I've been missing my grandmother these last few days. Her birthday was Saturday, and she would have been 92...or is it 93 now? It's been 10 years since she died. And even though I had her in my life for 28 years, the 10 years since I've heard her voice feel wide and deep right now.
In the nooks and crannies of this blog you'll find me talking about how spring invites me to miss her deeply while at the same time, it always bringing her back to me. Some days I even sense her around the edges of the pushing toward the sky tulips and the unfurling leaves and the rain as it drips. Some days I even hear her whispering to me.
This is the gift of grief: It breaks us open and teaches us about love in ways we never knew possible.
On Saturday, Ellie and I went on a little artist date adventure around Tacoma and we kept seeing hummingbirds. I was strapping Ellie into her car seat at one point and said, "There's another hummingbird." And she said, "They must have heard you tell me it was Grandma's birthday when we were standing in the backyard and they've come to visit us today." Yes, honey, exactly that.
I guess today, I just really want you to know that you can feel all the feelings when grief arrives. But try remember to keep your heart open to the little unexpected joys and the truths tapping on your shoulder.
Over the weekend, I was looking for something in my blog archives and came across these words from five years ago and felt moved to share them again today.
i heard your laughter today. it rang out inside me like a whisper from long ago. years now. the last time we talked has been almost half a decade ago. in this moment, i want to tell you all that has happened. i was so lost, searching my pockets constantly for a flashlight so i could find my way. and then, through that darkness, that grief, that fear, i suddenly looked up and saw all the lights around me. some were far far in the distance, but they stood there waiting. patiently. while i just kept going, even when i found myself back in the same place for a bit. i would tell you about how i one day realized that the lights were not only surrounding me with their guidance and truth and love, but that the light lived within me. within me. and i knew i would never again be alone. did you learn this truth when you were here? how i wish i could tell you. how i wish i could invite you to stand in your light and know. in this moment, i sit here with this truth within my heart while another light within me grows and twirls and beats each day, waiting. and when she arrives, i will teach her this truth. maybe i am already teaching her. i will teach her about the light within her. i will tell her about the light grief gifted me. i will teach her about the day i thought i was never going to find my way and then i looked up. i will tell her all that you teach me even now. even now when your laughter seems to only live inside me.