Unacknowledged Death – Excerpt from Call to My Soul – Dancing the Path to True Love

…through my psychotherapy internship at the Parents’ Center, I took a bibliotherapy workshop. I remember sitting in a dark, little room at the Parents’ Center, reading and talking about one of the books, when my eyes suddenly welled up. Long suppressed tears rolled down my cheeks, uncorking the realization that I had never mourned the death of my first child, the ephemeral Dawn Leaf, who had been premature and had died after twenty-four hours. At Black Bear Ranch commune, where I had been living, her death had been ignored, never mentioned at all, and I had stuffed the sadness deep inside me, unable to express it to anyone, not remembering that death must be mourned. The hospital had not told me anything about her burial, and I arrived back at the Ranch with no body and no certificate. It was as if she had never existed. At that commune we had not yet learned about death rituals, having not experienced much death at our young ages. We did not know how to talk about it or acknowledge it. And I was too traumatized to ask about burial or funeral. I did not even realize that I was traumatized. I only felt empty.

©2022  Marianna Mejia 

Death and Letting Go –Excerpt from Call to My Soul – Dancing the Path to True Love

On the day he turned sixteen, at the end of 1987, Elun got his driver’s license, and I was happy that now he could finally drive himself to school and back. My father gave him a secondhand car for his birthday and Elun, true to his nature, was a careful and responsible driver, so I didn’t worry too much. But I did worry a little, remembering a fatal crash that had killed two of his schoolmates. In Elun’s second year of high school, when he was a sophomore, a sister and brother had made a turn, out of the school driveway onto Highway 68, and were hit by another car. The girl, who was driving, was killed instantly and her brother, a classmate of Elun’s, died a little later. I didn’t know either of them, but the girl’s death made such an impact on me that I couldn’t stop crying. That’s when I learned how different each death can be. I had some kind of soul connection with the girl that I could not explain. While I was sad about her brother, that death did not make the same type of impact on me. How tragic for those parents to lose both their children. And yet, I had to let Elun drive. I could not protect him forever. I could only hope that he made good choices and survived in an unpredictable world.

©2022  Marianna Mejia 

Goodbye Aloka- Excerpt from Chapter 28 – Call to My Soul –Dancing the Path to True Love

In 1984, … Aloka’s health started to go downhill. Her back legs became weak and she had to drag herself around. Finally, I knew I had to do the responsible thing and put her to sleep. Aloka had been with me for fifteen years and I did not want to let her go. When I got her from the pound in Taos, just weaned, she had fit into the palm of my hand. I had nursed her through distemper and felt her decide to live. We had been inseparable for years during my twenties and now my thirties. Other relationships had come and gone, but she was still with me, and when I was away from home, my thirteen-year old son often kept her company. She was a part of our lives and the thought of her death brought up pain. My heart felt tight. I didn’t know if I could do it. But I couldn’t let her suffer, and so I called her vet. 

©2022   Marianna Mejia