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  • Cliff used to talk about the bardos. He read about them in the Tibetan Book of The Dead and was obsessed with them. The bardos, the intermediate stage between death and rebirth. In his schizophrenic rap, he talked of travelling through the bardos in a dream state, a nightmare state where his spirit was freed from his body wandering through the seven bardos until reincarnation. He was loud about it. He was angry about it.The bardos frightened Cliff. They frightened me.

    Cliff had a stroke at the age of forty-five. That first night, the doctor told us to pull the plug on the ventilator. He said that Cliff would never regain consciousness. It seemed too fast. We were in shock. We needed to talk to each other. We needed to understand what he was telling us. By morning, Cliff was breathing without the respirator. We had waited too long.

    He was in a coma for two years. Wake him or take him, God. I asked it so many times. I watched his eyes moving under his eyelids. His hands would open and close. I had the sense he was travelling.

    Finally, after two long years of sitting in the nursing home, talking to him, praying he couldn't hear us - praying that he didn't know what was happening, Cliff passed away.

    I wonder if his spirit knew that this would be his fate? I wonder if he knew that the bardos was where he was bound? I wonder if that knowledge is what drove him mad?


    image: flyingtigerscomics.blogspot.com
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