There is no way to gently ease into a sentence like this so I will merely plunge in and say that early Wednesday morning last week, I heard the news that a dear, old friend had suddenly, unexpectedly, died. Â No warning; no cause of death found; simply the fact of it. Â Her heart — enormous, thrumming with vitality — simply stopped. Since then things have been quite out of balance.
There is much to the story of how she recently resurfaced in my life. Â Mostly it’s the story of her relationship to an even dearer, just as old friend. Â At some point I might be able to tell some of that, hopefully — as ever — as a means to gather and spread whatever Â insights might be found quietly resting between the lines. Others may see what I can’t. And if some haven’t yet really, really seen how precious and conditional our days are, I would hope this story might bring that truth another heartbeat closer.
Meanwhile, I am amazed at what everyday events look like. Â It’s as if I’m peering through the arse end of a pair of binoculars. Â Rather than things far away appearing close-up, things close-up seem far away. Â News of the day comes to me through this warbley lens, and so many of the hairs I’ve been obsessively splitting as of late can only be made out as a clump. Â I can’t see the trees for the forest.
This is the fifth devastating death in the life of someone either close or downright dear or even utterly vital to me. Â (I’m talking here: sudden death or tragic; happened in the prime of life, or even before the prime was reached.) Â It is essentially impossible, as a consequence, not to look at my own life differently. Â Which is what was behind my Star light, star bright Â postÂ last week.
I should say that while so many events, the broader national issues, the international crises are all wavering strangely in my vision — as if seen through heat waves radiating up off a hot hot summer pavement — some things are razor sharp. Â I see clearly how beautifulÂ my belovedÂ is. How insignificant most every conflict is, between me and her. Â We are now just over a week later, and still I haven’t once become caught on any of the old, meaningless snags, mesmerizing us with the ephemeral. I will do everything in my power to see to it that this continues to last. I see how bracingly graced I am, to continue to be here. What a blessing it is that I have this moment — any moment — with my children. I see the curl of my son’s hair after a bath, and the flicker of the late summer light on his pink fairy wings as he dances.
6 thoughts on “Fairy wings”
it has changed me too, how i look at things, how i feel, and most importantly in how i see and feel each moment.
having lost a friend about a week and a half earlier than that, in a car wreck in uganda, it’s a double whammy dose.
life is, among other things, cruel, precious and mystifying.
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss; sending peace and love to you and yours.
I am so sorry. Sending love from afar…
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope the light on the fairy wings is a comfort to you as you reminisce and remember those you’ve lost.
To echo the comments above, I’m sorry for your loss. On a more selfish note I want to tell you that your words nudged me out of a pointless and unecessary lull and reminded me to live. Thank you for posting.
Thank you, all. And, implicitly, for understanding the relative radio silence,
Welcome, jessacorn. You know, that “selfish note” is really very helpful. It’s one of the few, most powerful grace notes amidst the long (long) reverberating shocks from grief and loss — the knowledge that others take note, and live (or in my case, attempt to live) differently. We’re now over two weeks out andI still haven’t yet been snagged by old bickery relationship habits. I still can’t shake the truth that we’re too damn lucky to keep waking up to each other and our family.