“Grief as a spiritual enzyme waits for our sorrows and then is recreated by our soul, not to soften losses, but to utterly change them by metabolizing the impossible emptiness and confusion of our losses into a spiritual substance that can definitely be digested into the matrix of our ongoing existence. We are changed by this…and how to allow grief to instigate in us what it always has: the ultimate and only legitimate source of all human expression of beauty, real art, and kindness through living”
– Martin Prechtel “The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise”
We are closing in on two years. A year ago this Thursday, I closed on Hopewell House in a quiet ceremony of scrawled signatures, financial transfer, and warm metal keys passed from hand to hand. This was the beginning of Chapter 2. Smudged sage in every corner with spoken intentions of love, peace, and happiness. Tiny lemon cakes and wine. Hannah crosslegged on the empty hardwood floor of what would be my living room.
A month from now will be the anniversaries, 9 days of memory amongst the day to day that has evolved from the worst possible thing. Work, dinner, sippy cups and snuggles in the shadow of the memories of his waxen body, ventilators, surgeries, informed consent, the MRI, the long-short exhale of his final breath.
We are firmly in the midst of Life #2. We have a rhythm and pattern to the days. New opportunities and potentials have emerged and slipped away and emerged again in unexpected places. I have started to reconnect with my creative self. I’m working on learning jazz chords on my guitar at the longstanding suggestion of Matt. I’m singing in the shower. I’m accepting my many small failures and shortcomings and attempting to make it all opportunity for growth. So. Much. Growth.
(PS, there is a bumper sticker that says “Oh no! Not another learning experience!” and I want it real bad if you see it.)
I’m thinking less about my grief, though it does pop up in the opportunities it finds. It’s softening and snuggling it’s self into the crevices. I’m growing accustomed to its presence. The surreal and comforting memories it brings of life before.
The snow is melting. Despite the persistent chill, we now hear bird song in the morning. My hyacinth are poking their little stems out from their leafy blankets. I’ve started cleaning off my porch for Summer. Easter is 12 days away (the kids are PUMPED). I’ve got plans and minimal expectation.
It’s April 2019, 23 months out, years ahead.
Let’s see what happens. life.