Last night I think about how many different kinds of tears there are and I think I have cried most of them by now. I don’t think I realized there were such different breeds of crying before this kind of loss.
There are angry tears, tears of rage.
There are tears of pure longing and denial.
There are tears of exhaustion and there are tears of surrender.
And then there are tears of goodbye. Grieving is really just that- saying a very long and complicated goodbye.
Lately I’ll do something and suddenly realized I feel exactly like you because I’ve used a gesture you would use often, but something I never did. After I realize that, I do it a few more times and picture you doing it. I think about how I could possibly capture these because I haven’t thought of them until those moments and might not again. Write notes describing them, draw a picture? No, I can’t capture a gesture. So I just take them in for that moment and remember.
The other day Audrey was just at the sink washing some food off of her chin but the way she rubbed the water on was exactly the way you used to wash your face. I just stared. I wonder how many moments there will be like that in the future. Moments where I just stare.
In the Elizabeth Edwards book I read she wrote about a great analogy for loss. It is like someone who lost everything – all their belongings- in a fire and even years later, they remember something else they lost. “Oh yeah, that was lost in the fire too…” I know this feeling from having lost most of my belongings when we fled our Brooklyn apartment- and it happens all the time. So I can attest to the metaphor. Instead of a possession, it’s usually a shared memory: “Oh, that was you too. That time was with you. Who was I with that time? You. You. You. ” All lost.