This Bird Has Flown, pt. 2

Up until January 10, 2017, if anyone asked how I was coping with the loss, I would have said, “Poorly.”

I should be gone. I have metastatic GIST cancer, survived two major surgeries, and was told once, in December of 2010, that I would die that night.

Lark should be here, working on her next novel or play or music collection or falling in love.  Figuring out life.

Up until January 10, 2017, if anyone asked how I was coping with the loss, I would have said, “Poorly.”

On that January day, a little over four months after the death of my daughter and only child, I found myself still struggling to deal with the loss.  Certain things were triggers to my sadness, among them certain photos.

At about 2:45 p.m., I was walking through my bedroom en route to take a leak.  I noticed an older photo of Lark from around the 5th grade and it triggered the beginning of a sad spell.

Gradually, I’m developing strategies to manage the spells.  I remind myself that she is no longer in pain.  Also, I think of a happy photo of our Little Bird seated with both her cats on her lap.  She’s smiling and wearing a tee shirt of one of her favorite bands, Nirvana.

cats

This thought of the happy photo was in my mind as I entered the bathroom.  I decided to play a quick word game on my iPad as I took care of business.  Jumbline, a scrambled letters game, was an easy way to occupy a couple of minutes, but I found myself struggling to figure out the seven-letter final word to the puzzle.  Time was running out.

Then it hit me – NIRVANA was the big word.  I immediately realized the coincidence.  Unless it was more than a coincidence.  Perhaps it was communication.

I’m a skeptic, and certainly not one to make grand leaps of faith.  But neither am I one to ignore what is presented to me.

Two minutes before, I was thinking about Lark in her Nirvana tee shirt, desperately missing her. Now the word Nirvana has popped up in the game I was playing.

Was Lark telling me she was now in Nirvana and at peace?  It’s possible.

Was it just a highly improbable, bizarre coincidence?  Also possible.

I was shaken. People who know me know that I am almost never shaken.

I phoned my sister Valeta Boo, who has a Masters of Divinity degree, to get her take on the occurrence.

She wisely asked, “How did the experience make you feel?”

I replied, “Good.  Happy.  Hopeful.”

After our chat, I texted her the screen image from the game. She texted back, pointing out the word above Nirvana.  Avian.  Like our Little Bird, Lark.

jumbline nirvanaColor me shaken a second time.  That magical mystery tour of a January day changed everything.

The possibility that I might see her again on another plane of existence is comforting.  It gives me a ray of hope where I had none.

It also fills me with abundant parental pride that my brilliant, talented, creative, generous, caring, funny, adventurous, beautiful kiddo figured out how to hack the afterlife.

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This Bird Has Flown, pt. 1

My brilliant, talented, creative, generous, caring, funny, adventurous, beautiful 18 year-old daughter, Lark “Alou” Randon, died on September 4, 2016.  We chose not to immediately announce her death publicly because of our own struggles to process it emotionally.

Before her death, Lark completed a novel under her pen name, Alou Randon.  One way I am coping with the loss of Lark has been to get her novel ready for publication.

Lark’s novel, Christiania will be available from Amazon on Wednesday-Friday (Feb. 15-17) for free download.  Hopefully, as many people as possible will get it on Wednesday so she will get a nice spot on the free best sellers list.Christiania_Cover_for_Kindle

I’m putting her book, Christiania, out there for several reasons.  Finishing her novel was a major accomplishment and one of her dreams.  I want people to see how well she could write at a young age and envision what she might have been able to achieve had she lived.  Also, I just wanted to do one last thing for my kid.

I’d love for everyone who is comfortable doing so, to share the info about the free book to maximize downloads, as a final tribute to Lark/Alou.

However, Christiania is adult material with disturbing themes.  Drug abuse, sex, violence and profanity are used throughout.  If you are easily offended, this will not be the book for you to read.  Just read the About Christiania note at the beginning, and the About the Author, poems, photos, and Afterword at the end.

Alou Randon wrote in letters to prospective agents, “Christiania is comparable to works such as Naked Lunch, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Trainspotting and was influenced largely by the works of William S. Burroughs.  Its audience is similar to those of the aforementioned books — present and past drug users who want and need characters whose problems they can relate to and empathize with.”

Because of my metastatic GIST cancer, I had no expectation of outliving her.  Since her death, I’ve had days when I just wanted to stay in bed or curl up in a ball on the floor indefinitely.  Knowing that Lark really wanted to publish her book has given me a purpose when I wanted to give up.

My heartfelt hope is that if she is able to somehow view what I’ve done from some other plane of existence, she smiles.

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