When I met Laura I knew she had breast cancer, She was in remission. I met her studying Kinesiology and we became fast esoteric friends. Her knowledge of the esoteric world was vast and intoxicating to me. We would have red wine laced dinners to help sustain the intense 8- hour conversations discussing the energetic reality behind this one we were living. I always felt enriched and somewhat altered after an evening with Laura.
Laura rubbed many people the wrong way as she called things as she saw them. The post-menopausal woman, speaking without filter, her investment was only to speak the truth, as she knew it. Intense does not quite explain her presence. All I can say is that I always learnt something when with her. She inspired me.
For a long time Laura was well. She had chosen a more natural, less conventional path of treatment. One day she told me she was going to get results of a bone scan. She was a bit worried as she had not been feeling great and had been under a lot of stress. I asked who was going with her and she told me no one. That no one had ever gone with her to any appointment. I couldn’t imagine what that would be like. I arranged my day, and found myself in the oncology ward of the Albert Hospital. The waiting room was full of people I felt deeply uncomfortable to even glance at in case I caught a glimpse of a reality I didn’t want to bare.
We waited an hour and a half after her scheduled appointment to see her specialist. To me this was an outrage; to her it was normal protocol. She talked about how she wanted to live. She sang me a Scottish song in honour of her Specialist as he was from the land of Kilts. I marvelled at her joy in the face of the unthinkable.
As it turned out, her bones were clear. We celebrated with a slice of cake and engraving, “Laura was here ‘97” in a freshly laid concrete paver in the backstreets of Prahran.
For the next two years I didn’t see Laura that much as our lives took their twists and turns. Then one day I got the phone call I had forgotten I might ever have. It was Laura and the cancer was back! Slowly over the next 9 months she had all the intervention she had warded off for so many years. She had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. She said perhaps she had to experience all that she had feared. Whatever makes sense when confronting the senseless- how would I know.
Eventually the cancer spread. It was in her liver and lungs. I visited her in the hospital. Her energy levels were limited. She told me with such peace that she was exactly where she needed to be and the contentment she felt was transcendental. She had surrendered. I road my bike home wondering what it must be like to feel so embodied? She went home to palliative care.
I visited her in the Hills and we talked about dying. She showed me the dress she wanted to be buried in and told me her story why; I admit I don’t remember the details of her story. I could not move it from short- term memory as I was too swamped with emotions of my own.
At this current moment I feel a twinge of shame that I cannot document it here and that this story is lost forever.
We talked of the moment of death and that she would go as far as she could when the moment to leave her body came. She said she was not afraid.
About two months later I was at an engagement party when I got the phone call from Laura’s ex-boyfriend who had been nursing her through her palliative care. He told me she was in the hospital and would probably not make it through the night; if I wanted to say goodbye I should come tonight. I felt paralysed. Then I heard a very clear message in my head and feeling in my womb that said “you are at a rite of passage, don’t make one rite more important that another” It was the voice of Laura. We had already said goodbye.
The next morning I rang and her ex -partner told me she had died half an hour ago. He told me he had missed her by 20minutes. The nurses had said how determined she was; how she had struggled to sit up and drink her cup of water; unaided. In the morning the nurse had come in and given her a sponge bath. She walked out of the room and when she came back a few moments later she was dead. She had `gone. No fuss. On her own. Just as I know she wanted it!
I headed to the hospital. It was 3 hours after she had died and I met our other mutual Dear friend catching the lift up to her room. The hospital had agreed to let Laura’s body stay in the bed for as long as they were able to spare the bed. A rarity; I’m sure. There was a sense of celebration when I entered the room. Laura’s ex, her son and her sister where in the room and the mood was warm and somewhat relieved. I guess it was, loving. The generosity as everyone left us to have our time with Laura, honouring our connection.
I had seen a dead body before but only made up for a funeral, and had found it disturbing in its facade. When I walked into the room Laura was in the bed; her eyes were open rolled towards the ceiling, her false front tooth was missing and her mouth was wide open. She was grey. It was so natural. Rather than feeling repulsed or horrified I found it uplifting. It was three hours after she had died and I could still feel the energy leaving her body. It was trickling at a pace and for the first time I got how immense this energy is within us. Within us all! I imagine it similar to the energy of a nuclear bomb. The Energy of the Universe.
Laura had wanted a ritual done within 72 hours of her death. So two grieving friends headed to the Hills to gather what she had requested for the completion of this journey. We arrived at her home that had been her sanctuary. She had been a single mum in England at the age of 22, she had been determined to buy a house and have something to leave her son. She had left him a home. We walked around her garden and decided to do her ritual there. I could feel her everywhere.
We headed into town and rang the others to tell them what had happened. When I told her Ex we had completed half an hour ago he sighed and said, “Wow, about half an hour ago her body let out its final breath and her eyes closed.”
Laura died a couple of days after her 50th birthday.
So much has changed since Laura died and I often wonder her opinion on something or what she would say about that. She is right! She told me once, after she had been to a funeral that when we die the parts of us that resonate go into those left behind.
She is eternally in my private audience and will reside there till the day I die, and hopefully go as far as I can.