Friday, November 20, 2009

Defining death, age 2.9

Andrew said just now before bed: "When Grandma Lynn died, did her body just come off of her?"

I was struck by what a pure, simple, and beautiful description that actually was. That's how I feel it. She's still here somehow. It's very potent to me, that connection. But her body just came off of her.

When they boys bring her up that way, just a normal part of conversation, I can feel her smiling over us.

Like Jack spelling out on the empty post-game Scrabble board, "Gramu Lin." We hadn't even been talking about her. I'd been in the kitchen doing something, and came back to that on the board. When I figured out what he wrote, I said: "What made you think about her?" He shrugged. "I just think about her sometimes."

She just wells up into our life moments. I love that. It's not how I expected to feel after a parent's death. I miss her and crave calling her, but there's something bigger than that. This realization that we are alive by what we shared and the legacy we create. And that the essence of us doesn't really go away that easily at all, if we've led a life that created connections.

She must have done a marvelous job of weaving herself into me, my life, to make it happen like this. To be so vivid, even in death.

I hope my children feel this way about me, after I've passed on. Like they have this smiling, loving spirit watching over them.

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