We came home yesterday after receiving Jasmine from the funeral home. Jeff had made a seat for her in the front seat of the truck, with all her stuffed animals and her quilt from the hospital. She would have been so smug about riding in the front seat.
We drove home, and when we got here, Gabrielle and I built an altar for her in the hallway. She scattered dried jasmine flowers all over. I surrounded Jasmine with candles and images of Brighid. I like to think Brighid has taken her in and is guiding her way. While I was in her bedroom searching for a necklace my mom wanted, I had to look through her treasure box. I feel strongly about giving the girls their privacy, but I had to find this necklace. I felt a little like I was violating her space.
While I was in there, I found a little pillow I got for her about two years ago. It’s about 6″ x 6″ and is red, with a flame embroidered on it. It says, “Change.” When Jasmine was dying, the hospital chaplain offered to read from “The Pagan Book of Living and Dying.” Aside from being pleased he offered, I was comforted by having him read this:
Embrace the Change
All that ever was exists now
in the living body of the being
we call universe, Goddess.
She breathes in —
we are born.
She breathes out —
But birth and death are on the same wheel
which is always turning,
like the tide
or the changes of the moon.
We become ancestors, the unborn,
the guardians of those to come.
Cherish the turning,
the letting go and the bringing forth,
decay and growth,
life and death.
All points on the wheel are sacred.
Embrace the change.
I put Jasmine’s pillow on the altar.
I am completely overwhelmed by coming home. Everywhere we look there is a reminder of Jasmine. Her clothes are everywhere. Her white baseball cap with the pink, glittery “J” is hanging on her bed post. I almost took that to her when she was in the hospital. Her medical equipment is everywhere. Oddly enough, the thing that made me come undone was the 2004 Guiness Book of World Records. She loved those books and we had gotten it for her for the last two years at Christmas. There it was, sitting on the bookshelf, just waiting for her to come open it up.
I wish I just had some confirmation from her that she understands the decision we made and feels we did the right thing. Last night, before I went to sleep I said a little prayer to dream about her. My dreams have been curiously devoid of her actual presence. I had a dream the night before last about three cats that was disturbing, but I wanted some kind of interaction with her. I felt her presence growing at her altar before I went to bed. As I lay there, I was almost asleep when I felt two quick puffs of air on the side of my face. I could almost hear her laugh. Was my mind just creating that so I could feel comfort? Or did Jasmine really let me know it was okay? I don’t know this morning. Last night I really felt it was her.