words to live by ... TWICE
pointed out to me yesterday: "when you talk about your work, you beam. you realize your work leaves you and goes out there, is carried off becomes something else, takes on new shape, keeps on giving and even gives back. it gives you joy, but it also goes beyond that." (seriously, dudes, after he said it, i wrote it down, it sounded that cool).
this same "beaming" was pointed out to me when i talked about my family, my friends, my life partner, our dorky dogs, my writing, my artwork, how i used to feel about biking before my hands fell apart, etc.
i bring this up now because, nearly a month ago, i lost my brother to suicide. for that reason, my family, my friends and i definitely have not been ourselves as we navigate this loss. Grief very much has a person “going through the motions” on autopilot, and who even knows if the lights are on half the time. who even cares? this last month has been a blur.
also, tonight i was supposed to be out with friends, but had to rain-check it. i took some time off recently, and because i’m very much a free lance chick, the work i don’t do in the off time, often times is waiting for me when i return. so i’m swamped this friday night. i’m underwater with work, but that’s the way I like it.
this picking up of speed is good for me, after this loss, which was then followed by a debilitating bout of bronchopneumonia which was then cured by a whirlwind day/night trip lunching and funning with my daughters, nieice and dear friend (because we all need the reminder of things up and coming, life going on, things in their season).
that being said, however, feeling that delicious momentum and (dare i say) joy in being back to work, i also feel guilt.
things are starting to feel back to normal, but there’s always that odd little jolt, like “beaming” in one sense takes the focus off of my grieving. like you can't do one and also do the other. you can't go on and still stay back there holding on to the person you aren't ready to let go of yet. it's been a difficult dance, a very difficult dance.
but, i’m coming to realize there is this fine line you walk when you lose someone in an unreasonable fashion, which makes you also want to manipulate your grieving into awkward hoops you force yourself to jump through; it doesn’t work.
it’s quite possible this is why i’m now talking to this clever person whose clever words i quoted above, because the last thing i want to do is grieve my brother unreasonably.
i’m trying to figure out a way to keep the high beams on, because i (we, all of us) have to see everything twice now because he can’t. he’s not here to share it with us any longer. and he loved us loud, loves us still.
if things got quiet and dark and stayed that way, he’d die all over again, and that would be wrong.
i’m not saying i have this all the way figured out, or even halfway figured out, or even an eighth of the way figured out but i think this is a HUGE part of it. i also think it's the hardest part of it. it's the part that catches me up every second along the way.
this past sunday, three sundays past the funeral, we had a huge family dinner. it wasn't until then that it dawned on me as we drove home that of my four siblings, one of us no longer stood on this earth. my dinner churned as i stared out the dark car window, the world speeding by, car sick at 49.
Monday, i had a fabulous time with my daughters, niece and a dear friend. at the end of the day and night's events my middle daughter said to me, "did you have fun Momma," and i immediately felt nauseated and my eyes filled with tears, as if i'd been "caught" doing someing wrong. she said "don't cry," which is funny because i didn't realize how quickly that sensation had hit me because i was answering her question saying, "yes," yes i had fun. it was a grand day, the kind of day i needed. we had laughed so hard my cheekbones felt like they had splintered.
so i am working on it. there has got to be a way to keep that can of whoop ass open here on earth, to keep the party we all started going, so loud and so warm and full of love that he can still feel it, because if we didn’t that would make him very, very sad. and the last thing we ever want him to feel again is sadness.
right now, this is words on a page, but these are words i’m going to live up to, twice … twice as loud, twice as bright, twice as everything!
*andrew wyeth-wind by the sea (above)