Gratitude and sorrow
Thanksgiving afternoon, after a lunch we ate in a restaurant with her grandmother and great-aunt, C. and I went to the cemetery together. For the first time, since the day R. died, we held each other and cried. It hurt, but we've been hurting separately anyway.
On Monday of this week, the mother of one of C.'s room-mates died unexpectedly here in our home town. Naturally C. has spent a lot of time with her. Early on, her room-mate appreciated having someone with her who knew what it was like. One of their conversations brought up that her friend's mother, for years after her father's death, knew exactly how many months it had been since he died. My daughter immediately recognized that the day's date was exactly one year and seven months since her own father died. It has simultaneously been no time at all and a long, grueling span that has felt endless.
This week has held other deaths. A close friend lost his step-father. Yet another lost her father. "In the midst of life, we are in death..." says the Book of Common Prayer. The reverse is also true. Life continues, in all its mess and glory. I'm praying for my friends as they enter this valley.
I guess we all limp through this world, hiding the hurt. Tonight, I rubbed my daughter's back and then we just held each other. She was sitting on the ottoman of my chair and leaning back against me, as close as she could get to sitting in my lap like she used to. I could feel the rhythm of our breathing take on the same pace and pattern as she began to fall asleep. We've talked about things both serious and silly these days she's been home, and tonight we shared a deep and loving silence. We've seen some of the wounds we've each been hiding the last few days, and coming together, even for these few short days, I feel like we're beginning to heal.