I’m learning to walk again.
I believe I’ve waited long enough.
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again.
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?
I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign.
-Walk, The Foo Fighters
At Wing’s funeral my Dad related a story from the day after our wedding. A comment he had made to me as we were waiting to leave for the airport to go on our honeymoon. The limo had arrived but Wing wasn’t ready to go. I was anxious. Dad put his arm around me and said “Don’t worry Sweetie you can’t fly without your Wing”. The day of the funeral he observed that was exactly what the girls and I were going to have to learn to do now.
“Fly without our Wing.”
Even now as I recall the story tears, that I didn’t know were still there, come. One moment I am writing. The next I must stop and pull myself out of the past and into the present. I am humbled, as I often am, at the speed with which grief still has the power to bring me to my knees. But I am also thankful that I am more able to stand back up than I once was. As I look back and see that broken young woman I see much more now than I could have then. Instead of not being able to imagine beyond that day I now know that life can be full again. Instead of only seeing my grief as overwhelming and oppressive I now know that it is both a teacher and a companion.
It is moving for me to recognize the symmetry that my Dad was able pick up on and tie together that day. A subtlety I could not have grasped then, but that now I look for. Symmetries and synchronicities have become an integral part of this journey for me. I do not use them to guide me but rather to affirm that I am going in the right direction. The twists and turns that have lead me to be here writing this are no exception. This post will go “live” on a day that has come to represent death for me. A day where not one but two people, who have touched my life, entered into the trenches of widowhood behind me. Both of these deaths impacted me profoundly. The first one shook me to the core and tested my belief in a lot of what I have learned. The second made me weary. I did not want to believe it. I did not want someone else I cared so much about to have to face this. I wished that I could save them both from the pain. At the time the fact that I learned of C’s death on the one year anniversary of K’s death seemed like a cosmic slap in the face. But as I was pondering if I was going to be able to actually join this blog the significance of the date I was scheduled to start hit me. For me that was a powerful affirmation. A sign if you will, or perhaps even another cosmic slap in the face. But this time to snap me out of my fear and my hesitations. It seemed to me that this is what I need to be doing. Sharing my experience and my story. However imperfect and unfinished it is.
I can not save others from the pain. I can not make the work of grief any less difficult. There are no quick fixes. It takes time and determination and a fair bit of surrender. So if I surrender to what the universe is telling me now perhaps, if I am so blessed, something I can say will speak to those in the midst of the turmoil. Something will connect. Something will show that though the process of navigating through grief is overwhelming it is not impossible.
I believe I did indeed wait long enough before I could fathom where to begin in the process of learning learn to walk on this journey. I did indeed wait long enough before I could understand how to find my voice when learning to talk on this journey. My understanding and my progress measured in one step, one word, one breath, one moment.
Perhaps now is the time to begin to show that not only am I learning to walk and to talk but to fly..and one day so will all of you.
Wishing you all peace and strength and love and healing.