After Corey's accident the first week of June, I spent the next month in California, immersing in her life. I slept in her bed, shared the large ranch house with her fiance' who slept upstairs, and his sister who slept downstairs in the room next to mine.... Corey's room. Corey's bed. Corey's sheets and pillows. After three weeks I did change the sheets but it took that long before I was ready to give up her smell. I wore Corey's clothes, I put her earrings in my ears and her necklaces around my neck. I communed with her friends every week. Nearly every day, I hiked three miles up the hill and back, to the place where she slid a little ways off a gentle embankment.
"It doesn't look like I pictured it," one of her friends said, as I led her up there. You look at the golden mounds that slope gently towards the valley, with lush vineyards below, and you can't believe that a person would slip off and lose their heartbeat on such a peaceful, nonthreatening place. To those who ask, how did Corey Considine die? I would say first that Corey is still with us, and ask you to look for her inside your own heart.
At the physical level, I can tell you that her fiance' and one of his best friends and I went over every blade of grass, examining the tracks and trying to figure it out. Corey wasn't speeding. She was sober. She had enjoyed a wonderful week of classes at the healing arts school she attended. She had given healing touch to dozens of people that week. The last thing she did that night was mentor and encourage a friend for a half hour on the phone, then text the young woman five inspirational messages. The last text was to their friend to thank him for watering the garden while she was in school that week. Corey and her fiance' shared a deep, mature, soul-filled love and were to be married in June, 2014. Every facet of Corey's life was a field of rosebuds about to bloom.
Maybe it was too close to sunset to head up the hill that night, but it was a place that Corey drove several times a week for two years in their ATV for a 360-view of the glorious sunset. All we can figure is that she was turning around and slid -- just about twenty gently-sloping yards -- off the embankment. But the thing flipped and landed on top of her. Her heart stopped beating instantly. The thing is, many people have had much worse accidents and walked away.
One day as I walked the hill trying to come to terms with it all, knowing that if I am to keep my sanity I must find acceptance, I heard the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
As her fiance' and I said to each other with our tear-streaked faces, I would have given my life in an instant in exchange that she might live, but no one asked me. I cannot change this, that I know. And so I pray with everything in me for the serenity to accept this unwelcome change. The courage to see it as a new beginning of some kind, the wisdom to believe that if I keep breathing into the eternal continuum, if I keep my hopes up, I will find Corey where she lives now.
Thanks to my friend Erica Rainhart for her art that I use in this post. I turn my full attention to the eternal time-space continuum.