Ostara and the Moon of Mourning
Sunday gratefuls: Kate weeding in Andover. Ruth offering, on her own, to stay with me. Seoah showing up. Rigel and Kep both warm up against me last night. Snow. Blue Sky and bright Sun. Gabe cleaning up the kid’s room.
Sparks of Joy: Vaccines. Joe on his way.
Allowing myself to recall scary images like Kate in the hospital bed, dead. A faint light over her in a darkened room. Her cremation. Why? They are specks of memory that could grow big, spiky in my heart. Places I’m afraid to see, would spend any effort to avoid.
I learned this with Vega’s death. It took me three years to revisit, in full, the moment when she looked up at me, told me she needed help. That moment of her vulnerability and my inability to help her festered and kept me locked into the dark side of my grief about her. No more. She jumps and runs in my memory, her big personality everywhere.
Memories. Kate is, in fact, not gone. She lives on in my memory and the memory of so many others. And I want to add her memories to my daily life. To learn from them. To love her in them. To experience joy from the many years of joy we shared. I want no barriers to memory.
We have a shiva minyan tonight. Not sure how many people will come. I hope at least 10. Rabbi Jamie told me in the hospital that he’d always wondered about the rule that there need to be 10 to say kaddish. Then, he said, he knew. It was to ensure that the community, the congregation did show up at a mourner’s house.
Not sure whether this will be the last one or not. Probably decide tonight.
I’m sleeping well, still pushing food to the right side of my mouth to chew. Hope the sore goes away soon. Tears less frequent. Will that last? Don’t know. Either way is fine. I’m a cryer, so when I need healing I welcome them.
Joe comes on Thursday. We’ll begin to reorganize the house, sort out Kate’s belongings. Seoah told me after a death in Korea they take all the loved ones belongings outside and burn them. We don’t want them, she said. Me, too. No fire though. Probably Mountain Resource Center or Goodwill. Our equivalent.
I’ve not decided yet on my trip to Hawai’i. Joe and Seoah will go back on April 30th since Raeone (Joe’s other mom.) flies in on May 1st, leaving on the 7th. I’ll probably go early the week of May 9th, stay until the middle of June. I need sleep, time off from responsibilities, immersion in family.
In an odd twist Mary (my sister) will show up in Hawai’i on the 13th. Her visa ran out in Singapore. After over 25 years of service to the nation. They are not sentimental folks, Singaporean immigration. She can’t go to Malaysia, where her significant other, Guru lives, because it’s still shut down due to covid. No telling how long she’ll be with Joe and Seoah. Probably not longer than September since she starts teaching in Kobe then.
After Hawai’i will come building a new life here on Shadow Mountain, a single life. I contemplate no big changes. For sure not right now.
There will be a celebration, scattering of ashes on August 18th, Kate’s 77th birthday. Maybe by then things will become clearer. Right now, muddy. Which is fine and expected.