continue burning and closing in on me for eternity, or something else was on the other side I was unsure of. So I sit. And I see the light coming through in bizarre and inconsistent flashes, the only thing reminding me that I still exist, because it’s taking time for the light to move, thus proving my remaining existence is still taking part in reality.

So, when I tell you that this grief feels like i’m drowning, you can rest assured it’s my experience speaking, not my emotions. I can sit here and flip tarot cards all day and night, but I already know I’m the queen of cups. The keeper of emotions. It’s no mistake the decks tells us that water and cups are emotions, because my cup runneth over with the familiar flood of vehement sentiment.

I’m unsure if I knew how I could be saved from the white concrete floor of the pool, but I imagine my innocence at the time didn’t know death was even a possibility for me. So I waited. I didn’t fight out of it, I knew I didn’t know how to get out of it, but if there was only two options: death or life, and I hadn’t met death yet, then surely life is this pool or somewhere else. My chest tight, and wound, I remained still.

I later could relate this to drunken nights on closet floors, but at the time the loss of sight and sensation began to cause panic in my chest. Why can’t I control this? Why am I being swallowed up? Make this stop.

Suddenly, I was jerked up out of the water and I feel this fresh of breath air. The air I need, but I’ve gone so long without remembering what feels natural to do, I reject it at first. That first breath felt forced. In fact it didn’t feel like air at all, it was full of burning pain and choking, but it was what i needed and the beginning of being myself again.

I drown, and am saved again, over and over again. The grief washes over me like a tide cycle. It comes in, submerges me under the wave until the last moment, removing me from everyone else’s reality. Only to be pulled back out by something the shore knows I needed, and no matter how much that first breath of normalcy is needed, it feels unnatural and forced. I come out of the water meeting happy faces on the beach, completely disconnected from the depth of darkness I just emerged from. I didn’t know I’d be saved, but every time I’m spit back out, I know this is not the end and I need to take the breath that is being forced back into my lungs.

I think back to the blue and green orbs floating above me with the flashes of warmth that would shoot across the canvas of bubbles. It was the only thing I could see. It was all that I could think about. The whole world around me was silent, and my brain was able to hyper focus on every detail of each blob. The meaning and intention of each color and shape came to life and I was obsessed. My mind couldn’t look away, no matter how long I let the water consume me.

I think that’s why I know exactly how to do this. I know I’ll be pulled out again in no time, wether it’s work or a lover’s kiss, so let me sit in this for just a moment. I have time, so let me watch these bubbles float over me in every great detail. This one holds her smile, but this one holds our memories. I know there’s more, one for her stories, and one for hugs. I hope there’s one of every trip I may have forgotten, and maybe even one for all the things I forgot to remember her say. I know I have to breathe, but before you pull me out again, let me just watch until I can’t watch any longer. I can inhale again, if you promise I’m allowed to dive back into her ocean of vitamin sea anytime I need the rest of the world to move on without me for a while.

The Queen of Cups rules the emotional realm. She is the woman whose throne is right on the ocean’s edge and water, typically symbolic of the unconscious and feeling. Her position at the shore indicates that she lies between land and sea, the place where feeling and thought exist. The queen sits alone, which allows her to think. The calmness of the water and the sky symbolizes the serene mind of the queen. Her feet are not touching the water, which stands for her looking at her thoughts and feelings from the outside. She acts as a mirror and reflects the depths present in others, so they see themselves in a new light. The queen is the trusted inner voice you have within you. And she is your reminder that self-love creates compassion.

I'm trying to remind myself that her throne here is everlasting inside of me. That even though it feels like it's still hers, the throne she remains on is in the ocean of my heart, and the earthly one is rightfully passed on to me. We are the water and the energy never dies, just keeps flowing. Nothing about her is gone, it's just shattered into pieces and scattered among us to carry on. She created the womb that created mine that created my children. I see it in my skin and in their laughter. Her life was a reflection of mine, and her death was glimpse into my own. She is never gone, but the loss is deep. When I need her advice, I have to rest in the intuition she passed to me. When I need her food, I have to remember her recipes.

So when I've sunken below the surface again, and I'm watching the bubbles pass me, don't be worried about my suffering, just let me sit. Right now every blondie, tina, and janis album is playing. I'm reading our favorite books, dancing along to Rocky in the living room, and catching another theatre production. I'm in Sax 5th Ave, in New York City watching her spend all her money and flag down her first taxi. I'm eating beer pancakes and chicken wings while we play poker and talk about freedom. I'm listening to her remind me to be shamelessly myself and not give a fuck. I'm making a mess in her sewing room, creating masterpieces together. I'm watching daytime psychic shows while we shuck peas at the counter. I'm eating tamales and opening her latest informercial must-have gadget. I'm trying on her bellbottoms and earrings on her closet floor dreaming of having her life stories for myself. Just don't pull me up yet. I'm soaking up every last bit before I need another breath. I love you Grandma, Forever & Always

I do not understand why I lost both of my grandmothers 4 weeks apart, but the timing can't be coincidence. I'm being thrown from the nest but I'm lucky they taught me how to build my own, so here we go...the circle of life. I have all this love of my grandmothers and no where to pour it but into my own children, and I guess that's the beauty in this tragic life, is that for every ounce of love there is a pound of pain, and every bit of it is worth it.

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