Wednesday, 4 April 2012
Red and Purple Stones
A cardinal sang outside my window nearly all day yesterday, on Rose's birthday. I've always thought of cardinals as my mother's spirit bird, and we hardly ever get cardinals at Someday so I smiled, and sighed, and smiled again.
I used to think about grief as something I needed to get over. Now I think of it more in terms of a necessary experience, something we all go through at one point or another in our lives. I've come to realize that it's a process without an ending. And I'm learning to be okay with that.
Although I hate cliches, I believe in the old adage, "time heals all wounds." They can heal cleanly, or they can fester for a while and heal in a slow, painful way. There are always scars in the end, faint though they may be. I don't mind, though. I like a little reminder of my battles.
Here's what I did to embrace my grief yesterday, on the anniversary of Rose's birth, of the day she left us, and became a part of us always:
- made a giant dish of pasta with all my favourite things in the sauce (wine, olives, sundried tomatoes, asparagus, garlic, cream)
- ate an obscenely large piece of the chocolate birthday cake Ruthie brought me
- read two chapters of my book in the stillness of an empty house
- walked the beach for an hour and collected all the red and purple stones I could find
- sat on the pier and watched a loon dive and surface while seagulls wheeled in the sky above us
- collected ingredients for a double batch of granola and mixed them with my hands; savoured the grainy, nutty, maple fragrances as the granola browned in the oven
- bought a very good bottle of wine, dropped blackberries into our glasses and drank deeply with D
But I suppose it's not how long you grieve for, or even how you choose to do it; it's for whom you grieve, and how you plan to keep them alive in your consciousness. I found a small purplish-rose coloured stone for Rose; I heard her cries in the voice of seagulls, felt her breath on the wind, her weight in the bag of stones I carried to the car. I see glimpses of her when I close my eyes.
For now, it is enough.