There is a space inside grief that time does not touch. He was just here and beautifully alive and radiant as ever and I can still feel him. It is not always palpable that he is gone because I think I could not bear it, I think my body or my heart are wise enough to know this and they protect me. And so maybe time passes where the memory of each moment of perfection in his presence is not so close and I can gather myself with a reprieve from the melancholy of missing that exquisite beauty in my daily life. The same is true for the horror. I dip in and out of what I can only describe as darkness yanking at me– a tug of war– I feel like tangled roots are wrapping around my ankles as I sink into the muck of it all. In these moments I have to find my bearings and sometimes I even have to say NO out loud. Real loud.
Sometimes it takes me longer than others– Sometimes I stay in the rabbit hole long enough to remember all the way back to every single moment he was ever sad or scared or mad and wonder if that was the turning point? Or that? Or ? Suicide is a motherfucker that way. It tries to turn everything into The Reason.
Healing from surgery to remove (early) breast cancer over the last couple weeks, I have spent a lot of time in my head lately. Taking it all in. The diagnosis. The incredulity. I’ve come across more than a few suggestions– even from my adept surgeon (Dr Adrian Seah if you ever need surgery go to him!)– that breast cancer can be the result of emotional trauma. I used to counter my fear that I might end up with it someday, because of so many traumas that I’ve lived through, with this mythical assurance that I would be protected because I breast fed so long. It was my insurance policy atleast against breast cancer. Who knows where I picked that one up. I was wrong.
I think it can be easy to assume you’re safe from any more bad shit, if you’ve been through a bunch of it. But I have learned that there’s not a limit. And that it is either random/impersonal or is quite specific and either way, God help you if you you are among the ranks of those who love those who are chosen to endure these things. Because you will be called on in ways you can’t fathom. Perhaps most of all, you will be called to accept deafening silence from one who is deep in the interior space of healing, on a ladder on top of scaffolding that is precariously placed on a shifting dune and all you can really do is watch and hope they do not fall or that you can catch them if they do.
Today I am reflecting on all the protectors that have gathered around me in this lifetime. I’m not sure how you are still standing with me. But I am so fucking grateful that you are.
My work is not to figure out why Isaac died. My work is not to figure out why I continue to face challenges. My work is not to figure out why I am loved so dearly or how I haven’t exhausted every person who dares to love me. I’ve mined all of those, believe me.
My work, and Id be willing to wager that perhaps all of our work, is to stay present with ourselves throughout our lives and to keep our hearts open rather than build walls to protect ourselves from imagined threats. And if we are living our truth and our wholeness and holiness we will find our will to live, our will to love, our will to be free from bondage of any kind. “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
Resilience, then, is a living breathing thing, that changes as we work to mix into the fold each ingredient, each experience, into our being, into our survival. It is therefore “not only possible” to become resilient, “it is inevitable”. (Thank you Rachael Franks Taylor)