There is so little concrete or “actionable” in grief. There’s just nothing that will make it any “better,” especially as “better” is not actually possible. But we can’t just be expected to be here with gaping pain and have nothing.
Beauty was always so important to me in my Before life. Noticing little elements of daily life, attention to detail – beauty was always my center point.
And the thing is, beauty doesn’t fix anything. Looking for what is beautiful, especially when that practice is suggested by someone outside your grief, can smack awfully close to being told to “be grateful for the little things.” That message is never going to land nicely in your heart.
And still, somehow – at least for me, the connection with Beauty has always been my healer. The presence of beauty, the ability to note it, to take note of it, has supported me somehow.
Writing without the deeply personal is not the whole story of grief. To give the whole story, to give as many handholds as possible in the steep climb of grief, we need to hear personal stories. Each Friday, I’ll post something from my own experience of grief and love. It’s an inside look at love, at grief, at life.
This week, a post from 2010, when I first began to lift my eyes from my feet to look for the company of beauty.
I’m going to start a little notebook of daily beautiful things. Given that I post a lot of pain and badness, goodness is nice: a little reprieve from writing all that pain.
Noticing beauty helps me. I don’t know why.
Some days (like the last three), the best thing I can say about a day is that the sky might be beautiful, but WTF difference does that make. He is still gone. Beauty doesn’t change that.
But apparently, I still have to live this life, so maybe it will help me to find something beautiful.
As a practice.
Here are my beautiful things from this day:
* The incredible dream, early this morning. That dream may have saved my life today. I didn’t wake up courting death, but I sure did go to bed that way. Beautiful, awesome, powerful, full of love dream. Thank you, my love. Right on. It has made me light all day.
* The massive happy dance our dog did when I got home this afternoon. A dance I have only seen twice since That Day.
* Coming home from our afternoon walk, thinking of the giant hawk who lives in the tall dead tree, coming into the driveway just in time to see her, lifting off said tree, hovering overhead for several seconds, then flapping off slowly into the woods.
* Being at the farm, surrounded by land and animals. The smell of hay, the plok-plok-plok of calves sucking down their bottles.
* Louis the still affectionate, but far too big for close cuddling, bull calf. We have to do chin scratches from outside the gate now, but his face is just awesome – big goofy under-bite and tiny little horns.
* The elegant, Dutch-made wooden cheese press loaned to me by the farm owners, along with an additive I needed to make cheese.
* Being home with our beasts, and bedtime not far off.
Tiny little things. Beautiful little things. I still need them.
Even if you are still gone.
How about you? How has beauty shown up in your life, and how does it affect you?
Though it won’t fix anything unfixable, you might play around with the practice of looking for beauty inside your day.
As an experiment. See how it goes.
Let us know about your life with beauty in the comments, or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.