Ground With Presence
Grief gains ground
Grief gives ground
Ground taken with floods of tears
Ground surrendered when laughter drifts
Drifts of sorrow and
Drifts of joy
Joy is the grief-easer
Joy brings the return of the light
Light to shine into shadowed places
Light to lift us up from the dark
Dark sorrow like a shroud envelopes
Dark despair gives the lie to his life
Life given to happiness and kindness
Life lived for laughter for love for wonder
Wonder that brought spontaneity
Wonder shared with wife and children
Children nearly grown and still grieving
Children who embody his light and his love
Love given freely and without hesitation
Love we still feel can’t be erased or undone
Undone moments when the loss overwhelms
Undone business now my task alone
Alone I might be in the physical plane
Alone never truly for he is within me still
Still moments when I feel him watching
Still heard when the children laugh and sing
Sing “Eat dessert first” for that was his motto
Sing nonsense words that don’t mean anything
Anything can be a reminder
Anything can serve to lift us up
Up into the clear air of memory
Up where remembering helps us to soar
Soar as he would have wanted
Soar in spirit so we can give more
More love more laughter
More wonder more joy more sharing
Sharing his memory with one another
Sharing ourselves with the world beyond
Beyond our family and ourselves
Beyond grief and the loss of this one soul
Soul carried forward through our lives
Soul embodied anew in our choices
Choices are the stuff that life is made of
Choices to sink or choices to fly
Fly into tomorrow not burdened by grief
Fly on in our lives buoyed by his presence
Presence we had for a time
Presence we spread as we honor his life
It can be easy to be drowned and overwhelmed by grief. Grief encompasses everything, when the loss is as intimate as the loss of a husband or a father. Jim was a close, connected, fun-loving father, and, before he was my lover or my husband, he was my friend.
His physical absence is acute and ever-present. We can’t ignore or forget it.
But we don’t have to let it destroy us.
The kids and I are fans of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. We went to a live reading/Q&A quote session with the series creators, Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink, just after Jim was diagnosed with terminal metastasized pancreatic cancer. During the event, a quote was shared:
Jim’s part of the story ended with his death on the night of January 12. But the children and I are still alive, and our story goes on from there. It’s a new book, maybe, and certainly a new chapter, and will take a different direction than it might have, had he lived.
That can be a reason to lock ourselves into grief and a sense of unfairness – or it can be a chance to be grateful for the parts of our story that were interwoven with his, and to carry what was best in him forward and out into the world.
I choose to do the second. Happily, so do the kids. In loving Jim, we were nourished with wonder and laughter and love.
Now it’s time to share them.
Please visit us again Monday – out of the hospital, and in hospice.
And, don’t forget to go visit more groovy G posts!
I’ll leave you with one of Jim’s favorite songs about life and death….