When I was five I had to make a phone call for my mother. She was in the bath tub, having what I later came to learn was a miscarriage. I don’t remember whom I called. My father. An ambulance. I don’t remember any words as to what was happening, just images. My mother in that bathtub. A hospital hallway and the wall as I viewed it from my chair.
And so I became one of the strong ones. You know. Those ones you are supposed to check on.
It is almost a year now since I energetically lead my second husband through his assisted death. Why do we mark time? Why does it matter that it has been one year? Why does an anniversary offer more wisdom than each ticking second?
Those strong ones. You don’t need to check on them you know. That is some kind of hypocrisy.
Are you checking to make sure they will still be around when you need them? Their mythology and their story? They are just humans like you. And are entitled to unbridled choices.
“But he still looked so good,” someone said about my husband, when he chose to die one week after his living wake.
I’ve been thinking about the words that mark a year. But the wisdom is actually rather brief. We make our choices.
I recently put some words on my arm.
If I were to tell my own life story I would say that I have always done things before I am ready. That is how I know. So these words on my arm are an unfinished feeling. Tell me what you see. I really want to hear you.
Grief and joy are opposites. Except that grieve is the preferable word because it is not static. And if you let it live all of its lives, joy is a word that whispers constantly. And softly.
I grieve. Joy joy joy joy joy.