I’m sad. Bummed out. And I don’t want to cheer up. While I’m being strong, I don’t believe that means I should stuff down my feelings. I feel like being strong means being brave enough to cry every tear until I’m all cried out. Truthfully I’m nervous about getting on a plane and going to teach this weekend. But I’m just going to let grace carry me through it all.
So many people have shared their stories of loss with me. I can’t imagine the pain of losing your parent when you were just a child. It would mean you had to grow up with the kind of grief I’m feeling now. Or the inconsolable unfairness of losing a child. It’s not fair. But maybe nothing about life is fair and what we think of as fair is really fantasy. I dreamt of you healthy and vibrant, sitting in a room playing blackjack (you liked to gamble for fun). There you were in your prime, with your warm kindness and charisma and good luck. You almost always left a casino with a bit of a win. It’s been a week today since you’ve been gone.
This morning I felt off, like I was overcome with the pointlessness of it all, the unfairness of life. I couldn’t figure out why until I started practicing. Then it hit me that it was one week ago today that my world changed. I was sobbing again when I was supposed to be doing the sun salutations. I made it through practice and I made it through all the tears. Your light didn’t go out, I just can’t see it any more from where I’m standing. It’s like your spirit is playing hide and seek with me and I just can’t find you here even though I feel you all around me.
I don’t want to cheer up. I don’t want to forget you. I want to feel every bit of this pain until it’s taught me what I need to learn. It’s like when someone who has it all says everything is perfect, it doesn’t make you feel better. It sounds hollow and only makes you feel guilty for not being cheerful about where you are. Or when someone who has been tall and thin their whole lives tells you to love your imperfect body, it just doesn’t feel true. I want to live every moment of this and let the aching tenderness of my heart be raw and exposed so that the poetry of pain can be written into a timeless love.