Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's a New Year

This collection of photos appeared at the
party given in Jay's honor in August 2014
At the risk of going to jail for copyright infringement (again), I am going to copy a passage from a book of daily meditations that has kept me company since my friend, Gwen, sent it to me shortly after Jay's death. Gwen's late husband, Jack, was a good friend of Jay's and died a few years ago, just weeks after learning of his cancer. No wonder, then, that Gwen knew firsthand how helpful this little book could be. Today's meditation struck a chord that I want to share on this fresh, first day of 2015.

January 1
. . . Everything brushes against the raw wound of our grief, reminding us of what we have lost, triggering memories--a tilt of the head, a laugh, a way of walking, a touch, a particular conversation. These images are like beads strung together on the necklace of loss. Tenderly, we turn them again and again. We cannot bear them. We cannot let them go.

Then, gradually, bit by bit, the binding thread of grief somehow transmutes, reconstitutes itself as a thread of treasured memories--a tilt of the head, a laugh, a way of walking, a touch, a particular conversation as gifts from the life we shared with the one we have lost, gifts that can never be taken away.
                      from  Healing After Loss by Martha Whitmore Hickman

I realize I have entered that next phase--where the memories of fifty-two years' history together with Jay are beginning to cause more pleasure than pain. As I take down the door wreath and put away the window candles (and the little Oberammergau creche on the mantel), I will be remembering our fifty-plus of "Christmas cleanup." We moaned and groaned about how much work it was to "do" Christmas, but we always agreed that it was worth every bit the trouble.

May we all have more happy than sad memories today--and throughout 2015.

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