I was thinking last night about the ways in which people live authentically (or not).
And, I truly feel the source of many inner and interpersonal woes is death/grief avoidance. I realized something very soon after Chey's death in 1994: I had to be me, moment by moment, I had to be me. I could not pretend to be anything other than me. And the secret that the dank, dark corners of my closet shared, deep into the middle of the many sleepless nights, was that death is the great teacher of life. I could learn to live, to really live, by being with my grief. I needed to call her to my heart to be whole. That also meant calling to my heart deep pain that reverberated from the tips of my hair to the tips of my toes.
Oh yes, I resisted. I wanted to heed the advice that "it's time to move on" and that if I "just had another baby then everything would be better". But I knew, unequivocally, this was not my truth. I could not live a lie. Grief did not become my most adored companion over night, but slowly, slowly, as the wind carves mesas and as dripping water rends great caverns, Grief and I came to know and understand and respect one another. Now, nearly two decades later, I'm happy to invite Grief in for a cup of dandelion tea. We sit at the table, often without words, staring into one another's eyes. Grief reminds me who I am, who I have been, and who I will always be. For that, I am truly thankful. I do not wish to amputate or exile parts of myself into the netherworld.
And to forget them, our beloved dead, is to fragment pieces of our selves, to disconnect from self and other.
To remember them is to be whole, to connect with self and other. It is entirely possible to be broken and shattered, with a hole in us that is wider and deeper than we could have imagined. And yet, even in our brokenness, we can remain whole and centered by calling them to our hearts. I will always call her to my heart.