Thursday, June 30, 2011

Turning Point (posted by Andee)

Over last weekend, Kirstin and I had many difficult, and wonderful, conversations.  About her eagerness to spend several hours with each of her friends before the end, vs. the reality that she probably only had a week or two of "good time" left.  About not wanting to die at all, and yet being ready to let go.  About the fact that as her breathing got worse, she would eventually have to choose between taking enough drugs to be comfortable, and being able to be awake and alert.  About her love for each of us, and for God, and her trust in the next life, even as she felt all the terror of letting go of this one.

By Tuesday morning, she was struggling with every breath.  And when the Hospice nurse came, she made the choice to start taking morphine to ease her breathing, even though the combination of morphine and drugs to control its side effects would knock her out almost all the time, and leave her loopy and drugged during the moments when she was awake.  It was not a choice she made lightly; she had so hoped to have more time with us, and did not expect this to happen just hours after we had talked about the possibility.

Yesterday, a group gathered here to celebrate the Eucharist with her, and to anoint her with the wonderful words written by her friend Margaret Watson:

"Thank God for your eyes which saw the world in Love; for your ears which heard the Word in Love; for your mouth which spoke truth in Love; for your shoulders which bore the burdens of the unloved for Love's sake; for your hands which worked unhesitatingly in Love; for your feet which walked under bridges and among the poor and suffering in Love; for your heart undone and remade without fear, for Love's sake; in the Name of the One whose Name is unutterable except in Love incarnate... the Name we all share through the imagination and work of the Spirit, in concert with the One who spoke Love in the very beginning..."

She woke to greet each person, to smile, to hold her hand over her heart in thanksgiving as I relayed message after message of love to her.

Since then, the changes have continued to accelerate, and the Hospice staff say that she may die sometime today, definitely not more than a day or two.

Another friend, Carol Bower Foote, wrote a fairytale for her, a story in which Kirstin had always secretly wanted to be a butterfly.  Holding up the longing to God, God replied, "Your choice." And, in the end, when her soul got weary, and her shoes almost too heavy to kick off into the grass, she chose...

"She surrendered into the rich, silken luxury of this pool of color and let herself sink.  From deep within the sea of shifting hues, she felt herself begin to rise, floating and becoming lighter as she rose.  She broke the surface with barely a ripple, nearly blinded by the bright summer light.  Then, to her amazement, lighter than air, she continued to rise, above the grasses, the wildflowers, the trees.  She became aware of herself at the center of an almost sacred rhythm, surrounded by the brilliant, translucent color of butterfly wings.  She was whole!  She was herself!  She was totally free!


She felt as if her wings filled the sky…but gossamer light…the breeze teasing and tickling her bare toes.  Suddenly, the sky was filled with other colorful creatures inviting her to dance.  From within the joy which overwhelmed her, she felt rising from deep within her being, the unmistakeable light bell-like peel of laughter."

The time of turning is at hand.  Join with me in praying her into Joy.
--Andee Zetterbaum

129 comments:

Padre Mickey said...

Praying for you both.

it's margaret said...

Fly dear sister --fly!

I join you in prayer.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Joining with all the others. Lifting you both up high.

earthchick said...

Prayers for you both.

Suzer said...

Prayers ascending for you both. Sending you both so much love. I know Kirstin will have the most beautiful wings heaven has ever been graced with.

Sue said...

Prayers ascending....

Linda said...

Just shared this blog on a website where Kirstin (known there was geoduck) has many friends.

Kirstin, may your journey home be a joyful one.

Pat (Trinity) said...

We release Kirsten into the arms of
Jesus.

Songbird said...

I've shared this with RevGalBlogPals. Praying for Kirstin and all who love her.

Ana said...

Andee, you are so beautiful and chock full of grace.
Kirstin,
"When you get there, everyone will already be there, and they'll all be singing." - Rachel Pollack

LKT said...

Go in peace.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all. Ruth

Beryl said...

Praying for you both and wishing you God's blessings.

Ann said...

letting go -- with love

Renée said...

peace to you both - thank you for sharing Andee.

Caminante said...

I love you both. Lay hands on Kirstin for me with all the love you have. xo xo xo.

Jane said...

No words. Just love.

Darren Miner+ said...

Kirstin and Andee, you are both in my prayers. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
--Darren Miner+

rani said...

it's happening so soon. it's been such an honor to share any of this journey with you both. much love to you both.

kehf said...

Andee, I'm sorry Kirstin is dying and leaving. I hope you both are supported during this time and in times to come. Remember to take care of yourself.

Tom Jackson said...

Amen. Peace. Amen.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Prayers ascending from Pasadena!

Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski said...

Prayers coming from the faculty and staff at CDSP.

Marion Grau said...

Safe Passage! And many prayers.

susan s. said...

Love to you both! And Prayers rising on butterflies' wings!

