Since I concluded my journal on the Caring Bridge website, I find that I am still writing every day. Tracking Richard’s last days and my subsequent journey into widowhood continues to be a sorrowfully glorious opportunity for revelation. More poems, more heart expansion as I let go of my former life, more lessons of grief and gratitude emerge as the waters ebb and flow around me. I wrote this today:
I am once more amazed at how time has shifted in my calculations. Kronos and Kairos time keep dancing in confusing configurations. (Kronos is the original Greek god of chronological linear time as noted by clocks and calendars, while Kairos, his grandson, is all about seizing the moment.) I am sure there will always remain a ‘before Richard died and after Richard died ‘ set point for many varied reasons as I continue to greet his death. Including my evolving emotional reactions, I also have simultaneously experienced so many changes of identity. I am now a widow without my own home. I am no longer going to be Woodstocker as I have been since my early childhood. I will be moving into a (wonderful) senior care facility in Ohio.
All of this was literally unimaginable to me two years ago. I must forgive myself the difficulty I have in grasping that it is more than two weeks since Richard’s memorial which was exactly two months from the day he died. Which was 16 months before he was diagnosed and the whole ordeal of treating his primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma began.
My past is unraveling gracefully. I may be the luckiest widow in the world. I will be taken care of financially even as my health deteriorates. My daughters are helpful loving, strong women who support me at every step. I have wonderful friends who love me and show it in practical hands-on ways. They hear my tears and fears and know I must move away. Even though we face the reality that cyberspace is a very poor cousin compared to sharing a cup of tea in person, it is right for me to leave here.
All of this movement is occurring around the huge boulder of loss that has rolled into my stream bed. The boulder is immovable. Life never stands still. I find myself thirsty for life, in awe of the hard surface of mortality. I finally am more cognizant that I can’t have my thirst quenched without also imbibing death. “Rock loves stillness, Water loves movement, Love loves loving. Perfect. Breathless. Ineffable.” I no longer remember why I wrote those words over twelve years ago. Three years later I asked Richard to record them for an album I created for my senior thesis in Interfaith Ministry. We played his voice reciting those words at the memorial. They speak on an even deeper level of truth to me now.
It is no metaphor that Richard’s ashes flow in the stream beside this rental house.They are carried by spring rains to the sea, washing exuberantly around all boulders in their path. A pinch of his ashes also lie beneath Cliff and Sara’s backyard redwood tree in California. And with his bother’s chosen places in GA and CO. Another pinch will come with me and Emilia to Ohio and a few more will fly with Emilia to India when her work calls her back. I know he is everywhere and nowhere. And I know that he is with the stillness of Presence.