Tuesday, April 1, 2014
My siblings and I are in the process of going through our parents' belongings, sorting as best we can right now (not having the heart yet to thoughtfully disperse), and putting their house on the market. They moved from the farm into town long after I was grown and gone, so their home doesn't have the sentimental attachment of the one I grew up in. But they loved that house and even called it the enchanted cottage. Moving from a small town was a statement of freedom that kept their marriage intact and strengthened the easy friendship they shared in spite of their differences.
Before my parents both died, their things vibrated with life and meaning. Every item my mother collected was meticulously arranged and re-arranged to reflect her own unique aesthetics. My dad's guns were at peace and poised for attention, calmly waiting for the next cleaning, hanging proudly on display with the knowledge they were loved. Now all of their things sit frozen like children in time out, stunned by the sudden aloneness with no idea what to do.
Once the people are gone, it's like their stuff stops vibrating.
Yesterday, a Jewish colleague randomly shared the story of her father's death and told me about how members of her faith observe a period of mourning. According to her, a full 12 months are allowed for grieving the loss of a loved one, and within those 12 months, there are distinct periods of different activities and restrictions. I don't pretend to fully understand the practice, but just hearing about it was soothing, and I knew - without saying anything - that she understood my sadness. She could see it on me.
Part of me doesn't want to go through my parents' things...ever. I don't want to drive by their house and see, just like their farm, that the people are gone and the surroundings have lost their animation.
And like their belongings, I, too, am vibrating differently without them in the world. My cells aren't responding quite the same, and I no longer have their energy to bump against to remind me where I came from. November 19th will mark one year to the day that Dad died, which is my newly adopted mourning period. Until then, to honor my parents and myself, I will quietly wear the vibration of loss.
Image from tabletmag.com