Bunny died on Friday afternoon, January 25. It's still hard for me to think of what to write, but I want to write something for all of you who have been in contact with us, providing Bunny with so many kind words of support and encouragement. I want to share with all of you how Bunny died, because she died magnificently.
As some of you may know Bunny had a lot of physical problems these past few years - first arthritis, then diabetes, and then about a year and a half ago she also found out that she has cancer. She did traditional Chinese medicine and even chemotherapy for a while, but finally decided to stop all her treatment when the doctor told her she also found (via ultrasound) a rapidly growing tumor in her main artery and that it was already obstructing about 90% of the blood-flow from her heart to her body. Shortly after that she survived a severe episode of congestive heart failure. The emergency room doctor told us she had no time left, that death could come at any moment. This was over six months ago.
When we found out Bunny had cancer I just cried and cried, but she said to me, "Don't be afraid. I'm going to show you how to die."
Bunny was calm until the very end. Even as her body became weaker - "wasting away" the doctors called it - her spirit seemed to steadily become larger and more powerful. There were so many times that Bunny was in a lot of discomfort or pain but she never complained even once. She was so strong. We spent the last few months enjoying every moment together, working as hard as possible. Now everything is in order, and the Pinky Show can continue, even without Bunny.
Three days before she died she began fasting - no food or water. I made a soft bed for her in a cardboard box and she laid down in it, and for the last three days she didn't move much. I told her everything I wanted to say. She didn't say anything. And when she was ready, she left. She left so quietly for a moment I wasn't sure if she was gone or if she was just sleeping. As always, she did everything exactly the way she wanted.
Looking back I guess I can see now that Bunny had been preparing for death her whole life. Sometimes she'd say, "We come into this life alone and we will leave alone." I used to feel a little bit lonely and afraid when she'd say things like that. But now she's gone and I am realizing that she wasn't trying to make me afraid, she was just trying to move me towards preparing for death too. I wish she had told me exactly how to die, or how to face death without fear. When I realize how far away I am from understanding these things, and how much suffering she endured, I think Bunny made herself into a good example because she loved us so much.
Kim and I covered Bunny in a blanket and we took her in the box to her doctor, Dr. Wendy, who took care of Bunny's cremation. A few days later we got a telephone call that we could return to pick up Bunny's ashes. When we got there we were shocked to see that they had put Bunny in a tiny metal can. Bunny used to be so big, now she is in a little can. Somehow I don't like it, I think when I am feeling stronger I will try to find something better to put Bunny in.
It's so quiet around here now. I find myself feeling sad and missing her so much, but when I think about how she lived and died, I feel nothing but happiness and respect for her, my friend.