I may never write a full account of my last moments with Erin . But I want to say this: I believe very strongly in the message behind this Ram Dass quote, and as my sister was taking her last breaths, I believed that she could hear me. I told her many times that night that I would not leave her side and that I would hold her hand and walk her all the way home. The theme of that last day & night, you could say, was this.
Aunt Barbara Whiteherse and Susan Leigh were with Erin all day, sitting quietly in the room, holding her often. Even on the very last confused and restless day, Erin knew when we would leave the room and didn’t like it. I left briefly for the first time in many days, and had dinner with Nathan and the kids, and I came back for the night shift. At the very very end, I stared into her eyes (which if you know me, is a whole other thing I’m not keen on, but she had the kind of eyes you wanted to get lost in, anyway) and I told her I would be right here with her, I would walk her all the way home. I told her that after this she would go to Dayne and out to the Marquesas and there would be a bonfire, and dancing, and singing. I hope that there are fires and dances and songs happening now, all over, in the places where she loved people and people loved her. I know that she was not afraid as long as one of us was there holding onto her hands, and that’s how it went. She was, contrary to what we had anticipated, talking, conscious and aware until just before she left. She smiled a couple of times, she squeezed my hands, and she astonished the nurses (who were with us in the room) with her mind’s determination to stick with us until the last possible second.
I believe that we are each others’ companions, all of us, each of us, through this incarnation of our energy and onto the next. I don’t believe that Erin was ever *not* alive, as my belief system is that we come from, and return to, the same energy source. Therefore I also don’t believe she can ever *not* be here.
Our personal loss is so immense. We are human, and we attach ourselves, so often, to the human form of our loved ones. I feel especially petulant and angry, and I’ll admit that I sent Susan and Barbara out of the room so that I could climb onto the bed with my sister and beg her to come back. As you may imagine she declined to answer me, but I like to think had she been able to answer in a way that I would hear, she would have said no anyway.
She is truly onto the next phase, whatever that is. I have to believe that she’s back home in the universe, and I want to thank each and every person who was involved in helping walk her home. It was all of us, it is always all of us. Walking each other home.