Sometimes there are no words.
I don't even know why I am writing this, because every single letter of this sentence feels inadequate, but the weight and reverberation of silence feels more oppressive this afternoon than the sound of saying something wrong. Silence can be so fucking glib.
I just feel so heartbroken. Three losses in the community this week. Another friend was told by a relative that God didn't let her be a mother. The tsunami in Japan. The bombing in Libya now and the wars in the Iraq and Afghanistan, and the thousands of little tragedies that mark everyday. Some intersect my life, most do not, but it moves me nonetheless. I am privileged to hear people's stories everyday--about suffering, abuse, strength, survival. I sit in tonglen meditation, and it is not enough. I couldn't possibly feel the depth of other people's suffering. I couldn't possibly relieve it by sitting in my warm house in front of an altar trying to touch that pain, yet I persist. Reading Jen's words today, put me right there in the car on winter solstice, shoulders slumped over, wondering how the fuck I am supposed to leave my baby is that cold fucking hospital, wondering how I will ever feel anything close to normal again. I still have no idea. I don't think I was normal before her death. I was misguided and ignorant. I am more me than I was before Lucy died. But maybe that is how most people feel when we are so profoundly changed we don't even remember who we were.
To be perfectly honest, I began writing this post last June, when Barb suffered her loss. All I wrote was the first sentence. I sat at the computer with a bottle of wine, weeping and staring blankly at the screen. Since then, I have revisited this post every week or so, staring at the first sentence:
Sometimes there are no words.
I feel so impotent. I feel so tongue-tied and silly. My friends are bleeding, in physical pain, in emotional turmoil the likes of which I have not felt for a long time, but I feel so heartbroken too. I remember that pain like she just left my body. The people who visit this blog have suffered such a wide ranging experiences of suffering. I wanted to write about their losses, struggles, wounds, but those stories are not mine to tell. And so, I have been writing about me, my family, coming to terms with happiness and contentedness while living with the huge grief of losing Lucy. This blog feels so glib, so wrong, in lieu of other people's suffering. I recognize how fortunate I am, even as I grieve. I love what Tash said in her last Glow post about the relationship between self-pity and self-compassion. I am trying to practice self-compassion. It occurred to me that maybe self-pity is simply self-compassion run riot. Maybe that is the most profound change in my grief--the shift from being brutal and unflinching with myself to being kind(er), perhaps even a tad more compassionate with myself. That is a gift from reading other people's blogs. I have also shifted from seeing what I have rather than what I don't have, while still acknowledging that I suffered. I have not suffered more than anyone, but still, I have suffered. And that is worthy of grief. But days like today, when other people's suffering stares me in the face, I cry for my friends' losses, for their second, third and fourth losses. So sad for the hard choices and the hard work some have to do to grow their family. I am rooting for each spark, like it were my own spark. Love should be enough.
To be perfectly frank, this afternoon, I soaked in the bath, then I wrapped myself in my robe, crawled into my spare room's bed, pulled the covers over my head and wept. It has been a long time since I have done that, and I cried out of sadness, but mostly, I cried in anger. I wanted to punch shit. I felt so much rage at the injustice of it all. I want to be the universal muscle for all the women I love. I want to kick the universe's ass, even though I am a pacifist.
Tomorrow is vernal equinox, Ostara. Kukulkan, the famous descent of the snake on Chichen Itza, happens tomorrow. And so I mark the passage of my own Lucy again, my contentedness slithering down the side of me, pooling into a grief and compassion puddle. We feast, cry, look at the huge Worm Moon. Tonight, as I sit under the moon again, I will remember aloud. I will say their names, like a litany, for the world. I will scream it through the night, like a howling banshee, so that it echos for a year. Then I will whisper on the wind, so that it might fall on the smallest of buds, and bloom into something beautiful. Maybe that is the sound I want today, simply the sound of their names, because to me, that is the sound of love.