Yes I have hardened. But I have softened too. I can feel your pain. I can feel it like it’s my very own. I literally feel you. When I see you sitting alone in a darkened downtown restaurant somewhere, looking down at your hands and not making eye contact with anyone. Possibly even wearing the darkest glasses you could buy. Just so you can sit there. I understand you. I know you don’t want to be alone. But you need to be alone in a crowd for a moment. The silence at home is a killer. You just need the chaos of the place so you can numb the pain. I know. I understand. I want to buy you a lemon-scented blueberry cupcake. I want to tell you, it’s ok. You’ll be ok. My son is gone and you see I am still breathing. I’m still here…
I’ve become attuned to things I never saw before. I understand what the koels say to me when I wake, I can hear the mountains and ridges and groves. I can hear the way clouds laugh. Up and down, round and about when they play with each other. Sometimes on their blue sides, sometimes turning white. Down in the river, I can hear fishes cry when they are hooked by the gut. I can see the water become their tears. Sometimes I listen to the moon speak to me on nights when I am all alone talking to my Angel. Just me and him. And I wonder: Does grief ever lessen?
And when I feel the tears well in my tired eyes and my heart is about to burst with pain, I get a sign from him. All the way from his Kingdom. An unexpected message from a friend when I am struggling to paint a cover picture for my book. A picture he drew himself. A pumpkin with his favorite colors. Trying to send me the message that this is the picture he wants for his first book. So be it. It is done. Or the clock by the fireplace mantel stopping just at the time he left for his heavenly abode to be in the arms of the Lord. And I wake up and feel his presence. So near. Yet so far.
And he lulls me gently, gently, gently to sleep. Perhaps he is touching my hair. Perhaps his head is on my lap. I do not know. But I feel his Peace. I pull the covers over me and I bask in his memory deeply cherished. Carefully folded. In the cupboards of my heart…..