“Bringing grief and death out of the shadow is our spiritual responsibility, our sacred duty. By so doing, we may be able to feel our desire for life once again and remember who we are, where we belong, and what is sacred.” (Francis Weller from The Wild Edge of Sorrow)
Yesterday, we had all of our in town family over to the house to celebrate the April birthdays of Kateri, Demetri and also my nephew, Sequoyah. It was a lovely afternoon and evening of conversation, yummy food, kids playing, and lots of laughing. It was one of those gifts of a day that I love. A day in which I feel connected to myself and my primary community of my family. I love spending time with them. On days like yesterday I am able to talk about Russell and my own life with ease, like it’s a seamless whole instead of jagged parts thrown together.
This morning the joy and gratitude for the day lingers. There is also a thread of deep sadness and missing Russell that just rose up in me and poured out of me in racking, sudden sobs. Missing him and wishing he could have been part of the fun in this house yesterday is racing through me.
My sorrow caught me completely unawares as I am prepping to leave the house for the day. I’ve been moving through my morning tasks with ease and feeling excited about my upcoming work day. In fact, I had no intention of writing this morning and was getting ready to walk out the door soon.
Though why my sorrow caught me unawares is also a curiosity. Because as I think about it this is part of a pattern that feels familiar. I almost always end up with a “crash” day or period of a day after a party, big farm event, or communal event that I know Russell would have been at. In the moment of the party or the event I easily pick up on the celebratory , happy to be together energy of the group. That energy lingers for awhile. It’s in the coming down that the tears start to flow.
My desire for life again and remembering who I am holds all of life’s experiences as sacred and something to be spoken of. I will readily speak of the joy and gratitude I feel everyday for the wonderful things happening in my life. I will also speak of grief with as much passion because it is part of my life’s journey. All of life’s experiences are sacred and deserve to be lived out loud. None of it will be left in the shadows by me.
When I remember this and I live this as honestly as I can, my life is made richer and more whole. It is in those moments of living my life out loud in every time and in every moment that I am most alive. So I carry with me today my joy at being with my family yesterday and my sadness that Russell wasn’t here with us. All of it is sacred.