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Crazy Like That: A Story of Defiance and Emancipation

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

Introduction to the Death of Picante Saga

Cancer journey co-pilot's log star date 10.9.23. In the spirit of the captain, I want to try an experiment. I want to write a log within the ship's log. The log that I probably would have kept if my duties had not consumed me through the summer that was not a summer, but a months-long firefight with surgical gloves and bleach wipes. The summer of eczema burning up my shirtsleeves and a thousand-yard stare popping from my skull sockets...

Car crashes... shipping delays... the naked mysteries of peristalsis... bilocation... astral journeys... coconut water conspiracies... Jaws... Operation: Apple Watch... and grape soda... the carbonated ecstasies of Welch's grape soda... a summer of shamanic gymnastics, terrifying texts, and friends coming together with so much love and willingness to be insulted by the Queen for the price of a plane ticket. This was my summer, a summer of horror and hilarity and self-discovery and community. Which, if you've followed Kara's blog much, you will recognize as recurring themes in her chronicle of adventuring through cancer... or rather, doing cancer her way, as she put it in her Instagram bio. Straight. Down. The line.

I want to recount our last summer together as a serial essay about how Kara lived her philosophy to the very end. She never thought of anything she did as giving up, but as shooting for something, even something as frighteningly complex as leaving her body. And when Kara went on a mission, whether this took the form of a clinical trial, a chemo break, or an air guitar performance when she could barely get to her feet, she dove into it with unbounded determination and wholeheartedness. This courage, this resilience, in my mind, overshadows the loss of her not being in this world. It has to, because she will never stop living so long as a thought sparks between our ears that we are capable of so much more than we were taught to believe, and that we can get through this, we can always aim for another thing and another thing.

We can be crazy like that.

Yeah, Crazy Like That... a story of defiance and emancipation.

May it inspire us together.

Until next time.

--Charles Austin Muir

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3 comentarios

12 oct 2023

very, very few humans - too few - get the chance to die a good death, a peaceful death, a dignified death. the fact that, from what it sounds like, Kara took on this challenge after knowing she fought her illness as hard as she possibly could and gave it her all, is stunningly unique and is a beacon of hope for those of us who have watched too many slip away after too much suffering, after too much denial and avoidance, after hours or days or weeks of unconscious slipping away slowly and painfully. there is no right or wrong way to die, but doing it her way sounds very very Kara to me.

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Contestando a

Thank you! I agree there is no right or wrong way to die. Kara herself used to question when someone would lament how a loved one died. Maybe it was the perfect way for them to go, she once wrote. That is, from a social standpoint, why I want to go back to last summer in her blog and retrace her steps as she went from aiming for a full recovery (as she always did) to aiming for a transformation (in her weird, super-intuitive Kara way). She did death her way, and in the process she brought people together and we did incredible things, not just caregiving, but life-enriching.

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Chanel Pichaco
Chanel Pichaco
12 oct 2023


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