16 September 2011

necessary days



Yesterday was one of those days that I have begun to refer to as “necessary”. These are days that whether they are good or tough, it is necessary that you walk through it in order to experience something specific. Yesterday was a bit of both. I have found that one of the most difficult things about losing someone is figuring out how to navigate a life that used to have that person so prominently in it. This is made even more complicated if you believe you still feel them around. Whether that is due to grieving, or because we need to tell ourselves they are still available in order to cope, or because you really do believe that we never really lose connections—the place that your brain and heart can go is a strange reality. I am a believer that we never lose connection. How this works is less important to me than knowing this as truth. The opposite of this is to be punched in the face with the fact that they did actually pass away and are no longer on Earth. I found myself teetering between both of these very real worlds. This space, in my experience, can be very uncomfortable.

The following bit of writing kept coming to my mind. I found it in August and had, for some reason, recently read over it again. The words “I am in the thousand winds that blow…and the “I have not left” were prominent in my thoughts all day. This would be because they were part of what made my day necessary:

"Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am in a thousand winds that blow, I am the softly falling snow. I am the gentle showers of rain, I am the fields of ripening grain. I am in the morning hush, I am in the graceful rush of beautiful birds in circling flight, I am the starshine of the night. I am in the flowers that bloom, I am in a quiet room. I am in the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing. Do not stand at my grave bereft I am not there. I have not left." —Mary Elizabeth Frye

A plaque was ordered months ago that will mark the time E spent walking amongst us. I received the call in the morning that it was ready. As I stood over the plaque, after months and months of waiting…”Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there” I picked myself up and continued through my day.

As I was leaving work and walking to my car I could not help but notice how windy it was. Unusually windy. Unusually bright and warm. “I am in the thousand winds that blow…. I am in the thousand winds that blow..” Is he?

On my drive home I noticed a crazy homeless man wearing a Gibson shirt. I recognized it as a promotional shirt that E had used during his time with the company. Because he was in charge of taking these to every event, we had ended up with a stack of them at the house. We used to laugh a bit when we would throw a few into our Goodwill pile and wonder where they would end up. “One day we will see some crazy homeless guy wearing these!” After a difficult day I was grateful for that reason to chuckle. Grateful for this specific reminder to laugh—specific to only the two of us. "I have not left." 

“I am in the thousand winds that blow…I am in the thousand winds that blow” and so maybe he is.

6 comments:

Ellen Mallernee Barnes said...

So beautiful. Makes me cry and gives me chill bumps. I am so sorry sweet girl.

You are so graceful and thoughtful in your grief. I love you!

oline said...

so, so lovely.

Faith Bendt said...

What a beautiful post Emily. Your writing style really is something that invites me into your spirit and I just want to cozy up with a blanket and fall asleep to the warm words. Eric inspires these lovely words, I can feel it. xo

emily said...

wow Faith, what a lovely comment!

kasey @ girl in the gray house said...

emily, this is so beautiful i'm so sorry that you've had to deal with a loss like this at such a young age, but i'm glad that Eric is sending you signs that he is with you always.

Claire said...

it's really strange to have missed this post & to be reading it today. we had discussed that writing some time ago and it has stuck with me. on the occasion it will leap to my consciousness and last night was one of those times. there was a wind that seemed to come out of nowhere at a moment I was feeling a bit sentimental. I smiled from ear to ear knowing it was not so random after all. thank you for sharing the quote and for this post.

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