A wailing escapes me. Raw, unchecked, I am surprised by the sound. It is a wallowing cord of connection to an alien universe, in which my moaning grief is transported to my conjecture of an ethereal other, a ghostly you, there, just simply no longer present in my small world. It comes wuthering out of me, uninhibited. Still, I am conscious that I am alone whenever this freedom from the self, this almost startling catharsis, occurs. I choose not to contain my grief when in privacy; at last, alone, the release of it can gush from me. Yet still, it does not empty my pain. Years and years may pass, decades even, and still the tears at some sudden memory of you will, unbidden, leak from me. I am watered by my grief. The garden of my consciousness is made richer for having known you, and though you do become but a memory, I am sustained by the sweet sorrow of having shared your essence. Such is love. It does not die, not as long as I feel it.
Such sweet sweet sorrow. Perhaps that is why we cling to the memories? Perhaps the sense of keeping our loved ones with us is carried in the groundswell of grief irrigating our containment of them. Photos. Stories. Recollections. Places. Experiences. Smells. Tastes. And sounds. Have I left something out? Yes, even texture will have one recall an ‘Other’. And a sad tear, a tug on the heartstring, a catching of breath will give pause to the immediacy of activity engaging me, and I then feel, however differentiated, my connection to you, You, who is no longer available to me. You who cannot write. Who cannot speak. Who cannot touch. Who is beyond any reach other than that which I so very subjectively choose to conjure. Such sweet sorrow, indeed.
Does it really matter that I tell someone else, particularly those that never knew you, that I have lost you? That you are dead.
We each can relate: Pet; Granny; Grandpa; Mother; Dad; Child; Sibling; Aunt; Uncle; Cousin. Whom have I left out? Oh, yes, Lover. Withal, what actual names shall I recount? Will someone else identify? Will they send condolences? Will their words really succor me? Will they assuage my pain? Will they give me support when what I really want right now is the privacy of my grief to cry for my loss to the real-life connection to you. All else of you now becomes conjecture. You become ethereal. You become a memory. Yet you sustain me in my sense of appreciation for your contribution to the very value of my experience. In my gratitude lies the sweet sensation of thankfulness, and the sorrow that you are no longer there to reciprocate. Shall you be named?
An alphabet of names here can follow. Certainly, for you, reading this, hearing this, too; we each have lost and loved and lost and loved and keep on loving. We each have variously experienced others in differing degrees of intimacy, accord, and relevance. As such, our grief, sweet grief, can even attend our projection of love toward those we actually never knew, or could know; at least, not know personally. Funerals for kings, for queens, for presidents and politicians, for movie stars, rock stars, and troubadours; they are the stuff of the collective. Let us share our sorrow that we lost Leonard Cohen. A single star in the firmament brightens up the dark. Yet who can possibly name every star surrounding us? And surely my sorrow for Doris Day’s demise is felt too, unless you knew her not, and her actual name no longer provokes your consciousness as she flits from scene to scene. There are too many to cry over. Yet loss is continuous. Shaka Zulu decreed a year of mourning Nandi. But who now still cries over that?
I miss you. Revered master. Teacher. Mentor. Friend.
I love you. And in that much, I feel so very deeply for your passing. Always.