he flew away.

The contours of grief keep changing. I feel them the most when I wake up in the morning. Yesterday it felt one way and today it felt another. Each day has its own edges or lack of, its own weight or lack of, its own hollowness or lack of. Each day is equally bad in it’s own very unique way, with surprising moments of thorough goodness sprinkled into all the daylight hours in between. My tears were quiet this morning because I have a friend staying with me. I can be real with and around her, but there is a part of my grief that is simply private. I am grateful for her peaceful energy in the house. She sits in the loft reading with my cat as I try to find words to help me through another day. And that was the hardest part about waking up this morning. No words. I didn’t have anything. Just nothing, not even Carl. No sweet story to share, no photo that felt like the right one…only the repetitive pain of what is happening and what will never be. I got out of bed to escape the feeble dullness of all of this. I was surprised by the number of mouths I have to feed: horses and dogs and a cat. All these movements feel like too much, but I do it anyway and then feel grateful for the necessity of it.

I realize that this might not be the best platform for this kind of sharing, but right now I feel drawn to do it and so maybe it is helping someone else, too. I have learned to trust that in life and I am leaning into it, at least for now. An attempt at telling this beautiful story of Carl’s life and even his passing. I know this journey is leading me somewhere and, if you’re a part of this story, then it is leading you somewhere also. SO many of you have left such beautiful comments and sent heart-filled messages. I haven’t even begun to respond, but I am lifted up by the love that surrounds Carl and me over and over and over again.

The sky is grey today. It invites numbness. But then I opened the photo album on my phone and watched the video of the last song played at Carl’s funeral. Oh my goodness…when I listen to it right now the color starts to seep back in around the edges of this day. The music played for Carl was nothing short of phenomenal. That violin, like swallows sweeping and swooping through the sky. And Lou on the guitar, an impromptu jam…just like Carl would have loved. In that moment, at the funeral, I have never cried and smiled so hard at the same time in my entire life. Carl used to dance with me all the time. He loved to spin me around. We weren’t very good dancers, but would laugh and have so much fun. I felt him dancing with me while that music filled the church so thoroughly. Oh, and it was a joyous dance! Somehow he was dancing with just me and, at the same time, dancing with everyone. It was so “Carl.” Lover of life, his endless smile just keeps sneaking back in. As horrible as I am feeling at times, I can’t help it…he just keeps sneaking back in. I love him. We all loved him.

I hope you like this song. I hope it makes you smile, too.

{originally published Nov 16, 2014}

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