Grief during the holidays seems both cruel and counterintuitive . It is like reaching for a bouquet of roses, anticipating the pleasant waft of sweet floral aromas, and finding oneself stung by a thorn.
Note: this is personal post. I hope you don’t mind dear readers.
Ashes to Ashes : Dust to dust. What I wore to the funeral below, calls to mind both ashes and dust.
My eyes are swollen and my heart is heavy. Saying good-bye to my friend, my dear friend’s husband, was a bitter pill to swallow. Yet, it is easy for me to take solace in the bountiful memories of love and generosity that I remember this friend for. His quick humor and zest for life feels vivid and alive, still. His lovely wife, a dear friend of 26 years, is mourning this terrible loss.
Grief during the holidays is common, I think. At a time when we are reflective, we miss the ones who used to be part of our daily lives.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we tally our gifts and misfortunes. For me, the overwhelming emotional feel is gratitude. I am so blessed with a loving husband of 34 years and two children who bring so much joy into my life. My sisters, who I mentioned here, are an amazing source of strength, laughter and loving commitment.
So I feel lucky even as I experience grief during the holidays. Gratitude fills my heart. If there is no loss, we can not experience the full spectrum of joy. Alas, we do not live forever, This is how life is meant to be.
Friends teach you so much. My dear friend has now taught me how to grieve .
While I was not quite ready for this lesson, I witnessed art and beauty in her tears. For decades my fiends have been beacons : how to be good wife, a good mother, and mostly a good human being. I owe them such a debt of thanks.
My heart goes out to my friends in real life, and to my readers, for any loss that they suffer during this holiday season.
I know my friends appreciate my vintage Oscar De la Renta dress, and a brooch , a gift from my dear friend. The old-fashioned gloves that kept me warm, is also a nod to their old world elegance.
A tangential fashion mention. My friend who lost her husband recently has impeccable style. She was married in a couture House of Worth gown and her husband, now gone, was betrothed in head-to-toe Valentino. They are not showy people, but as a couple, they exuded a natural elegance and fineness.
They existed and thrived in a beautiful world, where art, culture and music was central to their very existence .
Love in its full spectrum includes darkness and shadow. It there were no darkness, we would not be able to see the light.
My beautiful friend, who survives her husband, is truly elegant still. She speaks many languages, but is most gifted in the language of love. How she inspires me!
For Paul: In Memoriam
For decades of diaphanous moments
they walk in lock step, side by side,
and together still
though he but whisper in her stride,
they journey together
secured by the veracity of enduring love .