Saturday, July 22, 2017

For Thor - 86 - Take the Helm

Grieving your death is a terrible and beautiful journey through the blasted and burnt landscape of my heart. Healing is happening, but the road is fraught with perils and pitfalls; images and sounds that spin me back to that moment, that contracted pinpoint moment, when your dad shook his head slowly and said, "He's gone." That's the second from which all the rest since then rise and fall in a cascade of horror, sorrow, shock, love, gratitude, agony, expansion, grace, inspiration, growth, longing, disbelief…utter fucking heartbreak.

I've walked this road for eighteen months. Eighteen inexplicable months of life moving forward without you. Days melted into weeks that hold new memories and laughter, new life milestones dot the landscape now as the play continues to unfold for those of us left here to live on after you. For me, each and every one of them is imbued with an air of sorrow. It's proof to me that a single moment can, indeed, hold profound sadness and exquisite joy. These two co-mingle like positive and negative charges electrifying my emotional expression, blowing down the constructs of what I think is possible and destroying expectations of How It Should Be. If I am to survive these forces I must be edgeless and open. If you look inside me now, there are no new walls.

When I was a kid I remember a survival class at school telling us that finding shelter is the best way to survive the wilderness. So I tried to put up a lean-to or a freaking tent to escape the constant howling winds that purge and blast my heart. But this was a short-lived experiment. Grief and sorrow tore them down, longing and love tumbled the pieces back into the Sea of Grief leaving me feeling bewildered and lost, again. Camping out inside a hidey-hole on this journey is not an option. Separateness and withdrawing into myself is not an option, either. The agonizing sorrow of your death, I have come to find, is my constant companion and teacher, always pushing me, driving me, forcing me to MOVE along the path. Solace and peace exist in the moments when I am able to abandon the idea of me, apart. I must continue to expand. Sometimes, it's flat out excruciating because my broken, sad mama's heart still holds onto you in your life here with me, with us.

I miss your smile and laugh. I miss the feeling of your hair when I tousle it. I long to hear your voice and talk over your life plans. My heart leaps when I catch a glimpse of a truck like yours and just for a moment I think…Thor! I cook dinner sometimes and think to myself, "I bet Thor would really love this!" and I wish I could call you up and invite you round for supper. It's both wonderful and agonizing when your dad and brothers play guitar without you. One of them usually plucks your black Fender from its stand and strums it in tribute, including you the only way left to us now. Your friends are getting married and going to college, worrying about girlfriends and making plans for jobs and life. Your Starr has found a new beau and I'm so happy for her but also sad thinking about what you've missed out on. I think you'd like him, Thor. He's a VDOT guy and looks like a cross between you and TJ! I wonder if you had a hand in sending him her way? Madhuri got married to Nick and is happier than I've seen her in a long time. You were supposed to be in her wedding. I know you were there in spirit because I could feel you but still Not. The. Same.

I'm taking this sorrow and love and channeling it toward something good. Thor's Hammer is coming along very well as an event. The plans are taking shape and the outpouring of support is magnificent to behold. It's hard for me to operate out of both my head and my heart so intensely at the same moment. But just like I learned that sorrow and joy can exist in the same moment, the broken heart is leading the charge, the logical mind just has to follow. My undying love for you drives my actions. Your love for the community inspires and is guiding us to find the path forward. It's a lesson in vulnerability for me, though. To create such a love offering for the whole community and then wonder, will they come? Will it be okay? Is it needed or wanted? Am I blinded by my love for my boy? Can I do this? Is it enough? Am I enough?

There is no answer to these questions. They are silly queries that arise from being unsure and sad and in pain, from fear. What will be, will be; and that has to be okay. Love is the reason for what we do, so how can it be anything other than perfect? I continually learn to stay open and vulnerable in so many difficult passages. I've already gone through the worst, you'd think I could easily handle these lesser trials. The thing is, every experience is related to THAT experience now. All loss feels like THAT loss. All fear feels like THAT fear. All uncertainty feels like THAT uncertainty… those terrorizing feelings that raged and tossed the Sea of Grief so violently are still active forces. I have a stronger vessel now, with mended sails and a deep rudder. I can navigate and ride the crests into the troughs and not drown in the waves that crash over my bow. Still, it's a rough ride that starts each morning when I open my eyes and look to the sun on the horizon. Another day of life is graced upon us full of blessings and possibility. Another day dawns and arcs across the sky, the sun shines on the Earth where you once walked, talked, lived, laughed and loved. The wind blows sand across your footprints. I reach out from my heart to touch the sky, the place where you melted into the Great Light of All and take the helm…

What will today hold?

I love you,