A week after Henry died, Daisy and I ventured down to the river for a morning walk. We had stayed away until then because it was the last place we had all been together on his last day in Providence and I couldn’t bear to stop and sit on our favorite spot in the grass without him there.
I could say that life is a river and you gotta flow with it*, but that’s not why we went. We went because someone had said to me (perhaps in the comments?) that for the first days after he is gone to be on the lookout for a sign from him. That was an encouraging idea plus it gave me more reason to get outside and move about.
However, before I tell you the little story (that you will never believe) that I came in to share with you, I must start by telling you how much your condolences helped me. Oh my god. They SO helped me. And they taught me something I never knew before: it helps so much to receive people’s care and concern even though nothing can be done to ease the pain.
I really never knew this.
In the past, I would always hesitate before reaching out to write to someone when they were suffering a loss — the hesitation would be “there’s nothing I can say or do, I don’t want to bother them, what use is my card/letter, etc?” I am here to tell you (as if you didn’t already know, you smarty pants) that OMG, it helps—it helped me so much. The cards and letters and packages that piled up on my doorstep made it easier to cry, made me feel less alone, made me feel the love all around me and I am forever grateful to each of you that took the time to reach out to me.
Besides soothing my heart, you taught me a huge lesson: it always matters; it is always a good idea to let someone know you see their pain and that you care. Going forward I will never hesitate to send a card or letter. Thank you for that and THANK you for loving me and loving Henry as you do.
Okay, so back to the bit of wild magic that you won’t believe but I will tell you anyway because you know me well enough to know my life is like a flipping fairy forest of twinkle lights and helpful sprites.
We head to the river. Daisy scrambles down the bank and goes for a swim.
I sit on the bench and stare at the spot in the grass where Henry was curled up that last day.
(directly to the right of the corner of the bench .. do you see a bit of white paper there?)
There’s a scrap of trash so I reach down to pick it up when I see the words.
I look around like maybe someone is playing a joke on me? We have been to that exact spot easily one hundred times and there has never been any trash on the ground and the trash has never been a scrap of paper that says “thank you.”
Even writing this to you in this moment I can feel what I felt then.
It was overwhelming. It was magic.
And that’s when I got my breath back.
I’m still not quite myself — Taproot Squam was glorious and gorgeous and filled my heart to the brim, but as per usual at this time of the year, I am spent, flat and without any gas in the tank. The good news is—I am on HOLIDAY!
Yes, for anyone following along at home (i.e. instagram) you will see I have journeyed across the ocean to gather up with some goddesses at our old stomping ground: Glastonbury. I just got here this afternoon and am settling in--- it feels so deep, so fated—like big shifts and changes and discoveries are going to come out of this week.
And also? Many MANY languorous hot baths and long walks through the fields.
More on the other side. Love love love to YOU←!!
*OMG - please know I would never say something like that because I have far too much respect for the delicacy of your gag reflex!