Sunday, November 15, 2009

Death brings a gift

Death always brings a gift. You knew that, didn’t you? Sometimes it brings a burst of life, appreciation, connection to people from the past, reconciliation. At least a taste so sweet and so bitter of how precious life is, how vulnerable we are, how human. The gift of someone’s memory engraved on a moment of time, a life brought into focus, savored, passed around, a photograph that says so much and so little, the enigma of a human soul no longer available to give explanation. The gifts that come with grief, despair, and unutterable pain are beyond words. The gift of a deep natural silence while we sit in a circle of honoring and releasing. To know that we are breathing, that we hear a bird sing, the sound of a green apple thunking to the ground, the bell or screen door as Fred goes in and out, in and out. To feel the ice cold salt rimming a margarita on my lips, the slide of liquid down my dusty throat. A moment before we are chattering, our hair streaming behind us in the wind from the truck window, the sun hot on my thighs, my silver bracelets glinting. A moment later I feel your arms strongly around me as we both sob. You didn’t even know him, you didn’t know until two days ago what had happened to me, and yet, your heart has swing wide open to take my pain in—a pain you can only try to imagine and can not begin to heal. This is today’s small gift I unwrap to add to the small basket like a pile of shells swept up on the damp sparkling shore of the black cold unfathomable and invincible sea.

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