I’m learning that grief has many colors.
There are the yellows, of seeing the things that remind me of joyful moments. The reds, oranges and greens of other memories. And the blues. The blues of some sorrow coming up with the realization that that precious person will never no longer be physically present. It occurred to me this morning, for example, that I will probably forget the exact pitch and cadence of Grandpa’s voice in time. That realization spun me through some deep blues.
But death is a part of life.
We all know this.
And there is life after death – I know this surely and clearly, on account of the car accident that shredded my face and tipped my world over when I was 4 years old. I’ve grown up knowing in my marrow how temporal this physical world is, how joyful and complete the realm of the spirit is. And even knowing this, I still end up in blue.
Sometimes I stand still and it just washes over me.
I try to reach inside for the bits that will pull me to other colors. Play music! Grandpa loved music! It can carry me over to another color, one that celebrates rather than cries. Then I see the birds outside – my hummingbirds and the masses of small birds that come over for the duck feed. They all make me smile; Grandpa loved birds.
I feel like nothing wakes me up like death does. It reminds me of the time. We don’t have a lot of it but we all have enough to make and do the things that we want. I feel like I’ve been pretty aware of that for most of my life and I haven’t wasted a great deal of time. Whenever I’ve started to falter with my courage though, something has invariably happened to kick me out of it – like being paralyzed after Moxie’s home birth. That slapped me around hard – and had me quitting my job, selling/giving away everything we owned, and setting off for the Pan American Highway – which ultimately led us here to the Lost Coast.
Those ass-kicking moments are truly gifts from the universe.
Even as I wander my way through the colors of the prism of grief, I remember this. I’m taking stock of my life in the here and now. I’m trying to figure out how to live a little more fully, richly. How to make things easier while still challenging myself to be all that I can.