Waves

And the freedom of falling
A feeling I thought was set in stone
It slips through my fingers
I’m trying hard to let go
It comes and goes in waves
It comes and goes in waves
And carries us away

~ Dean Lewis

It hits unexpectedly, the grief. Laughing one minute, overcome with tears the next. I never really know when to expect it. It’s a surprise visitor in the night, an unwelcome guest in the daylight. It’s been raining so much here lately. It seems fitting, the gray, the darkness.

I dream her every night. So far, they haven’t been dreams of comfort, but dreams of discontent. Perhaps it’s my own body, my own soul, fighting against what has been made true by life and death, by the limits of our corporeal selves.

She is gone.

And I am lost.

I walk into a room and forget why I’m there. I begin a sentence and struggle to finish it. I stare blankly out the window, trying to make myself move or feel or do. I go out with friends and although I smile on the outside, I am rain and wind and storms on the inside.

I am not there, and I am not here. I am somewhere in between.

Death is funny that way. It’s the one thing we all will eventually share, and yet, it’s such a lonely and singular experience.

Grief is that way, too.

There is empathy and kindness and concern, but grief is not a shareable thing. My grief is different than yours. Yours is different than mine. You did not know my beautiful, vibrant mom like I did. You knew her like you did. We may grieve together, but our grief is different. We are each alone in it.

I’m waiting for the signs that people say will come… the hummingbird visits and the thrift shop finds and a line in a book that speaks just to me. I haven’t found them yet. I will continue looking.

I searched my phone for a voicemail yesterday. I just wanted to hear her. Just wanted one last “Trinks” from her voice. But I had deleted them all. Why? Why didn’t I keep one? How couldn’t I have known that her voice would be so vital to me after she was gone, like food, like water, like breath?

I crave the ocean right now. The beach. The waves. The eternity of the view. The assurance that we are, indeed, just grains of sand in the big scheme of things. I want to dig my toes in the warmth. I want the cold of the water to take my breath away.

I want to feel again.

I want to call her from beach, hold the phone out, and say, “Listen, Mom. Can you hear them? The waves?” I want to take a battered copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and read it in the sun. It was her favorite, after all. A staple on my childhood coffee table.

I want to call her and say, “I’m reading it again, Mom. I’m learning to fly.”

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