This morning light snow was falling off the awning of the walkway to the ferry. I stood on the long walkway, watching it fall in long chunks and drop somehow gracefully to the ground. Quickly they fell, but slow enough that I could see them drifting through the air. I thought it was beautiful. I thought about gravity- how it holds us here to this earth. Many years ago at a retreat I was sitting outside with my journal where I watched leaves fall slowly from a fall tree- when I thought I heard God telling me this: “there is beauty in falling.” “There is beauty in falling,” I think to myself this morning standing there, cold, watching the new, light snow, plummet from above.
Beauty- I’ve always loved that word- and “ephemeral”- which you always made fun of me for. You claimed your favorite was cantankerous.
Beauty seems very important to me these days. I heard it said that although we see beauty in nature all around us- there is also brutality in nature- so although nature can suggest a creator- it cannot prove a benevolent or loving creator. Only the cross, this pastor said, suggests this.
But in beauty, I see love. Does an artist of any kind have the capacity to create something beautiful without having known or experienced love in some form? I don’t know the answer to this really- just something I’ve been pondering.
I’ve also heard it said that beauty is a lot like faith. After all, if someone asks you to explain it or how you know it exists- it’s not really easy to do.
I meet my counselor for my appointment. I am still hovering, we determine, between hanging on to the pain, and moving forward. “But the doors haven’t opened yet,” she tells me- something to push me towards that new life that I have to accept will be different- very different.
We talk about the upcoming visit with my inlaws from Korea. It is strange to have inlaws when your husband is no longer alive. We talk about how I will spend Easter. I tell her that this year Easter is very, very important to me. It means, truly, that possibly my husband’s corpse will one day rise from the ground and he will live in it again. This sounds crazy and supernatural- and it is both of those- but this is what the Gospel says. “The dead shall rise first.” I tell her it’s my only hope and I notice she, a woman who lost her eighteen year old daughter to a car accident, must silently wipe her tear-filled eyes as she nods her head in agreement slowly.
On the bus back to the ferry- a new layer of grief comes to me. Something I hadn’t thought of because I haven’t been able to look ahead at all. One day, I think, one day Audrey may have a child- a baby. I will be a grandmother. You, Dan, will not hold that baby. We will not get to be grandparents together. Oh how I will miss you then.
And in my mind, you will be a grandfather- at the age of 33.