Reddit served the above quote and it felt like a lovely Hors d'Oeuvres served on a silver plater and savored. Those of us who've lost a loved one and walk the path of grief know it's a memory driven life after death. Here Here Here are previous posts regarding memories.
I searched for the quote and found it here. The site was a bit crunchy for my taste yet it was powerful.
What struck me was how the quote offers a future for me if I look and listen to my grief scented memories. I can see myself reflected in the grief of my loss and that reflection is not static. It is dynamic and moves forward the in ripples and eddies of a stream even as I stand in place.
I've learned that immediately following Donna's death the crushing blow of grief pitched me into frantic behaviors. Get legal documents filed, arrangements made, notes to those who attended her funeral, and more. Looking at my future self through this lens today I find that I am adjusting the frenetic self with a more organized list to-do’s driving me. My future self is finding the time to be in a moment and not in a meme. I stop and consider so as to make good decisions for me today and for my past.
I've learned that feeling unfit for human consumption and living in isolation is not a path to knowledge and understanding of what was, what is, and what will be. Isolation is a self-imposed darkness where you stumble over memories in a dark warehouse never really seeing what and why. I caution, I am not believing my own PR. I am not inculcating myself with the belief that am a perfect resemblance of a human with all the confidence and pose others have. I guess in a way I remain firmly rooted in doubts about me, what I did in my life, and how I lived my life for the simple reason that when the real doubts and fears begin my fall will not create a severe emotional concussion just a mild abrasion.
I've learned that my guilt for living after Donna's death is just a fact of my life. My guilt jumps out if I take a trip. While in the cab to the airport I hear my voice 'Why am I leaving? I am abandoning Donna leaving her behind. I need to go back'. Yet I continue and go. Once there, where ever there is, I settle in. Near the end of a trip I long to head home to find comfort being near Donna again and imagining I am caring for her and have not left her behind.
Future Perfect Tense
From the day Donna was diagnosed to her death and today I never ran from my grief nor looked to closure. I have allowed my grief to have its way with me while I listened to its story. Throughout this time and still to this day I have taken small steps to comfort myself and live in my own skin as time moved forward to live in my life as it is today. Giving myself comfort was not easy but allowing it to happen is getting easier. I am not roiling in my grief but respecting the inventory of knowledge that grief imparts as I strain to hear its whispering song of love and memories.
Make no mistake this is not surrender or abdication of me from who I was or want to be. It's a calm where I'm taking the measure of the world I see before me no matter how narrow that vision is and feel knowing the memories I have collected have agency today and tomorrow. The memories not only of Donna and her death but of my grief journey.
I have no cosmic insight to share. No eureka moment. Just the sense I can love my memories with abandon and not devolve into someone I am not. Coming to this point in my grief journey ignites a promise for the future me. I can be who I was yet shaped by the erosion of grief. My grief is sculpted into bas-relief I can run my fingers over and feel its meaning.