Time feels odd to me right now – a bit like Salvador Dali’s painting The Persistence of Memory. The uber-famous, almost clichéd one with the melted clocks. There were days after Ben died when I would look at the calendar, at July 29, 2011 and wonder how we’d get there…if we’d get there. A year felt huge, a mountain I wasn’t sure I could climb when I squinted up at it. And now it’s gone. Friday was simply another day without Ben. A day where I got out of bed, showered, learned, laughed, cried, loved, slept. A day full of gratitude for my own life, for my daughter, my husband, and my friends. A day I wanted to make extra special and was too exhausted to do more than pull myself through.
Then there was Saturday. Our celebration day. We gathered as many friends as we could and had a party. The people we invited were those that went out of their way to help us this last year. They delivered food, walked the dog, helped us pack and unpack, sat and listened, opened their hearts and homes. Saturday they came bearing cards and gifts, flowers and bundles of lavender and sage. They came and witnessed, once again, our grief and our joy. They let us say thank you.
Sunday my body told me to slow down. It ached and my bones turned to jelly. Eventually we made it out to the beach and I lay down as Steve and Ada danced in the waves. Closing my eyes, peace swept over and through me, joy surged. I began to sob, my belly bouncing on the sand. I wondered if the people next to me noticed, if they were curious about my tears. My son died a year ago. I miss him and love him and my life is good. This is what happens when we open to pain. We are gifted with joy. This is what happens when we open to love. We are gifted with pain.
This is human. This is life.