When I read the message and received the call that you passed, I felt the ground shake relentlessly under my feet and knock me off balance. In that very second Life had changed incomprehensibly in a fraction of a moment. And since that moment something has me distracted, pulled inward. It’s the first Christmas that has been precluded ( to an extent) by the inevitable and uncontrollable Grief. It’s an overwhelming, disconcerting, disjointed grief. Irrespective of how prepared I thought I was….I was not. I’m not programmed to let go. There is no correct way to map out this journey. We travel our griefs separately, but not alone.
I keep looking up at the sky and I don’t know why. Am I hoping to see your silhouette? The prospect that you’re up there brings me solace.
My son asked, “Why are you crying Mommy?” – And how do I explain the permanence of death to him? How do I explain something that is irreversible? When watching The Lion King, he still believes Mufasa fell, injured himself and remains hopeful that Simba and him will be reunited- we just don’t get to see that part. He fills in the gap with his own reality. – And I prefer it that way…for now.
And although death is written into the fabric of life, I myself fail to grapple with the concept of death, how it can’t be fixed. – Mostly due to my lack of my experience with it. And that brings me to the realization that I have entered a stage in my life where I will begin to see a lot more of it.
I sit in my bedroom, crying uncontrollably, my face melted into my hands. And while hearing my son’s laughter, something dawned on me;. a sense of hope. Children are Hope. And they carry that hope not only in their laughter, but hopefully in their hearts. It’s a juxtaposition that allowed me to come up for some air, although still carrying in my heart the enormity of the situation. But it was time to tend to him. I had been in my room for an hour and though my life had changed, his had not. That’s the irony of death. It teaches you, reminds you how to live. – That you must continue to live. I know you would want that for all of us.
I consider it a great privilege in my life to have known you. To have shared intimate conversations with you. To have witnessed your grace, your integrity and your beauty. Thank you for being one of the most influential women I’ve ever met, for accepting and loving everyone, and for being someone that impacted the lives of so many. You will never be forgotten.
Go gentle into that good night. I love you.