On Saturday night, I had a select group of friends over for a bonfire. These friends were my tribe that were always present for me after Paul died or in the later months or both, offering the kind of love and support that helped me navigate the grief.
I was never given Paul’s keepsake ashes, so I kept a few things of Paul’s that had meaning to only him. I thought to myself, I’ll just make my own “ashes” later. A few weeks ago I came across a small bag of cards. I recall as I packed to move out of our house, I was touched that Paul saved all the cards I gave him. So, I set them aside for the future bonfire along with a few other things that I was surprised he kept. Men just don’t get rid of anything, do they? Finding the cards recently led me to the decision that it was finally time for that bonfire I had planned.
It was time to do this, not overdue but rather just the right time. I’ve made myself a tiny house into a cozy home. It’s all mine, even down to the garden. In my book, planting means you are staying. I am staying in this tiny house because I am comfortable here. I am staying in this cozy cottage because I don’t want to uproot myself again. I need to stay for now.
But I also wanted to let go of the mementos and the timing could not have been better. It’s Spring! To me, spring is a season of rebirth. The grass grows back in to a bright green color that has everyone asking what I did to make it so beautiful. The trees are budding with new life, some trees even have flowers that will be singing in the wind soon. Some trees already have those beautiful flowers that only the season of spring shows off. Bulb flowers are emerging. Birds are chasing each other. Yes, Spring is my favorite season indeed.
My bonfire party was full of friends, new and old. Some friends knew each other and some did not. We all knew each other well by the end of the night! My next door neighbor, Lou, asked me what story I could tell as I filled the fire pit. I told everyone that Paul and I had realized we may have been in the same English class our first year in college. Lou then read a lovely poem written by a Polish poet, Wislawa Szymborska, Love at First Sight The poem was about how we pass by each other for years or even decades, and eventually we meet because it was destiny.
That is exactly how we are in life, brushing by others, walking past someone and eventually we meet. Pay more attention to where you go. You just might meet a person that will make a significant difference in your life. I did. And, look: the ashes the next morning look just like a peace symbol.
#grief #lifelesson #lettinggo