Yes: Rise and Shine
Alright. Yes. Grandpa died on Thanksgiving Sunday, and yes, yes I struggle.
The days are like some long kind of lightening. Some sort of flash in slow motion. Everything that is familiar, has a giant spotlight on it. I’m taking in the details like it is someone else’s movie; so many of my thoughts are not my own. When I drive through the city, his city, I am seeing things for the first time in a long time. I feel him borrowing my consciousness to show me new depths of the things I already find beautiful. Our conversation is silent, the communication instant, and complete.
Yes. Yes, he was an Oracle’s Oracle, and now in those quiet spaces between thoughts, I am his. It’s an extraordinary experience. And yes, I am pushing the limits of my own acceptance with a post like this. It will be seen, and it will be scrutinized.
Yes, I know.
There are lots of places this discussion topic goes for me historically. We do it often, and I love love love it. I always use it as a place from which to leap. Yes. I do something crazy or something that I am scared to do or something I have been doubting. Fitting, then, that this week, out of the corner of my ear, Grandpa is egging me on to share some words I have written. They arrived on a wing – as they do – and I can’t get my head in quite the right spot to land them completely. This piece is still evolving, but perhaps, yes, if I employ the magic of this container we hold together, the edits will happen as I sleep – as they do.
Your heart cannot break.
It will arrive instead
Home from the battlefield
A gilded warrior.
It will take you into its arms
And meet the breath
beneath your feet.
It will stand behind you
And become a foundation
For your next steps.
It will bare the silence
Until you hear yourself.
CHORUS – The Bugle Song (I have to sing this at the service. It’s hilarious. It’s a family fave.)*
In times of sorrow
The greatest gift of life occurs to us
And that is joy.
May you go in peace.
This poem is co-written, and of that I am sure. My yes is to share it – here, in Dad’s eulogy, and then finally when I read it at the burial. I do feel sad, absolutely, but mostly, I feel how proud he is of me. I remember in some discussion topic we did a long time ago, being this for Grandpa, egging him on, literally providing the external goal-force. Proving to me he could walk all the way to the car after breakfast on Sundays – instead of me pulling the car up to the door – was a way of challenging himself, and proving to himself that he still could, but more, that he would. I remember clearly, his willingness as if to say “yes, I can dare myself to go further than I think I can, because you believe I can.”
Yes, yes, I will. Adapting to the changes in life is the ever present negotiation of the stretch and the surrender; both are natural and positive forces. Therein lies the poetry of this loss. I will do the things I am afraid to do, because he believed I can.
* It is hilarious to us because G used to sing the bugle song (the wake up song from the navy) if any of us were lying around in bed in the morning – all of our lives. It’s appropriate for this kind of laughter at his interment because his sense of humour was so profound, a relational connector, a teaching tool, and a simple profession of love for the people in his (all walks of) life. Mostly however, it was his way of worshiping life itself – joy exchanged.