DeborahG said...

You are both supported by so many prayers and so much love, including mine.

Lisa said...

May the butterfly lift, lift,and lift further still - higher to a place where songs of birds, breezes of her wings, and her joyful laughter fill the world below into a place of continued hope and peace. May we always be touched by her mark on this world.

Andee, thank you and know we continue to be here in the coming days. With love to you both.
Lisa

Nancy Nyberg said...

Love and astonishment.

jill said...

Andee, we have been praying for both of you in church these last few weeks. Prayers for you both now during this season of Kirsten's life. Thank you so much for the good you do.

nancy.johnson said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. I am praying for you in these difficult and precious days. God bless!

Jane R said...

Weeping, watching, waking with you. "Praying her into joy."

Malcolm+ said...

Give rest, O Christ,
to your servants with your saints,
where sorrow and pain are no more,
neither sighing,
but life everlasting.

You only are immortal,
the creator and maker of all;
and we are mortal,
formed of the earth,
and to earth shall we return.
For so did you ordain
when you created me,
saying,
You are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

All of us go down to the dust;
yet even at the grave
we make our song:

Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!

Give rest, O Christ,
to your servants with your saints,
where sorrow and pain are no more,
neither sighing,
but life everlasting.

Janis Bland said...

I have not followed this till very recently, but I am with you both. I am revisiting my father's last hours, so very similar. I grieve with you and yet rejoice for the eternal life awaiting. God bless you both.

Terri said...

Another RevGalPal praying here, too.

Karen+ said...

Peace before you,
peace behind you,
peace under your feet.
Peace within you,
peace over you,
let all around you be peace.

Many prayers ascending for you both.

Fran said...

There are no words, I send my love and every prayer for you both.

God_Guurrlll said...

May God welcome you with open arms and bright light and know that when you are in God's presence God will say, "Well done good and faithful servant."

Love from another RevGalPal and fellow servant to the homeless. Many prayers and thanks for the work you have done.

Gods speed.

Catherine said...

Praying with you, Kirstin into joy eternal, as the company of heaven prepares the way for her, to life everlasting.

Praying for you as you journey with her to the point of parting...

Sheila McJilton said...

May the angels come to greet her as she enters Paradise, and fold the wings of comfort and strength around you, Andee.

Jim said...

Prayers ascending, tears falling. Fly away from the pain up to the light and await us all there.

jimB

+clumber said...

My God be with you both at this time...

clumber

Mark Lodico said...

Kirsten and Andee:
May you both be held in such love that you have no words for it, this side.

mark Lodico

Lin said...

Love and the peace of God to both of you...

Susan Kay Gilbert said...

Dear Andee and Kirstin: I have shared your entry with our Threshold Choir sisters, some of whom sang for and with Kirstin at the National Gathering and to spend time with her. We are all blessed by her being here, and in her leaving for the next phase of this journey. I feel fortunate to have shared the time I did with her and to be a part of her life. Blessings to you both.

+clumber said...

"May God be with you both at this time" is what I meant...

Paws are not made to type with, I guess...

Anonymous said...

Heaven is where friends no longer have to say goodbye to one another.

Godspeed.

meg

Bishop Laura said...

Oh, Kirsten, dear one. I will offer the Eucharist for you tonight, that you may be surrounded with love and peace as you step into the unknown. Thank you for easing my fear of death by sharing your process with us all.

May the angels lead you into paradise, may the martyrs come to welcome you, and take you to the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem. May the choirs of angels welcome you, where Lazarus is poor no longer. May you have eternal rest; may you have eternal rest.

And eternal joy.

jouettelove said...

love

DeltaCinderella said...

I just wish I could stop crying long enough to post something eloquent.

Kirstin: we will miss your incredible kindness and generosity, and the example you set by truly living your baptismal vows. On a more personal note, I will miss your wicked sense of humor. ("Nerds together, forever!!!!")

Andee, you have set the friendship bar higher than I can ever hope to reach. The gift you've given Kirstin, to allow her to transition at home, is one that will not be forgotten.

May God be with you both.

PseudoPiskie said...

Go in peace, Kirstin. And please give Saint Laika and all our other quad friends each a scritch and a pat for us when you see them. I'm sure they are waiting patiently to welcome you. {{{Kirstin}}}

{{{{{{Andee}}}}}}

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Waiting. Praying. Watching. All in sure and certain hope of the resurrection.

Pastor Julia said...

Peace to Kirstin and all who surround her. May you receive in joy that kind of wholeness that only comes from God. God, solidify the memories of these moments in the minds of those who experience them, so that they may be able to draw comfort from them for years to come.

Maggie said...

Peace be with Kirstin as she returns to God and to Andee and to all those K leaves behind.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Go gently into the light, dear one, and rest in God's nearer presence.

Albert said...

