A Year of Firsts

I wrote this poem to honor Marshall Nechtow after he died.

When I will sign a DNR

I’ve given this a lot of thought. I’d like to think I’m brave enough to wait until I’m given a fatal diagnosis, backed up by a second opinion. Or if I were given a diagnosis that would cause me to be a burden on those I love most in the world. I’m sure there will be disagreement, but I really do want to be able to love and hug. If I can’t love and hug, pull the proverbial plug. I want a DNR at that point.

How about you? Under what circumstances would you like to have a DNR, if at all?

A Willow’s Lament

A poem about death:

Lose track of the wind

On the mirror surfaced lake

Christening the sky

With clear intent

Where is the coffin

But sky and earth

The heavens, the ornaments

And yet in the kitchen,

Where life is rebirthed

There gathered the women

Pottery deep into breakfast

Reassuring one another

The calm center of the maelstrom

Change the only constant

There is light in the darkness;

The light in chaos

So is life with death

Born when it was time to be born

Die when it’s time to die

The movement, the process,

Where the repose of peace with time is apparent

It follows the order of things

Neither joy nor sorrow can take hold

Yet in Spring, herald of rebirth,

It feels like Winter

Like the depths of the ocean

Have suddenly become thick air

Upon this fleeting dream-world

Dawn is breaking

The trees bedeck themselves

The willow boughs in comprehension

The direction of love is not lost

But the deeper treasure of sweetened time

Will be its own reward


Originally posted at: https://maremartell.com/2021/09/04/purification/

Perfumed purification

anointed my skin

fragrant with absolution

My brethren

Blessed sisters;

Heart-bound lovers


My blood baptized

in the cistern of love

Forgiven to be human

The elation of redemption

damp against my brow

Dancing in broad circles

Breathless with abandon

the release of blissful beauty

Death Doula

I first became intrigued with death and dying about the same time I decided I wanted to write eulogies for a living. From there, and a failed business later, I trusted that I’d find my calling to the vocation where I feel the most at ease. I became a professional PCA (Personal Care Assistant). I’d found a way to serve that also paid me money. I thought I was home.

I discovered Going With Grace through a free webinar that talked about what a death doula is and what the relationship is with death and dying. I’d been through several rather rough deaths; My attention was caught.

I began reading about NEDA (National End-of-life Doula Alliance), Going With Grace, even the University of Vermont which has a certificate program. I took another webinar with a friend of mine in tow to share my discovery of my spirit. I think I’ve found my way home. But, who knows what wilderness may arrive on my doorstep? Was that the Universe I just heard laughing?