Friday, January 19

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Losing a loved one, especially a parent is so tremendously difficult.

Amazing souls appear to offer support and comfort... some very surprising.

That is what I love about this life of ours... we dont have all the answers, and we are constantly surprised.

I hope Carsten knows we are all thinking of him during this most difficult time of losing his father.

((hugs)) and love to you both.

January 19, 2007 at 11:28:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boho, sending you so many cyber hugs. you and carsten are so inspiringly connected. even witnessing your grief is beautiful. you are full of grace. thank you for being so vulnerable.

January 20, 2007 at 12:16:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you put these emotions so amazingly well.... thank you for sharing your journey through this. loosing a parent is so difficult, but it is beautiful when you can notice them with you still and realize that they will be with you always.
i am sending warm, comforting thoughts your way and you and your husband walk through this time.

January 20, 2007 at 2:07:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your relationship with your father-in-law sounds like a wonderful treasure. the inspiration that you take from his life, creativity and passion is a gift to all of us. thank you for sharing your thoughts so beautifully.
best wishes to you and your family.

January 20, 2007 at 2:22:00 AM PST  
Blogger Susannah Conway said...

i have no words to go with this post... but i know you know how i feel... i love you angel xxoo

January 20, 2007 at 2:51:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard to find words to write for you to read. I can only say that this post made me feel inspired. I have yet to find out in what way.

Thinking of you both and sending hugs and love,


January 20, 2007 at 4:10:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the ending on Grey's Anatomy when Christina talks to George.....the words incredibly sad but true. My husband lost both his parents within 9 months of each other and that grief was/is profound for him, even 9 years later. I've always felt his mom's presence in our lives, especially when our daughter was born. And when she was a wee babe, I used to see her looking up and babbling and I like to think she was seeing her bubby.

I'm glad you and Carsten have each other to help you thru this time but I agree, I think your FIL is with you completely.

January 20, 2007 at 4:37:00 AM PST  
Blogger Deirdre said...

I watched that episode last night too. It was painful. I'm so sorry for your loss, for the grief that will live with you for a time. And glad to hear that Leonard is keeping you company still. xoxoxo

January 20, 2007 at 7:42:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Losing a loved one is always hard. I lost my dad to cancer when he was only 59, almost four years ago... embracing my feelings through this process, always feels as if my dad is with me. Even though he is not "here"... I have to smile, because, he is still helping me with the lessons of life.

It is good you and C had this time with your family. Times like this does bring everyone closer.

Lots of hugs and love

January 20, 2007 at 7:46:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I was reading this, I saw Leonard talking to your future child. Telling them what it's like here, and what it's like to be around you, and making sure to send pieces of himself and greetings through the child.

I wish it didn't have to be so difficult to lose loved ones. I wish there was a way I could ease your grief. Love to you and Carsten.


January 20, 2007 at 8:15:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought of y'all as I watched it - that is the beauty of the blogging community -

Your thoughts of the grieving process are extremely reassuring to me - there's been a lot of death this month, and we're all still stunned by it. A local suicide of a young man from my hometown, in particular, has really bothered me. But your thoughts on the joy of the one who has gone - it helps deal with the preoccupation I've carried around, feeling so sorry for those who have lost ones they loved. There is joy for the ones who have gone - it's good to remember that.

January 20, 2007 at 8:48:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart swells with a swirl of emotions and feelings for what you, your husband and family are going thru. I'm sending heartfelt quilted hugs to wrap all of youl

January 20, 2007 at 9:18:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You articulate emotions really well. Very loving and respectful.

January 20, 2007 at 9:57:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh boho....
your post was so beautiful, so moving. made me cry like a little wuss.

my relationship with my father has been trying at best, and damned impossible at others... we've had a viscious life together at times, and i have so many regrets.

yet, the fear of losing him as he climbs further up the years of time... is overwhelming. i fear it more than most anything, 'cuz even tho there's so many questions about WTF went on in our relationship... well.. he's my dad.

i love him.
i have to.
even if it hurts so much to accept that.

boho hubby is so lucky to have had those moments at his parents place, those memories wrapped up and taken home to YOUR home.

and yesh, damnit. that stoopid greys anatomy show goes from stoopid drama to heartfelt EEEHHHH-tugs at a moments notice.


love ya all..

January 20, 2007 at 10:58:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home sweet you. You were repeatedly touched by spiritual magic...that is all I could think as I read through this post. And the lessons that you are learned, and know that you will continue to learn? Those are full of peace and love. As difficult as this has been, you are both handling it with grace and love and peace.

I wish you both love and continued peace...thinking of you everyday.

Love you,

January 20, 2007 at 11:25:00 AM PST  
Blogger christina said...

There are indeed!
Take care of yourself. Be in the moment. And keep a journal.

January 20, 2007 at 4:55:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am still learning those lessons from my dad, who passed away in September. Sometimes I feel like he is so near, then other times I feel so alone. But I am always grateful for my father and to have had him so long...
I can only send you and Carsten lots of love and peace and know that I am grieving along with you as well.

January 20, 2007 at 6:34:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he left the earth as a man and returned to the atmosphere as music! you were both so loved by him...your child will have much of his spirit! love,luscious~jasmine~flower from planet sark-XOXOXOXO

January 20, 2007 at 6:56:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had this healing time away. My grandfather smoked both a pipe and cigars and now whenever I smell either it reminds me of him. The little things really do mean the most--treasures that will keep bringing back the memories.

January 20, 2007 at 7:09:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it reminds you how fragile and short it all is. To really make the most of your time here and the family you have. You are really doing that, I can feel it in your words.


January 20, 2007 at 9:17:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure that you both were needed just as much as you felt the need to go. And I am sure of this, Den...you do the work of an angel, where ever you are.

Can't wait to get some of that angel goodness here. Mark asked for you and Car as soon as he got home :)

love you tons

January 20, 2007 at 11:12:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of you both and the emotioanl rollercoaster ride you are on. Hang on tight...to each other.
Hugs ~ Cindy (Rella)

January 21, 2007 at 9:32:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad you feel him and are getting such clear messages.

It has taken me so long to start hearing them from my mom.

Carsten is so lucky to have you by his side.

Your loving sensitive nature-and ability to see things is such a tremendous gift.

Thank you for writing this post-it made me cry tears of longing, letting go and joy for my own mother as well as for Carsten's dad.

I love you sweetie.

I hope you both keep being gentle and listening to what you need.

toe to toe

January 21, 2007 at 12:24:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope Leonard whispers in the ears of your future Boho babes, encouraging them to find their way to you and C, knowing that their lives with you will include the inspiration and love of his lifetime here on Earth.


January 22, 2007 at 5:50:00 PM PST  

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