lessons through the grief
bits of my workspace, canon digital rebel xt
We just arrived home. We're both sort of drifting throughout our day today. It still all feels so surreal and we often check in with ourselves to make sure it is a reality. Losing a parent is perhaps something you can never fully comprehend, nor are we trying to.
Last night before laying our heads to sleep, we watched Grey's Anatomy. There was a scene where one of the character's and his family surrounded their father's bedside at the hospital to say goodbye. They released him of his tubes and turned off the machines and waited for his last breath. The scene was intense with quiet and fumbling emotion. I looked over at my husband and saw his tears fall and my heart ached. This is something he wanted to do. He wanted to be by his father's side in the hospital to say goodbye but there wasn't enough time. We both know that his father wouldn't have wanted this. He wouldn't want to be remembered that way. The last time we saw Leonard, he was waving at us enthusiastically as we drove away. A pipe in one hand, his floppy gray hair blowing in the wind and a smile that spoke volumes of his pride for his son. Now that is more like it.
Being with his mother and in the presence of his father's things this past week was healing for him...and for me. I caught my husband lifting a pipe to his nose and breathing in that familiar smell so many times. We brought some home, along with a few jackets and shirts to hold to our chest and smell if needed.
There was a moment when I walked outside to get their mail. A few of their friends across the street waved at me...even though they had never met me or knew who I was. It brought comfort to me. Grieving brings people together like that. Even strangers. The wind picked up as I headed to the mailbox. It was a warm wind and the leaves blew up in a circle around me. I felt Leonard in that moment. Chills covered my body and a peace came over me. He was being playful with the leaves, reminding me not to be sad because he is truly joyful where he is. I came inside and plopped down on the couch and cried with my husband. Our tears a mixture of longing and letting go.
When going through Leonard's workspace, I saw many jewelry design bits as that was one of his passions. I felt inspired. The artist that was within him will now manifest itself within my husband, within me and our future boho babes.
After we arrived home last night, I went upstairs and stood in front of my workspace for a while. As I traced my fingers across the colorful gems I thought of my father-in law and imagined him smiling, urging me to never stop creating whether it be with jewelry, pastels, photography or whatever breathes life into me.
You know...even though he is not with us physically, we feel him so close. We hear him and we're listening. There are so many lessons through the grief.