Especially in early grief, we hear so much about life becoming beautiful again. There’s cheerleading and confidence building, and all manner of things designed to help us (or force us) to look far into the future, that far-off time when we “feel better.”
In early grief, thoughts of a better future are not always helpful. First and foremost, in early grief, the future is entirely irrelevant. All that matters is being present to the pain that is. That’s what’s real.
For many people, the suggestion that life will ever be beautiful again is actually offensive: how can anything be beautiful without my love in it? What kind of person would I be if I suddenly decided I was happy in this life without them?
The promise of “living a good life” is not always a comfort.
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.
Today, a post from early 2013. At this point in my life, the very first glimmers of a good future were starting to form.
While that may sound great to an outsider, the truth is: those first glimmers are complicated.
a post from early 2013.
You know what got me today? Goats. A sweet little video of goats.
Out in the woods this very early morning, following the creek, hearing the thought only after I thought it – “Boris won’t drown in those rapids, they’re too shallow. It’s alright.” Feeling it again, how pervasive this is, how deeply entrenched in me now, a reflex not requiring thought. Death is the anchor point of reference for all things.
How constant this is in me. The light through the trees, finding a stand of trillium and jack in the pulpit, remembering our last day at the river, what words you said to me. How much you’d love this little spot, out here in a narrow stretch of woods. All of it.
There is no beauty that is not attached to this. To you. To death. To us.
Boris played in the shallow rapids, the light changed; we left the woods and came home. Boris slept and I planted.
The morning was full of planting and pruning, thinking how beautiful this garden is, these gardens are, and how they are not mine. How I will be leaving them soon, onward to find my own next home, my own new gardens to build. Intermittently tearful.
And then I came in, and a sweet little video of goats on you tube destroyed me.
Because it was beautiful.
Because I can see and feel how close it is to mine. Because this life of mine will be beautiful again.
Sometime soon, I will stand in my yard, lean on my shovel in some kind of gorgeous light, look out over galloping little goats, and know I am home.
It will be beautiful. And you will not be here.
My life will be beautiful again, without you.
How about you? Have those first glimmers of a beautiful life come into your world? If they are not entirely welcome, what do they mean for you? Let us know in the comments, or send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.