Driving across the bridge yesterday, I was ambushed by the beauty. Sweet wisps of fog dancing on the river’s surface as the sun rose.
One of the challenges of mourning is making space for beauty. To some extent you live in a fog. One foot in front of the other, doing what needs to be done. Staring into space, occasionally curling into a ball.
I have gotten by with a great deal of help from my friends. One of the odd things about grief is that you’re very muzzy-headed, so to have to make loads of decisions is hard. But the ending of a life brings nothing but decisions. and stuff. it brings lots of stuff. and I am so easily overwhelmed by stuff and details in the best of times. so you can imagine how it is now.
There have been angels. People who swoop into my life and in an hour or two, make it different. People who offer. People who write or call. people who prop you up. People who surround you because your boundaries are about as fuzzy as your brain. I’ve recently taken to describing this brain as acid etched. Whole pieces are missing.
I’ve partnered with grief enough to know that your brain eventually rebuilds, the holes reconnect — but in the meantime. sheesh. It’s the silly things, you know. A book in the series of a favorite author came out and I fell on it joyfully. Distraction. But I found myself really annoyed that she was referring to a period in this character’s life as if I should know it. Why would I know this? I was almost finished with the book when I realized, oh, I should know this because the last book was about this. But I’d completely forgotten. When I finally fished the book out of my shelves, I remembered, but it was gone.
If grief had not been a frequent companion in my past, I might have panicked. As it was, I thought, “Ann, pay attention, because you’re not working with a full brain. Keep your expectations low… and be safe.”
So to have beauty pierce the fog of mourning is delightful. And what was lovely was that it wasn’t only my fog that beauty was piercing. It was also piercing the fog of the morning, no “u.” And while all the heavy fog had fled, there remained small columns of vapors drifting together across the water. It was exquisite. Last week I drove through the Poconos and the colors were changing. Every once in a while a tree would scream color and beauty and dare me to ignore the bounty. I was about to talk how Autumn is particularly beautiful, but perhaps what I need to say is that each season has a particular beauty that opens us, and helps us remember that this will end.
Wisps of Peace. All I can appreciate; all I can withstand at the moment. But still, Beauty is. Hope is. Peace is. Even in the fog of mourning.