Praying for you both.

Brian said...

Kirstin, enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!

Andee, may your saintly friendship sustain you in the coming time.

Prayers unceasing from Florida.

Kay & Sarah said...

Prayers and love for you both. I will never say or sing "alleluia" without thinking of Kirsten.

IT said...

Go in peace dear Kirstin

Jude ssf said...

Go to the Lord who loves you more than you can possibly know and be welcomed into those loving arms and hear him say, "Well done good and faithful servant, come receive your reward".

Jude ssf

suzanne said...

May the road rise to meet her as she walks to meet her God.

Peace and strength to you Andee.

Kathy said...

Peace and strength to Kirstin and Andee.

Love and Hugs coming West from PA.

Debbie of Boise said...

Angles surround you Kirstin, Andee, right now. The prayers and love of hundreds and hundreds are focused on you both. May you both experience in your own way God's deep peace, love and comfort. Teresa and I continue in our prayers for you both, sending our love through cyberspace and in the Spirit. More, much more than ever, peace be with you all.

Bridget said...

Praying K into Joy and praying for A to find Comfort, Wisdom and Peace. Much love to both of you.

Robin said...

Peace.

betsy said...

Prayers, love and thanks to you. Peace and rest be with you and the cloud of of witnesses who love you and will welcome you home.

moseyingthrough said...

"And you will go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills shall break into song before you and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

Praying for you,

net

Beck said...

I have no words. Only love. So very, very much love.

The Great Askini said...

God be with both of you.

MaryC said...

Prayers and peace for you both. And lots and lots of love.

Mary

Laura Jackson said...

Oh so quickly things transform.
Sending so much love to you both.

Diane said...

oh, praying. God be with you both.

river song said...

tears, prayers, hugs, love...

Joan Slepian said...

Love, peace, and prayers for you both.

Laura said...

"I'm gonna fly someday!" Go with love, sweet woman. Peace to you, Andee.

Jane Ellen+ said...

Praying...
Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Kirstin. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive her into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

susankay said...

I filled our hummingbird feeders this afternoon and three hummers came to sit on my fingers and I thought of Kirstin -- butterflies are not the only jeweled wonders to awake her coming and welcome her. Prayers and love to both of you and, Andee, please let us love help and hold you after Kirstin has died. You also glow with a heavenly light. Let us know what we can do for you.

Mzungutatu said...

Peace, joy, and love until we meet.

deacondort said...

May angels wing surround you and lift you up as butterflies kiss you gently and may all the saints welcome you in peace and joy,
we will pray for you an Andee during our Benedictine Week at the Ranch.

Dorothy

Robert P Morrison said...

God's love and joy support and lift up all of you!

Louise said...

Love, more love and wonderment.....

Lisa Fox said...

Keeping vigil with you from here in Missouri.

We have walked with Kirstin a long time. But, oh! this is coming on too fast. I am weeping. For you, Andee, and for Kirstin ... and for this whole community who loves you both.

I thank you deeply for taking time to let us know what is happening. When every moment is precious, you are kind to let us know what is happening, and I am deeply grateful.

jw said...

Watching with you dear Kirstin and with Christ. "All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well." Watch with Christ and Rest in Peace.

Kayko said...

Peace to and with you, Kirsten. Andee, thank you so much for posting, and so grateful for the gift of your friendship to Kirsten that has tangentially touched mine.

Karen said...

Thanks so much for keeping us all informed. Kirstin has touched so many lives, and her presence online and in the real world will be sorely missed. Praying for peace for both of you.

Jemma said...

love and prayers from a revgal in New Zealand

Carmel said...

My love, thoughts, and prayers are with you both. Thank you, Andee, for ... well, for everything you are to Kirstin, everything you've done for her, and all that you've shared with us. She's been an inspiration to me in so many ways, not least in the gutsy way she's walked this road. I love her dearly, and can hardly imagine the world without her in it. It will surely be poorer for the loss of her wisdom and kindness. Please kiss her on the cheek for me, and let her know that I carry her each and every day in my heart, and always will.

JCF said...

Now let your servant depart in peace...

...to her rich reward! Kirstin, the homecoming awaits! Alleluia!

{{{Andee}}}

Vinegar Martini said...

Andee - my thoughts and prayers are with you and with Kirstin. She touched my heart - you warmed my soul with everything you have done for her!! Peace to you both - love to you both - strength to you right now. Much love!

Anne McK said...

May the angels lead you to paradise, dear Kirstin.

Kathie+ said...

You are both in my thoughts and prayers as Kirstin begins her journey and the next stage of her Being.
Peace be with you. Blessings and love....

Anonymous said...

Continuous outpouring of prayers and love,
John Prescott

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this, Andee. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Valerie

Dora said...

Watching and praying. Shalom

Harry Allagree said...

