Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And the mourning light, the morning light

In the twenty-first century in America (at least, in my culture) there's no way to tell, just by looking, if someone is grieving for a loved one, short of seeing him in a police-led funeral procession or seeing her weeping at a grave. Gone are the black armbands and other forms of prescribed mourning attire that let a private grief be visible.

My mother owned a small black daisy-like flower broach with a tiny emerald center that had been her grandmother's. My mother liked to tell my sister and me about it, explaining that our great-grandmother was expected to make her widow's grief visible every day for a year by wearing black. Presumably the pin was acceptable jewelry for her to wear during that year. I recently rediscovered it in my safe deposit box and thought for a minute about wearing it, but then tucked it back into its little storage bag.

No one sees my grief, and that's OK. I've always been a private person when it comes to my feelings.

That is not to say I don't have my own activities that help me ritualize my own sadness. I like to take morning walks on the lovely Sammamish River Trail near my home. When I see sunlight striking the trees and the river, I cannot help but think of Jay.

The light makes me feel as though I will heal. It makes me feel OK that I am alone and comforts me with the awe of creation. The light makes me feel hopeful and connected to the everyone I love, even if they no longer walk beside me. Walking in the morning light . . . the mourning light . . . helps me feel certain Jay is in a good place, and I will be all right. 

2 comments:

Andrea said...

We wear our armbands stitched to our souls...

Holly Hoebreckx said...

Your blog is a comfort to me too, as I can see it is for you. Nature gives its own perspective. Keep writing and photographing. xo-Holly