This morning I drove to the overlook above Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierras of California to sit for a sunrise with Pam. I find that sunrise is one of the most beautiful and Spiritual times of the day and especially an hour before when the sky starts to lighten – the divine silence before life begins it’s daily rustle and bustle. I never used to rise early, but now I try never to miss a sunrise.
Last night I received a text message from a friend who had just found out about Pam’s passing. She said something to the effect that Pam and I were never really that close, possibly insinuating that her death is less painful, possibly than my mother’s, the first to pass in April of 15 and I thought the most difficult in the string of 4 deaths in 5 years, or Barb’s the most shocking although we all knew it was Barb’s choice and wish not to live longer in what she called her “shit can of a body” she was dealt in this life. Was/is it possibly less difficult than my father’s who I also had what I consider a love/not so love relationship with? No, for some reason, Pam’s death is the worst by far. I’ll try to explain as such because as a lot of you know I have really not been able to speak about it, only to a few who I think can understand the UNSPEAKABLE grief I am experiencing…
About Pam and I… We were born 6 years and 2 days apart, both Pisces in Astrology which would indicate that we might be best friends. It was not destined as such. Arriving 6 years after Barb, Mary and Pam who were all fairly consecutive, I believe I stole the limelight from Pam. I remember her being very sweet to me as a child and pretty much up until my teens where the turning point ensued. More in a minute on that. It is quite true that Pam and I were not very close at all for most of our lives, as a matter of fact there have been times in my life when we have not spoken at all for long stretches of time. Even though we had only spoken a couple of times for necessities only since I left NY for the West on 1/1, I did write her a card (no coincidences) 3 weeks ago that asked for peace, in honor of our beloved parents mostly. And I enclosed a little peace sign sticker that I carry with me and often hand out to strangers when traveling. As much as I didn’t like Pam sometimes, I certainly did love her and made every attempt to help her in her struggles with her mental health over the years.
Pam was a very strong personality, hard-headed and strong willed like my father. However, the “thing” that separated us the most? Jesus. Yes THE good Lord.
When I was in my teens, I think about 14-15, Pam became born again. And like many staunch born agains, they profess to know THE way to heaven and are relentless in their preaching. Nope, those beliefs are NOT for me… not one little bit. In my upcoming book I talk about how I had a terrible bicycle accident when I was 18 and how my neighbors scooped me up and drove me up Parker road to my parent’s home where I was met at the sight of my swollen and bleeding head with tears by my father. My mom and Pam rushed me to the MAC and Pam was in the backseat, while my head above my right eye swollen to the size of a grapefruit, was hearing the words being yelled from the back seat “God’s trying to tell you something…” I told my mother to pull the car over and get her out before I killed her! That was one of many stories that I had – not fond memories of Pam or her Born Again-ism. The gift of having Pam the staunch Christian in my life, as well as a few friends who I know swear by the “Jesus is the way” slogan, I have learned ever so painfully over the last decades that whatever you think, feel or believe about religion or Spirituality is just fine with me, as long as you don’t try to push your beliefs on me. Personally, I subscribe to my beloved and blunt Barb’s slogan for the “Church of the Almighty Girlfriend” — “Don’t be a dick! Just be a good person and do the next right thing!”
As many of her friends reading this know, Pam had a heart of gold. She was very generous, a very hard worker and would often go out of her way to help another, friend or stranger. Pam was my father’s favorite. She looked most like him out of us 4 girls. They had a special connection with one another. Pam also had a great sense of humor, much of what we didn’t see a lot the last decade or so of her life. After Pam’s marriage fell apart in 2009, she did as well. She had, like many these days as they were prescribed like candy, a Benzodiazepine addiction. She suffered from severe anxiety and depression. And the benzos did not help. She is my second sister that benzos contributed to death. Barb also had ongoing scripts for them. And as many of you may or may not know, they almost took me as well in 2016 until I decided to completely clean up my act. It was incredibly difficult, but I came through it all. Today, I am proud to say that I am drug and alcohol free. I do think that God, whoever he or she is, would not have given me all this tragedy if I was still using because I would have been casualty 5. Now alcohol and pharmaceutical free for a fairly long stretch, I just love being back in California where I can enjoy a bit of the NATURAL recreational and creative medicine from time to time in the good ole form of cannabis.
In a conversation yesterday with one of my Goddess sisters she asked how I was doing and I said that I knew that Pam’s death had shattered me into a million pieces and that I could never quite see myself putting them back together. Some of those pieces I will need of course to be able to function in “society” which many of you know I have a great disdain for anyway. I don’t know what anything looks like on the other side of this. I just know that I need time and space in my ultimate momma. And I have found a great place in the Eastern Sierras where I can do just that, take all the time I need to heal before moving FORWARD.
Pam’s cause of death is yet to be determined. We suspect it was heart related. Although everyone in Pam’s life of late knew that she was suffering from Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome, her death was definitely not suicide because her beliefs dictated that suicide takes one straight to hell. I hope she found out differently when that swarm of angels came down and swept her up the minute she passed and shielded her eyes so she would not have to see the horror of when her body was found days later. ;-( Yes Pam, Barb is in heaven too! Please know that we are all at peace knowing that you are finally at peace with the/your Lord. You begged and pleaded for him to take you in your times of great suffering and I do believe he finally felt it was your time. Rest with the angels Pam. REST WITH THE ANGELS NOW. You will be missed by many. GOD BLESS YOU! Namasté