It is almost a year since we moved into our new home in Mount Airy. A lot has happened. Much of it has to do with a change of heart, attitude, and shift in a psychological understanding of my Self. My therapist terms it as "taking off my sunglasses …" Perhaps a person has to reach the glorious decade of the sixties in order to achieve this type of awareness. Or, maybe it has more to do with clearing away fear (the "final frontier," as my old friend, George, used to call it). I wonder at which point I decided to fear no more – or, rather, to fear less.
On Friday I happened to catch the last moments of one of Oprah's farewell shows. Toni Morrison was on and talked about her son's death. When asked what it was like to get over it, Morrison said that she did not want to get over it. She wanted those memories of her child to stay with her forever. She thought it would not do her son justice if she just got over it and went on with her life. His life was deserving of her remembering him forever. Toni Morrison clearly does not fear grieving. Indeed, she embraces it!
I realize that all of my ruminations lately are the stuff of memoir. While, once I thought I was a developing an outline for how to write about my life, I am finding that present notions and feelings are shifting. Looking back on my childhood is just not the same as it used to be. More distant now, and more objective in some ways. Stirrings of pain are still there – much like the awakening of old wounds on a cold and rainy day. And yet, understanding and forgiveness offer me a different perspective.
Lately, I, like Toni Morrison, embrace my grief with less fear – honoring my losses through enriched memories.