Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Colour of Grief

My father died eight years ago today. I didn't realize this until I was at the coffee shop with Cedar and Brian this morning, and wrote the date into my journal. I wrote about my dad while Bri and Cedar drew funny pictures of aliens.  I cried, wrote, answered to Cedar a few times, drank my coffee, and kissed the top of my boy's head more than usual. 
I made a pact with myself, that even when I am with my kids, I will still find the time to write, even if it's a messy sentence or two minutes of a poem, or just an idea to paper. 
I also made a pact with myself to share more of my writing. Here is what I wrote this morning. 

The Colour of Grief

Death - it's a shaken box. Everything in it, rattling. A snowglobe scene of life, upside down. The car, the heatwave, the blueberry hand pie and strong espresso, my stomach, his long limbs - bare now. No fat. No momentum. Like a tree whose leaves did not take. Skinny poplar branches.

He was sleeping in my brother's bed, the bed I'd slept in the night before; listening, listening for any sound he might make. A part of me awake all night. A vigil. The TV channel was set to a nature sounds station. Birds chirping all night, a monotonous stream, sometimes crickets and wind. My father’s snore, for the first and last time, the greatest comfort to me.

Love. Love in my chest. A weeping love. A nervous love. Love holding on tight, making stamps of everything, everything, to keep as memories.
The heat wave, the fan, the back and forth, the up and down of stairs.
Death. Making its slow, definite way toward us.
You don’t, you can’t say goodbye. Who and what are you saying that to? People slip through dimensions, their bodies left like laundry on the floor.
I did not say goodbye.

My body was so heavy with love; love’s new face, love’s new sadness, love’s loss.
My father’s eyes were blue as Lake Louise that morning, as he slipped away, through that building of his body, clean as a canoe cutting through water.

And me, us, here like remnants. The rattled box now still. The sweeping through complete. Now there is just debris. Now there is just grief.
The sunset that day was the kind that makes you breathe more deeply, makes you stop, makes everything feel held in beauty. It was pink and orange and even purple in places. It was every colour my heart was; a bruise so beautiful I could not look away. 

1 comment:

Oriah said...

Beautiful Eden. My Dad died three months ago- the snow globe has yet to settle.