During the week I work. It distracts me. Writing lines of XHTML code, placing one color against another, finding a pleasing harmony. Solving an intricate software problem. Filling an order for a deck, printing out postage. Writing emails that say, no, I’m sorry, I’m not accepting new clients at this time . . .
I walk by the bay with Colleen and Rex the dog in the mornings, with Kristen and the babies in the double-seat stroller in the afternoons. Craig and I cook dinner together and eat with the late afternoon sunlight pouring through the slatted windowshades. I read in the evenings. I light the candles at twilight. I do my devotions. I fall asleep early.
And I think: I’m OK. No problem. This death is not like other deaths I’ve been through. It was not sudden or traumatic. This death was expected, anticipated, even welcomed. It’s not a tragedy.
Then the weekend comes. And I am less busy. I sit in the garden. I watch the birds. I listen to the flutter of their wings. I take refuge in weeding and cutting back overgrown, dried-out herbs with dead flowers. The time of the Reaper, this Lammastide. All around me, the dead blooms of Spring and early Summer. And Goldenrod, Echinacea and Sunflower now in their glory.
I cut. I reap. I compost.
And the tears rise like an underground stream seeping up to the surface. The grief is there, a deep hidden well, just out of sight during the busy week.
Ah, papa. I miss you so much.