Peace, peace, & ever more peace! I hold you both in my heart.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Praying with you both...

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

claire said...

In prayer with you both. Holding you in the light...

Anonymous said...

Andee and Kirstin,
May you both know God's loving care for you. My prayers are with you in this transition. May we all look forward to reunion. Harriet

FHS said...

Kirstin and Andee,
You are in my thoughts and prayers each day. Continuing in prayer for you both - praying with others that you continue to feel held in the light and love of God. Encounters with a; butterfly - light but treasured presence, if blessed by an encounter with one , golden winged Kirsten - you've blessed us all. may that peace return to you

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Kirstin and Andee,

You have been so gracious and loving through this difficult time. May the love and prayers of all you have touched and changed become tangible to you both in this difficult time.

We will carry you in our hearts and those we touch will be gifted by the blessings you have given to us.

Go softly, Kirstin.

Love and blessings

Anonymous said...

may peace be upon you both.

Jane said...

Praying and holding you both as Kirstin travels towards light and a pain free place x

David@Montreal said...

Love only Love- beyond our wildest imagining
bon retour ma soeur bien-aimée

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Thinking of you and wishing you peace.

klady said...

Kirstin and Andee,

Thinking of you and praying that you are uplifted by the many prayers, words, music, and loving arms surrounding you from near and far.

Peace,

Kathy

Tracie Holladay said...

Sending thoughts of love & peace from Florida. (((Andee & Kirstin)))

thevalerina said...

Andee,

What a sweet and pure way to share on Kirsten's behalf, this the final walk on the journey we will all share in. Thank-you for your legacy Kirsten. May you be enfolded in peace, comfort and joy.

Valerie

SHC (aka Gator) said...

Goodbye, my dear Ducks. Peace and strength to you, Andee.

Mary Beth said...

God bless you sweet Kirstin and dear Andee. I am praying with you.

Jenn said...

While the light of your physical presence may be extinguised, Kirstin, the flame you lit will burn brightly in the hearts of so many. We never met in person but you touched my life. Each butterfly will remind me of you. Thoughts and prayers are with both you and Andee.

kathrynzj said...

Fly...

gumbiecat said...

Prayers for you both.

EHC said...

In Paradisum deducant te Angeli;
in tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres,
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem
Chorus Angelorum te suscipiat,
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere,
aeternam habeas requiem.

(http://www.tsrocks.com/s/slechtvalk_texts/in_paradisum.html)

OmPowered said...

Love & joy...love & joy.

xo ~E

Wendy said...

Praying for you -- all good things,
Sending love to you -- to be comforted,
Awed by your grace and faith and courage,
Confident that you are beginning a miraculous journey.
You have made a wonderful, marvelous difference in this world, my friend -- You were Kirstin! What more could God have asked?

eileen said...

Fly and fly and fly...and be free.

With God's blessing on this journey as in all. With all my love to you both

Eileen

Lynda said...

All is well...
All is well....
And all will be well.....

You are dropping your body, for it has become too small for your soul. Celebrate your soul freedom as you dance into your eternal wholeness! Blessings and love now and forever...
Lynda

Suz said...

Kirstin and Andee, you bring God closer to each of us through your willingness to share. Kirstin, indeed, God is pleased with your life ministry and joy immeasurable awaits. Fly, sweet butterfly, into the mission field of glory.

Lisa Brodoff said...

Sending all love and light your way, Andee and Kirstin...

Joanna Hollis said...

Love before you
Love behind you
Love under your feet
Love within you
Love over you
Let all around you be Love

romelover said...

Flights of angels sing you to to your rest and surround you both with care, comfort and the sure knowledge of the rightness of your lives.

Margaret's prayer said it all; Carol's fairytale painted a picture for us.

You have both been such great witnesses.

Peace--

chrissie

Alcibiades said...

Thinking of you all and praying.

Love be with you.

Jack said...

Love rises in ineffable softness and comfort. I hold you in my arms until we are together again. Every song I play, I play for you.

Your personal harpist . . . love always. Jack

Larkspur said...

Wings to the summerlands, Kirstin. Wings to the summerlands.

Andee, thank you so very much.

Mary Clara said...

Love, always Love, only Love.
God speed, dear Kirstin.

Caminante said...

Kirstin no longer is looking at the rabbit hole but soaring, flying, with laughter and bare feet. God bless you, Kirstin, I love you and will look forward to seeing you when my time comes.

Andee, my heart goes out to you as you have been in that liminal place between heaven and earth. You have been with the saints. May you find loving arms to hold you tonight, tomorrow and in the days to come.

Denise said...

Go gentle into that good night. Smile at the dying of the light. You won't read this, Kirstin, but I think you'll know anyway.

Kathy said...

May love lift you and wrap you in her arms.
I am praying for you now, sweet friend.

nina michelle said...

My prayers go with you all