Fly, my love

This video was made for Michaela’s birthday this past week. It contains wishes for Michaela from far parts of the earth. I particularly love this video for the love in it, and also for the music, which is “Fly” by Celine Dion.

I am sure that there are many possible interpretations of the lyrics, but when I heard it the first time, my thoughts were that I would have played this song for my mother on that last day, as I gave her permission to leave me, as I assured her I would be okay, that she would always be with me in my heart:

Fly, fly do not fear
Don’t waste a breath, don’t shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don’t wait for me

I would have played this song for my Bella, as we had her put to sleep:

Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this memory bittersweet
Until we meet

There are so many feelings swirling inside me. The primary one, honestly, is just a longing for this to be true. I absolutely do not believe in the heaven and hell scenario. In my mind, my heart, and my spirit, I do believe that there is more to life than the bodies we wander through this world in. It makes the most sense, it fits with the evidence I have seen, and it fits in with the vast unknowable reality of the universe (take a minute and ponder the beginnings of the universe, the concepts of infinity and eternity, and clearly the notion of our spirits living beyond our bodies is nothing compared to those things). For myself, I don’t fear death. I kind of view it as a great adventure, and honestly if I am wrong I figure I won’t know and won’t care. The only thing I fear about my own death is leaving others behind who will suffer.

I don’t like suffering. It makes my heart ache. People I love suffering, people I don’t know suffering. One of the things that bothers me most is animals suffering. I have a dear friend, the friend who actually came to my house to put my Bella to sleep when she was no longer able to breathe. She is perhaps the most sensitive person I have ever met, and yet this is part of her work, putting animals to sleep. When we first met, I asked her how she did it, and she said that every day she takes comfort in the fact that she is alleviating suffering, whether she is removing animals from abusive situations, helping them to find new homes, or bringing a final end to ultimate suffering. In her spare time, she works with people who are dying, in hospice.

My youngest daughter has always had a huge fear of death. From a very young age she suffered from an overwhelming anxiety that if I left her at school that I would die and not come back for her. This fear of hers is really difficult for me, because, well, one day I will die. Since Bella was put to sleep, we went to the animal shelter and adopted two little dogs, but the best thing is that she started working as a volunteer at the shelter. Our local shelter is a really, really good one. The animals live in a good environment, and they are really loved and well cared for by staff and volunteer staff. They do not euthanize animals without good reason. If they are unable to find homes for them, they send them to rescues, to fosters, or to no-kill shelters. So it is a good place for my daughter to be. When she takes the dogs back to their kennels after walking them and playing with them to keep them socialized, the dogs are sad. It is a soul strengthening position, to learn to be able to open your heart to the suffering. And sometimes there are animals who have to be put to sleep.

Putting an animal to sleep, particularly one you loved but any animal actually, well, we don’t do that with people. We shoot them up with morphine or whatever it takes. But when an animal is suffering, we end the suffering. We want to end that suffering. For my Bella, she had cancer which had spread to her lungs and she had become unable to breathe. She could not rest because she could not lie down. During her last day, my daughter and I sat with her the whole time, supported her, stroked her to keep her calm. She was a chocolate lab, and even in her anxiety over not being able to breathe, she would still smile at us. If life is located anywhere in the body, though, it is the eyes. To look into the eyes of a dog you have loved for nine years and see that soul, that life, and think of extinguishing it is really painful. I need to look into her eyes and not just assure her that her fear and suffering will end, but that she will be able to fly. I told her, in fact, that as the dog in “The Art of Racing in the Rain” believed, in her next life she would be a human being.

Eyes. I just finished reading a book, “Come Back to Me” by Melissa Foster, in which a character talked about never again seeing “the cornflower blue” eyes of someone who had died. I thought of my mother’s eyes, a beautiful gray-blue, and I wished that on that last day of her life I had asked her to open them, just to see if she could, just to see them one last time. She’d been in the hospital for three days, unconscious or asleep most of the time. She’d opened her eyes once the day before she died, seemed as though she wanted to say something but had difficulty talking. Or perhaps I had just interrupted her, as I’d jumped in and said, “look who came to see you,” and pointed to my children. She had nodded and smiled briefly before going back to unconsciousness. One of my regrets in life, finding it necessary to speak myself instead of being quiet to see if there was something she needed to say. Wasting that moment with my own activity instead of spending it looking into those beautiful gray-blue eyes which I was never to see again.

Oh, God. Grief is such a living thing. My mind seeks to wrap itself around it, to define it, but that just cannot be done. It lies in wait between the sleep and the waking, where you can fall into its depths.

And then, of course, I thought of Michaela’s eyes. Whether she is alive, or whether she is not, I have not looked into her eyes for more than 25 years. I may never see them again. I have to say that, yes, this song made me think of her death, and I just hope that the lovely woman who made this video and chose this song does not think that she made a mistake. I have said before, although I’m not sure people have really heard me, that I do understand that Michaela is probably not alive. I do understand this. If you were to ask me if I believe that Michaela is alive, I honestly have to say that no, I don’t think she is alive. People don’t get that because as long as I don’t know she is not alive, I will continue to behave as though she is alive and I will keep reaching out to her, looking for her, trying to find her, because if she is alive I believe she needs me to keep doing that. The worst thought is the thought of her suffering for all these years.

