31 May 2008

Foot Bridge


I went walking this week. I probably walked close to 30 miles, all over town, across bridges and up hills, through neighborhoods, past baseball diamonds, into parks, through fields and into the city. I walked across rivers and I stood on a foot bridge with the river splashing over the top of me until I was drenched, until my glasses were fogged and my hair was dripping and my clothes were soaked. Certainly the urge was there to get lost in the river. What I wanted to do was float, I wanted to float on top and let the current take me where it will. They say people die in rivers because they fight the current, that if you really fall into fast moving water, you shouldn't fight it, you should float it. That's not to say there isn't still a danger. Of course there is. Of course, there is still a huge risk but you have a greater chance of survival if you don't fight it, if you don't fight the current.

That makes sense because I'm guessing that people who supress their feelings, people who bury their grief, live a shorter life. This is not a scientific theory but it makes sense to me. After all, if you can release your emotions, if you can release your feelings, it's healthier for your physically, mentally and spiritually.

What if we took our collective grief and really did something with it? What if we took our collective grief and let it out, if we wailed in the streets, if we danced in the park, if we floated down the river.

Grace would be five years old tomorrow, on Sunday. And Grace is five, but she is five in a much more ethereal way then I ever expected. And of course I'd rather have her in a tangible way, I'd rather have her in a physical way. So I can mourn that loss, I can grieve that loss of her while I celebrate the presence of Sawyer, while I celebrate the presence of other things in my life.

Here is a list of first names of people I know because Grace isn't here:

Jill
Sara
Joanne
Kara
Hawk
Jo
Ellis
Aubrianna
Isabelle
Pam
Vanessa
Layla
John
Peter
Amanda
Beth
Grace
Payton
Tom
Micah
Liam
Russ
Olivia
Micah
Arah
Carolyn
Heather
Becky
Virginia
Ben
James

This is by no means a comprehensive list. But it is a list of people who have made me a better person in one way or another. It is a list of people, one or two who have saved my life, 5 or 6 who never lived more than a month but affected my life, many who have made my life better.

And so for that I am forever grateful and knowing that Grace is not here, I know that my life is still rich and my life is full and I am supposedly a more empathetic person. I am a person with a deep, deep wound that once in a while seeps. But we all carry our wounds one way or another and it is how we heal them that determines the size of the scar. I wear my scar proudly, and I remain wounded, but I am wounded with my heart grown larger and so the river still rages but eventually it will subside and it will flow more smoothly until another snowstorm hits and another thawing melts the snow and it may just very well start all over again to rage. But it will have changed and it will have evolved and it will have strengthened.

3 comments:

1,000 Faces of MotherHenna said...

Do you know the Peace Pilgrim? She walked and walked. In my mind, as I read your post, I pictured you walking and walking -- and in a way Grace was there walking with you. I could even see Kota and I standing somewhere at water's edge, letting it flow and splash and drench us. Thinking of you so much -- of all of you. xoxoxo me

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

How funny, Sarah. I just submitted a piece to the newsletter using the riptide as a metaphor for grief. Synchronicity! ((((Kara))))

Chalet Men said...

Sawyer
Sadie
Gary
Mark
Grace
Terry Terry Terry

ily,t