I am ready to write this now, it has been incubating in my soul for too long and needs to see the light of day, and today is a good day.
Tomorrow I have to face the chaos of work, and I know to too many that seems like a blessing, but tomorrow it will be a tribulation.
My partner flies home to be his, and now my, family to remember and honour his Mother who died too recently.
Grief is universal, and we all know words cannot articulate the black lump in our souls, but hope is also universal and whilst not expecting the sun to shine ever again it does, but until it does we survive. Tomorrow I am with my colleagues and the all the politics and the trauma of tomorrow is minuscule compared with what my partner has to face, and I want so much to be there.
I can imagine the pain of that meal, hopefully amongst the tears time not only to remember their loss, but also to begin to remember their fortune of knowing a loving Mother, a faithful Wife, and a Grandmother; I know the pain is still there and I know it will be there for too long, to be gradually replaced with remembrance and smiles of the moments they shared. Stalin said that ‘one death is a tragedy, a thousand in statistic’ and while the world tumbles from economic crisis to economic crisis, from March to March, and while 84 year old ladies get ‘Pepper Sprayed’ and while my work colleagues continue to … Whilst the ‘great play’ on human history is enacted on the world’s stage, it is the human, the everyday which touches me, touches my partner, and his family tomorrow.
I will face the day knowing I should be elsewhere, knowing that my partner is flying to be his, and now my, family to remember his Mother who died only a few months ago.
I sometimes think of the aching void that is in their lives at the moment, remembering a line from ‘Torch Song Trilogy’ where Arnold recounts the incidental consequences of food rotting in the Fridge because he has forgotten how to shop for one, of setting the table for two, of saying hello to as he walks in the door forgetting he is ‘one’. I draw from my own experience of losing my Mother when I was a child, of people negotiating around the subject, the hurtful comments, the lies I told myself to keep them alive. W H Auden put it better:
My grief is for my partner, his family and his Father, for the marvellous legacy of love and zaniness she has left behind that will infect the lives of others, for the Mother who knew by her intuition and the by the fact that she knew her Son better than he knows himself that we there a few months back, not so much to seek their blessing as much as be introduce; for mother who loved her daughters and son as only a mother can, keeping the peace, keeping the family functions; for a Mother who told me ‘it had better work’ who just wanted her Son to be happy.
I am so glad I met her, and perhaps because of her love and example I can begin to grieve again for my own mother who, I have just remembered, died is similar circumstances.
I don’t want to grieve, I want to celebrate, but for now that is all I can do … and tomorrow I have to go to work.