The worst thought is the thought of her feeling abandoned. I know that in the early hours after she was kidnapped she expected to be rescued. She knew there was a witness, she knew the police would be called. She just had to wait for someone to rescue her. I was haunted then by the passing of time, by how it would feel to Michaela as she waited and waited and help didn’t come. When was it that she gave up? That was what haunted me about the possibility of her death, not just the fact that dying would involve physical suffering, but the giving up, of her facing the knowledge that this was the end, that she was dying, that she would never come home.

But if she died, she was also escaping an awful and terrifying reality. One person I know and respect who gave a reading on what happened to Michaela said she had been drugged soon after being kidnapped and never really came out of that, so she did not suffer. And honestly, that is the most important thing to me, the most important thing to me is for my child not to suffer. I just can’t bear the thought of that. Rather than her suffering, I would give up seeing her again to let her fly.

Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this memory bittersweet
Until we meet

But for her, she was so young, and her light was so brilliant, it would just be completely wrong for it to be extinguished. The only way it could be okay is if it was not an ending, but the beginning of a journey. And I believe this. But I don’t know, and neither do you. Near death experiences are interesting, but even they are not incontrovertible evidence of anything. They could be a dream, a snapping of neurons. Visits to mediums, well some are pretty convincing, but again, they are not incontrovertible proof. All we can do is believe, and so that is what I will do, believe that the end of this life is but the beginning of a journey.

Well, I often get choked up or shed tears while I am writing this blog, but this one today actually had me sobbing. Pam, I know that was not your intention, but I hope you know that it is not a bad thing. It is the reality of life, that death will come, as it is the reality of love, that grief will follow one fine day, one way or the other. It is part of the beauty of a sunset that it will fade quickly.

Michaela, if you are out there and you read these words, please know that I will never stop trying to find you. If there is anybody else out there who knows that Michaela is not alive, and who can tell me the truth and end at least one part of this torture, please, please tell me. You can write to me at sharon.murch@gmail.com, or leave a comment on this blog anonymously.

Cherish life. Believe.

Thank you to Celine Dion for sharing this beautiful song with us. I went to itunes and purchased it so I could listen to it again and again.

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62 thoughts on “Fly, my love

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  1. :*( The Bobo Kidnapper (s) ENVIROMENTAL FOOTPRINTS seem to be partway revealed today.:*( “Suspect charged in case of missing Tennessee woman Holly Bobo” via CNN

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  2. Deeply touching reply. I cried much. The revived F.I.G.H.T ( Faith In God’s Help Together) for the location of Michaela will continue.

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  3. 3/7 “Family of Holly Bobo releases first statement since indictment” Late Thursday night, the family's statement was posted on the “Bring Holly Bobo Home” Facebook page” :*(:”In the recent days, it feels like everything has come against our hope and it seems that all our trust was shattered. We still have hope because of who our hope is in. Holly had that same hope and faith, because of Jesus Christ we will see her again. Jesus will provide us the strength and grace to see us through.” On Friday, the page posted a statement from Holly's boyfriend, Drew Scott:”There are no words to describe my gratitude to our Lord and Savior and all of you, especially for all the prayers and for all you have done for our precious Holly. All the time of searching, handing out fliers, and most of all for your prayers and not giving up. I know our sweet girl is in heaven and has seen the outpouring of love this community and the world has shown her. May God bless each and every one of you, especially Hollys family and friends during this tragic time. Rest In Peace our sweet angel, I will love you forever.”” http://www.wsmv.com/story/24912847/family-of-holly-bobo-releases-statement

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  4. This inspired me to replay your wonderful “justsharon” posted video song “Praise You in the storm”>>Msg and special request by Holly’s grieving mother following 1st court appearance Via FB pg “Bring Holly Bobo Home”..”:Karen Bobo “ Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isa41:10 Please continue to pray for our family and the investigators. Thank you..”. .. https://www.facebook.com/MissingHollyBobo

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  5. The topic of abducted children hits me harder than any other. When I was about your daughter's age, I was walking with a friend when I noticed a car following us. To this day, I can see the male driver clearly in my mind. He was driving very slowly next to the curb. We were walking in an empty lot, so there was no reason for him to be there. I knew in my gut that he was a predator. I whispered to my friend, “When I count to three, run!” She said, “What?” I whispered again (afraid he would hear) “When I count to three, run!” Once again, she didn't understand what I said. So then I said, “I'll race you home!” and I started running as fast as I could across the lot to her front door. I turned around only to see her walking slowly, staring at me in wonder. I started screaming, “Run! Run!” She started to jog across the lot, and the man drove away. Her father asked if I would like to call the police, but I didn't understand about the police and thought that if he called them I could get in trouble somehow. But I did agree to let him drive us around the neighborhood to look for the man and his car. We never saw him. I was blessed to get away. Not everyone has that opportunity. If he had just been a little closer to us, who knows? So my heart goes out to your daughter, wherever she is, because she didn't get the lucky break that I got. But I believe God will make it up to her.

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  6. Oh, and I wanted to say too, (but I was afraid my comment would be too long to publish if I included it in the last comment) that I recently read Elizabeth Smart's book, and learned that it could be really hard for someone to come home after being abducted. So I pray that if she is still out there, she will have the courage, and will see from your letter that you just want to see her again.

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