I am in that time, after someone passes, in which the dirges are done, the cadence still, the calls, cards and casseroles quit coming and the work of grieving begins in earnest. Usually when you are alone with your thoughts. Maybe passing in public like a scar covered by a shirt sleeve. When the memories of that person light, like sparrows flitting amongst the leaves and grass vying for your attention. Many at once. A handwritten note, a saying, using her favorite frying pan which is exactly why you wanted it. That last hug of tiny frail bones upon which all of your love hung precipitously, defying gravity and inevitability. Until it didn’t.
It is a time when your ship has stopped in the doldrums and there are no waves or ripples or no one, and nothing moves except your mind. You feel paralyzed. Your length of stillness unrelated to anything you have done or should’ve done but just because it has and will always happen. Staying longer or shorter has no mathematical relation to the intensity of your love. There is no logic here. No rules. Your hopes vigilantly pinned as telltales on the sail for any wisp of wind. And there you sit until you are done. Maybe sooner, or maybe later, but some unseen force will lift you out. It is this that you wait for, when that endless stillness shrinks from days or hours to moments. When the sadness doesn’t take your breath away. When your vessel is lifted and your pain and sadness are carried off by the wind. That will bring the moments once again. I think you know what I mean, because such is love when someone dies.