Misty Grief

October, 2023

Dear Mom,

It is October in New Hampshire. I remember how much you loved visiting now, to enjoy the glorious fall colors. But there is another special feature of this month that has become one of my favorites. When I go down to the lake early in the morning to meditate, an enchanting mist rises up from the water, creating a captivating and mysterious scene. Breathing in that silent space, I feel a deep awe that feels my soul with peace.

As I stood there this morning, I realized how much mist is like grief. When the temperatures drop, the gentle fog rises up from the lake; when a memory pops up, sadness rises up from my heart. I can never be sure when either will appear, but I know both will happen from time to time.

When I received the news of your sudden death, my heart broke into a million shards. Slowly I have put those pieces back together. Writing letters to you during eight years helped me heal that brokenness, but the sorrow will always be thereā€”when I see a red rose, when I hear a cardinal sing.

The morning mist is a stunning phenomenon, sometimes with a gentle hue of pink, yellow, gold or blue. I never know what it will look like until I arrive. Grief is also beautiful because it is a reminder that I loved and was deeply loved. There is great comfort in remembering that. And I never know how it will appearā€”a single tear, a sudden burst or even a tsunami.

Nature teaches me, day after day, that life is constantly changing. I may not always like those variables. However, you taught me that I am capable of not only coping, but actually thriving, when I remember the love that has always surrounded me, when I seek beauty and its accompanying joy and when I focus on gratitude for all that I have been given in this lifeā€”including you.


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