Last week I was impressed by a series of close encounters with images of death. It started the morning before I left for a short trip. I was struggling to wake up, and in that paralytic hypnagogic moment, I very clearly saw the foot of a dead child sticking out from where my nightstand is. It was startling and slightly creepy, but I wasn’t afraid, and I remember distinctly feeling like I already knew the child should be in that corner.
Over the next few days, I found myself fixated by actual death images in my path — a motionless cicada crawling with smaller bright red insects, a pristine but stiff squirrel body and several dead mice in the cabin, a rotting bird being devoured by shield-shaped beetles in the yard, a headless rabbit in the wood, the cries and snarls of a nearby wolf kill echoing in the night while I watched the stars.
I found myself somewhat surprised by how little disturbance I felt, and by how much my attention was drawn to the refrain of morbidity and mortality.
Upon returning home, it came to my attention that an emotionally strenuous problem I had been fretting over for several weeks could be rather easily and satisfactorily resolved if I let go of something, and I felt foolish for not having considered the option before.
Today, I am grateful for signs, and appreciating the lesson of embracing loss.