Mumzie died on Thursday morning. She was 94 years old, having just had her birthday in May. We had the funeral service today. It was a very lovely little graveside service, which is what she wanted. Poor Shirley, left alone in the house that had held all of them now gone: her husband, her children, and her mother. I don’t really understand how she goes on. I think caring for her mother gave her great purpose.
Tao and Zen
I signed the guest book and included Tula (in spirit). This is not a silly gesture—Mumzie loved Tula & Tula loved her “grams.” And Tula was there with us on some of the days toward the end. She would run to the bedroom first thing upon entering the house. Grams was always giving Tula too many treats and telling me that she was hungry.
So here we are again. Left with those waves and spasms of grief, and the resurfacing of past losses. Each new ending bringing a trail of the beloved. All gone gentle into that good night, no rage against the dying of the light.
Mother’s Day ended up being a Mother’s Week, the few days of writing became a frenzy, and last night was an emergency. The emergency was a friend’s mother, and at least now she’s in the hospital and settled a bit. It is, my mother would say, the end game. (And she meant that in good spirit, applying it to herself as well as others.)
And we lost Tom Wolfe. Who had to die before anyone saw him in anything other than a white suit.
So we breathe, sit, and listen to wind chimes.
Now the catching of breath can be done in different ways, while still the anchor of grief tugs beneath the surface, breaking through the current of the river as we tow it beneath ourselves.
Sitting with grief does not seem to lend itself to a meditative calm. Perhaps the Practice needs be so second nature that it—the Something that reaches out to soothe, to comfort, is summoned then and there. Or perhaps it is the message that even grief, in its own justification for being, is something that feeds the ego. The ego of self.
Posted by Tao and Zen
When the walking is difficult we sit. When the sitting is difficult we lie down in our beds. When that cannot be done, it no longer matters.