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The new journey, with sparkle

Disclaimer: The author acknowledges it is good to have a house in the actual sense. But in the context of grief, a house can mean many different things.

Cancer journey co-pilot's log star date 9.29.23. Fifteen days have passed. In that time I kissed my wife's cold forehead goodbye, picked up my pug Cooper's ashes, and discovered just how hard it can be to breathe in a house that is just a house now, the house of my home, the house of the world, the house of a dead future. Without my co-pilot, I have no destination, no course, no voice to sing to me. And yet I know the journey is unavoidable and hardly a new phenomenon in the history of humans developing attachments to each other. I hate that word sometimes, journey...

Even so, I like to think my wife is having much more fun on her new journey, making stained-glass mosaics from actual stardust, Sticking her tongue out at me from the green of windswept leaves. Telling me she has so, so many projects all around her. As in life, I imagine ethereal Kara will keep starting new projects (in between random dance breaks) before her previous undertaking is complete. But she will get what she wants done, when she wants it done, without time, tumors, or people weighing her down with scarcity and chaos. And whatever she comes up with, her handiwork will shine in moments when we need it most. That's what I tell myself. That is my hope, now that my hopes for her corporeal continuation are over. That is my hope in a house that is just a house now, a receptacle of ash and silence. No destination. No course. No song.

This is still my wife's blog. It will live on as long as I do. And beyond, if I can make that happen. It is not my intention to take what Kara has accomplished here and claim it as my own. But I feel there is much to write about, judging by the expressions of confusion, sadness, and overpowering grief I am seeing in those who knew her and even in those who knew of her. In the coming weeks, as consistently as I can, I aim to write more about her story, her legacy, her grace in the final weeks, as well as share some plans to keep her spirit alive in a house of a world full of far too many sick bays and not enough singing.

In the meantime, here is what I saw in my living room just hours after I kissed Kara goodbye in the little chapel in the mortuary. I told her to sparkle on, as if she really needed such a prompt.

Until next time.

--Charles Austin Muir

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Chanel Pichaco
Chanel Pichaco
Oct 01, 2023


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