August 14, 1969 – April 23, 2018
(April 23, 2018, sorting it out)
I met Raquel in the Winter of 1988, and have been actively ‘in love’ with her every day ever since. We were together nearly every day and night for 30 years. She was there for me when my eyes fell apart. I have been there for th last 14 years since a bad prescription drug killed her kidneys, and for the last 2 years when another prescription mishap brought necrotic tissue damage (gangrene) to her legs. As the skin, tissue, muscle and nerves has been being eaten away, the strongest person I’ve ever known has been crying and screaming most of her waking hours. I have been in charge of everything, trying to hold a sinking ship together…and unable to do anything but slow the sinking. She became completely immobile several days ago. Missed dialysis treatments further building up toxicity in her blood. I called medics Monday morning to take her to hospital, and it was decided a very simple surgery might remove enough necrotic tissue to give her body a break to focus on other healing. They put her under. Her heart stopped. Her heart did not start again. My wife died today. I held her hand for a long time after she died; I have not been able to touch her not even hold her hands in years for more than a minute because the pain causes her to cry. She is not hurting anymore. 30 years together almost every day and night, a bad surgery, and I am left holding my wife until she grew cold. But she is not hurting anymore.
~Written for the Altar erected at The Evergreen State College
Things are difficult now as we feel the loss of our Champion. Raquel was always a shining example of the principles she believed in. Always warm, patient, insightful, clever with a sense of delightful silliness, and strong, She inspired others and helped us find our own strength and power to know that we can make differences for the betterment of our world. She never faltered. Raquel took great efforts to conceal her own chronic pain so as to not be too distracting to those around her, so that she could help them with whatever issues were at hand, when she could have been asking for a bit of help from others who would have given it gladly, but she did not want to distract from her mission. She was selfless, she was True, she was there for all of us always and in all ways. I take comfort in hearing that those who knew Raquel are coming together to share memories of her, and to honor her spirit. Our Raquel was Love; she loved us all and inspired and nurtured love wherever she was. Love grows and brightens the darkness. As Raquel spread her light, others found their own light and added to the brilliance. I want to offer my sincerest thanks to those of you who gave your Love and Friendship to Raquel, making her life’s struggles a bit lighter.
There are no ‘right words’ for this kind of thing. We can only take our faltering and lacking words and share them, for it is by doing this that the truth and love behind the words can be felt and heal and carry us forward to make our world a better place..
We’re working to establish an ongoing scholarship in Raquel’s name. She worked her whole life to help people find their power and hone their skills to improve their own lives as well as the rest of our world. We need $26,000 to establish an ongoing scholarship to be awarded to new recipients each year. If we cannot reach this amount, we will award the earned money as a one time scholarship, but we’re really working to make the everlasting scholarship a reality. You can make donations here: RAQUEL SALINAS MEMORIAL/SCHOLARSHIP DRIVE. https://www.evergreen.edu/scholarships/raquel-salinas-memorial-scholarship