Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

With death, it starts as a solo journey, but then....

Sophie on the top with her dear companion, Victor, who died at the old farm
Many of you follow us on social media so you already know that old Sophie died yesterday. I knew the day before she was entering the final days or weeks, as she could hardly walk and she just had a light go out in her eyes. By morning, she was almost in her deep sleep, and only revived once, for a final little talk with me, which I'm grateful for. It was a peaceful death–I've seen the opposite and am so grateful she could go on her own not only for her, but for me.

When we are born, we know we come from a little seed. Spiritually, we all have our own beliefs of where we were as souls [or not] before the seed and egg even came together. It's a mystery. But once human, we come out into the world with others to assist in our beginning journey. A doctor or midwife grasps us as we emerge, our mothers [if we are so blessed] hold us and makes utterances we will learn to follow and respond to. We watch others as role models as we grow and learn, and explore. We might go off on a day trip, or a long trek across the desert alone, but we always come back to share the journey through story. We share our human experiences with other human experienced creatures through all of life.

But with death, we journey alone–at least the first stages after we leave our bodies. Even if you believe that when we die, that's it, you cease to be anything except a carcass, even then you are alone in the instant you cease to be. We can be there for someone or a creature in the throws of death, but we can't accompanying them on the next stages. The great mystery. But I love a mystery, even though sometimes they are a bit scary.

The morning Sophie was dying, I returned to the house at some point and sat with classical music playing. I closed my eyes and imagined her up in the yonder, rolling about in air like an acrobat without a mat-just floating and rolling, with her sweet smile. I pictured Victor coming to be with her and then I watched them float off.

I opened my eyes and was hopeful that might help her fully release. I had told her the night before that maybe it was time to let go of her body, and to look for Victor as he would help her on the next stage of her journey. I asked her to look for me when my time comes.

As someone who likes to share story through words, art and image, I have thought many times that on the moment I die, I won't be able to share it, it will be only known to me. Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe what I experience will be completely unique to me, and each of you will have completely different after death seconds. Our births aren't the same, after all.

And then again, it dawned on me–the fact I do live my life so much out in the open with story and images, the idea that none of you will be privy to what happens the seconds after I'm dead is really rather...a relief. It will be all mine, those first post death seconds.

I think there are seconds of post death that will pack all sorts of things into them, and then...I'll know which way to turn or go and I will see and feel what I need. I desire to see all the animals I've cared for and my parents. I desire to truly feel what pure soul is.

Sophie shortly after she died