Last night at 6:30 my son and I were on the road to Evergreen Hospice to visit my beloved mother-in-law Julie (mother of Mark, my first husband; grandmother to my sons). Halfway there we received the call that she had passed away.
We would have been there when she died had I not received a phone call from my bank which I've been awaiting and had to take. I rushed through it as quickly as possible -- the loan adviser must've thought me to be some kind of lunatic -- I just wanted to get out the door.
Sometimes we must accept that things happen in their own time. The end.
My sister Mary sent me this last night, from Ann Patchett's new novel State of Wonder:
"There was no one clear point of loss. It happened over and over again in a thousand small ways and the only truth there was to learn was that there was no getting used to it."
I recall a summer evening a few years ago on my back porch with Julie and my boys and my friends Tom and Carol. We were speaking of Mark's death, and Julie (his mother, and who many years ago had also lost a daughter) said, "You don't get over it. You get used to it."
Both Ann Patchett and Julie are right. You get used to it and you don't get used to it. Death of someone you dearly love becomes a part of your every day, enters your body and lives there for a time, then eases itself away, ever so slowly, until a minute becomes bearable again, and then an hour, a day, a week....
I stood outside in Don and Julie's yard last night in the setting sun, on the phone to Tom. I was facing northwest, and the light was coming through the trees in lateral rays. Some local tree has been releasing a cloud of fluffy seed pods, and there were thousands of them illuminated in the golden light.
We are part of something much larger than our individual losses, our sorrows.
I don't know how to end this post