It’s not that I’m sitting around in misery each day.
Overall, I’ve never been happier in my life.
It’s that when the pang comes, it comes so hard that it’s impossible to not write about it, or express it in some way.
That happened this morning.
I woke up – I had a long dream with Dana last night, and it was so wonderful to be hanging out and talking with him. He was on his way back to Taiwan (in my dream) and I was trying to ask him where he’d be staying – because, he was, you know, dead. In my dream, I was holding his arm, all, “don’t take this the wrong way, but… ” because I didn’t want him to go away like he always does when I mention he’s dead. Or just not here.
When I woke up, I was kind of laughing and smiling, it was all fine and good.
The pang came when I was reading through the morning piece in the A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume
It was such an ‘a-ha!’ moment, it made me reach for my phone to text Dana and tell him to pick this up IMMEDIATELY; we gotta read this, bro!
Then knowing he is gone, and knowing he was the one who probably led me to this Course of Miracles in the first place.
And I put my head on the table and just cried.
I know a few things for sure at this point:
- Like a friend told me once, grief isn’t linear. Life can roll along with grief moving under it, keep pace. Then grief can rise up and fucking kick your ass in a heartbeat. And then move on.
- There has been nothing in my life so far that has been as big of an impetus for me to change myself as Dana’s going has been.
In this “change myself,” I mean, I can’t NOT try to be the best possible person I can be now. I can’t NOT try to fulfill my potential. I can’t NOT try to do the hard things, the ones involving my heart.
That was a nice long photo of a nice long bunch of trees, wasn’t it?
I love exploring with the kids, and I realize how lucky I am to be exploring with them.
We’re walking through jungle – leaves the size of small boats, ropes like the ones Tarzan used in the movies – it’s scary and thrilling and gorgeous and wonder-full.
And then we are looking at the ocean, moving and surging, a body of color, movement, current and life. It’s one, it’s whole.
The lava, young lava, rests as the ocean’s water laps around it.
Gentle today, tomorrow it will pound the stones and inevitably, crush them into black sand.
It changes. It is transformed.
Slowly, surely, it changes from one form to the other, but it is fundamentally the same substance – only finer, smoother, more beautiful.
I can feel my own process in motion – the one in which my own rocks are being ground to fine sand.
It’s painful sometimes, life isn’t always gentle, is it?
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.