Last I held you, love flowed between us.
Love is fluid.
Living, creating, weeping.
A year ago I was coming to terms with understanding that our home, is now my home. It seems so simple, but I remember how difficult it was for my mind to comprehend. It actually felt like none of it was mine, all of it was yours, and I was living and had always lived in your house. A year later I do feel like this is our house, it always has been. I now can remember the feeling of this place being our home all along. Grief caused such unbearable confusion, I barely recognized my life and seemed demoted to some sort of stranger or guest in my own home. The distortions and deceptions in my thinking about our life was both terrifying and torturous.
I was concerned about our kids, about how they would process and carry their grief. Aware of how overwhelmed I was, I wondered how I could possibly support and help them, when I was such a mess.
I was tormented by this and the thought of not having said thank you enough, or not having encouraged you more. Every possible moment that you were perhaps discouraged, I wore as if I were to blame for not making it better. It was a heavy weight to carry, and it grew more burdensome and complicated as time went on. I know that you would not have wanted me to suffer as I did with this for so many months,
but I couldn’t hear your voice telling me it was not true.
I pondered the meaning of the artwork I drew, that I shared with you on our last day together; tried to understand the symbolism that flowed from my own hand, from my soul.
What does it mean, a dolphin from Tivoli carrying St. Katherine, riding on the water, what does it mean?
Journaling felt like
Writing on water.
Black, inky grief words written on waves becoming something, but what?
I wrote, but I didn't find answers.
Every pathway a canal of tears, lined by empty houses. Carried by this dolphin, every destination is a memory of the best time with you.
I took notes as I read to understand:
In the Bible, water represents the recognition and presence of God.
Like butterflies, dolphins are also seen as a symbol of resurrection. Sometimes, this can be a true rebirth. Early cultures believed dolphins to be a type of fish, commonly portrayed in early Christian symbolism. A dolphin twisted around an anchor was a symbol of hope in eternal life. The anchor represents endurance, and ability to preserve and a dolphin represents Jesus.
Dolphins appear to grin, they seem carefree, are intelligent, have a strong sense of community, are brave and fight back against predators. Seafaring cultures saw them as a symbol of protection, following them and trusting them to know the right path. The Greeks knew they were helpers to mankind. They were seen as a symbol of resurrection, responsible for ferrying souls safely to the peace of the afterlife.
Dolphins are found only in the purest waters. Swift and strong, they recognized individuals and would change course to warn and protect fishermen. They represented Christ as a light bearer.
St. Katherine, she’s smiling and riding this trustworthy symbol.
What does it mean?
To recognize and acknowledge God all around- To balance and move forward on a creature that can be trusted to know the way, to death, to life, to resurrection.
Last year, I was asking “Why?”
I’ve asked enough times to know
There is no answer.
Now I am asking, “How?”
How do I live with the very real void you left? No one can fill it. Your voice, your laughter, your thoughts, your words, your eyes, your strength, your listening, your conversation, your songs, all that you communicated to me, to us in your physicality.
Your spirit, your soul, you- still exude strength, peace, joy, comfort, honor, goodness and love. Your spirit takes up space, is in that void and all around.
There is a listening and a seeing I’m learning in the longing.
Last year the familiar feeling of the anticipation of you coming home,walking through the door ready to visit and share your thoughts was with me every moment, making me feel crazy. The physical feeling in my heart and soul of longing to connect, and knowing what my whole body was anticipating was not going to happen was so confusing. I wondered about my sanity because it felt so crazy. Why would I think I was going to win the lottery if I hadn’t even bought a ticket? That would be crazy. Why would every fiber of my being believe you were coming home when I knew you weren’t?
Now, I understand, I’m not crazy. Love feels like something, in your mind, in your body and in your soul. We experienced it all for so long, and the truth is, the beautiful, undeniable truth is,
Love never dies.
Knowing God is present in these tears,
In this ocean of agonizing grief and eternal love,
I’m remembering to trust
Your love will carry me, protect me and lead me
In the path you know.
“Thirst drove me down to the water
Where I drank the moon’s reflection.
Listen and hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”- Rumi
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13