When my Dad died, the grief was a wind. After an excruciating long Alzheimer’s-harrowed process of watching him die before he died, his final physical death was a gentle release of all the collective breaths those who loved him had been holding for so long. I mourned, but it was in the arms of the graceful and gentle wind, rocking the boughs of my weeping-willow-tree-heart.
When my Mom died, the grief was a hurricane. The power went out, the roof blew off, the branches broke through the windows of my battered and ill-prepared heart. And so I did what anyone would if they could–I moved to a land-locked, safe location away from the devastation. The storm raged on, but at a great distance from me.
But now, in the invisible and subtle God-kissed process of healing, the external breezes and gusts of winds have become my own internal breaths, the rhythmic inhale and exhale of present losses and lost presence. My parents died, but yet now, they live in me. All the ways I imitated from them continue, their mannerisms and their sayings, their views on life, the places they took me and the spaces they gave me–this is, now, me. I cannot converse with them, but I feel them tangibly. I will never again go to their home to stay, but at night they are forms and shapes in my dreams. There will be no new narratives with them, though they are ever marking the edges of my current stories.
…but nothing was lost; all was retained between the sky and the earth, and within himself. He had lost nothing… They were close; they had always been close. And he loved them then as he had always loved them, the feeling pulsing over him as strong as it had ever been. They loved him that way; he could still feel the love they had for him. (Ceremony)
Grief has now become my corporal companion, ever present, and for that I am grateful. As we breath in affinity, infinitely, I feel my Mom. I feel my Dad.
I am them.