The writer has been largely silent. Paralyzed, and unseen. Uncharacteristically in the shadows.
From the outside in, all seems "normal.' I get up, drink coffee and make smoothies most mornings. I go to work and I come home. I open mail and I make dinner. The husband and I eat together and talk about the day. I water my garden and I do my shopping. I've mostly returned to my routines, such as they were before. Life appears largely uninterrupted.
But, as we know, appearances can be deceiving. Yes, despite the smooth, glassy surface, there is a persistent current, deep, alarming and invisible, kind of tugging at my feet. Throughout my day, it tries to pulls me down and I fight to stay afloat. Silently, surreptitiously it grabs at me, threatening to suck me under. When I least expect it, the dreaded sense of danger and momentary panic surfaces. I quickly push it under, but it lurks nearby, never far from my mind.
I drive home from work and as I transition from one freeway to another, I am reminded, this is where I would command my phone to "call Mom". It was this stretch of my trip home after a day's work, where I would call her to check in and see what her day had held. The calls are over.
In the formerly simple act of opening of mail lurks the threat of the unknown. This, too, can pull me under, as much of it is hers. "A third party" (who? how?) has advised us of the death of...". Six weeks later, the occasional card from a loving friend arrives, sending condolences and some with sweet remembrances. A call from my Aunt Marguerite, marking the four year anniversary of my Dad's death. A handwritten note from my Aunt Wilma, reminiscing about days gone by and her love and appreciation of my parents and now me. Sweet, precious expressions of love. But the piles of paperwork, legal issues to be attended to, decisions to be made and an estate to be distributed all weigh me down like a smothering blanket in the desert. Moments of sheer panic well up in my chest.
As I write, tears roll down my face. Daily they hover in my eyes, ready to roll, but mostly contained.
There is sorrow and there is also joy. The kindness of friends and loved ones have been an enormous comfort and encouragement. A church who has prayed for and with us...the generosity and the remembrances and the memories, they are all priceless jewels in my heart. Simple kindnesses are now the fuel that remind me that there is hope and there is good and there is still much life to be lived. Grief is a road that allows no shortcuts. I have no doubt that I will travel it for awhile and that the traveling of it will make the roads beyond that much sweeter.
Loss is a precious reminder to treasure what remains. And, there is much that remains. I am grateful.