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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Confusing Cocktail

Have you ever begun a journey, intent on one destination, only to find you’ve been detoured to another? Such was my journey to Massachusetts last week. Yes, I’m here — physically, looking about in wonder at death's fiery brilliance; colorful trees canopy the city's narrow streets like leafy umbrellas splattered by nature's palette, and I can't help but wonder if the leaves know that they’re dying.

I came here with a purpose in mind — a sole purpose. How foolish of me to imagine that I could predict my purpose. For one thing is often a cover for another — the bait and switch. And here I am now, sitting stunned, and softened like a slice of clay that has been kneaded into a supple clump.

The shock of it all is still with me. I can’t seem to move past it. My cousin Jimmy is gone. I try to conjure his face, his being, that curly hair, distinct voice, eyes that painted the world with grace and humor.

The first paragraph of my last blog haunts me: “I’m heading up to MA for a spell. I have a vital mission—a delicate assignment appointed to me by the angels and I’m certain that all of heaven will be watching and cheering. And that’s how it should be—packed stands of roaring fans, cheering on brave souls with holes in their shoes.”

This photo causes my breath to hitch…


City Hall

This is where Jimmy worked for the last 26 years.

And who would have known that I was coming to say goodbye one day after his birthday, and to recite his eulogy to a crowd of stunned fans.

I’m drunk on a confusing cocktail of loss and grace. The grace is as thick as honey, reflecting light from afar…perhaps a place where newly departed souls go to catch their breath. But then that muddy wave of loss hits, washing over everything, coloring the world in gray.

I should have known that his soft heart would betray him, for it was too weak to carry him into his golden years where silver–haired sages gather to share costly secrets. He took a shorter route, heading up rather than across, and now he knows what all those white heads don’t know—what we ponder as we pound the pavement. He knows it all, and somehow this knowledge comforts me.

It is just enough to keep me from despair.

39 comments:

Dangerous Linda said...

Dear Leah,

I'm so sorry. Thank you for staying in touch so I can hold you in my heart for my own selfish reasons. I love you! XOXOXO

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

My deepest sympathies, Leah. I am so sorry for your loss and the ensuing blindsidedness of it all. ((hugs))

sulekkha said...

So sorry for your great loss. My prayers and healing thoughts coming your way.

The Loerzels said...

Oh Leah, I am so sorry! We never know our purpose until it rises to greet us. Or in this case, smack us in the face. My thoughts are with you my brave friend!

PJ Stuart said...

I've wanted to call, but I also want to give you time...you wrote a beautiful tribute. Loss is so difficult. I'm praying for you and I love you. PJ

Luchi Smiles said...

I'm so sorry for the great loss, Leah. May God comfort you and your family. XOXOXO

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

Sending you hugs, love, and sympathy, dear Leah. I will keep you and your family in prayer . . .

Debra said...

Autumn seems to be the most dramatic season of change, a universal theme being death and loss, leaves clinging to life until a sharp wind releases them and they spiral downward and join the others on the ground. I still believe I heard the applause of heaven at your journey to MA, Leah, except you were the angel on assignment. And I believe that Jimmy now knows it all. No more seeing in part.
I’ve appreciated this Leonard Cohen song for years now.

Cheryl said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Leah. Losing a loved one always conjures up a myriad of emotions. Know your friends are thinking about you. Travel safe.

Stephen Hayes said...

Please add my condolences to the list. Your pain is palpable. I wish you peace.

Galen Pearl said...

My condolences as well. Sweet sweet post about loss. What a tribute to him.

Sea Green Natural said...

So sorry Leah. It so amazing how you can write about the loss, great for healing!! Lots of hugs

Zephyr said...

That was the most poignant tribute to a departed loved one. May God grant you the courage to get over the loss. The confusion, shock and grief are so delicately balanced by your poise.

Susan Deborah said...

Sorry to hear about the loss. Perhaps there was a purpose.

"I’m drunk on a confusing cocktail of loss and grace" -- Beautiful line.

The grace always abounds, no matter what. The journey goes on . . .

Joy always,
Susan

JANU said...

Sorry for your loss...but you have immortalized him with your words.

Corinne @ Everyday Gyaan said...

The love, the loss, deep respect all come through so powerfully, Leah. I'm so sorry for your loss. Reaching across the miles with a hug and prayers. ♥

Leah Griffith said...

Linda, I like being in your heart <3 Thank you <3

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you for the hug Karen. I really needed it.

Leah Griffith said...

Sulekkha, thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate them...and you! Love!

Leah Griffith said...

Marie, as my friend used to say, "I've had so many rights I'm screaming for a left!"
Thank you.
XOXO

Leah Griffith said...

PJ, feel free to phone me. If I'm busy I'll let you know and we can talk later. I love you too. Thank you for being here for me.

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you sweet Luchi, your presence means a lot to me.
XOXO

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Martha; your prayers are so appreciated. Love you sister.

Leah Griffith said...

Debra, your comment was beautiful. Thank you so much for that. Jimmy knows it all.... Indeed;)
Hugs,
Leah

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you Cheryl. Death does conjure emotions and question...which lead to more emotions and questions. The big circle. I appreciate your friendship Cheryl. Thank you <3

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you so much Stephen. You're a sweetheart;)

Leah Griffith said...

Galen, thank you for pausing in order to come here and speak to my loss. That was very sweet of you and a treasure to me.

Leah Griffith said...

Sea Green, writing has always brought me healing. I'm so grateful that I have this outlet. Thank you for your kind words, and the hugs;)

Leah Griffith said...

Zephyr, thank you so much for your sweet words. I know that once the shock wears off I will learn to live without Jimmy here...with skin on. We humans were made for these types of challenges, and usually manage to adapt and move on...with God's help. Sending hugs to you Zephyr, you're a sweet soul.

Leah Griffith said...

Thank you beautiful Janu. <3

Leah Griffith said...

Corinne, I can feel you here. Thank you so much sweet sister. Love and hugs right back to you <3

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Your description is poetry, and I'm so sorry for the pain you feel, your lovely words reminded me of a poem of Oscar Wilde's -

The True Knowledge.

Thou knowest all; I seek in vain
What lands to till or sow with seed -
The land is black with brier and weed,
No cares for falling tears or rain.

Thou knowest all' I sit and wait
With blinded eyes and hands that fail,
Till the last lifting of the veil
And the first opening of the gate.

Thou knowest all' I cannot see
I trust I shall not live in vain,
I know that we shall meet again
In some divine eternity.

Sending a hug to you from England,
Jane

Leah Griffith said...

Jane, this poem is gorgeous. It brought me face to face with my humanity and the divine. Thank you for taking the time to come here and leave this beautiful morsel for me. Sending hugs back sweet Jane...all the way to England.

Dave M. Saha said...

Leah, please accept my condolences. I hope you can get through this. Just remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

I don't like autumn for that exact reason - it's the dying stage of everything beautiful A.K.A. nature. I do love winter, though, because everything is so silent and merry then.

Julia said...

Dear Leah. I agree with Jane, your description is poetry, the kind of poetry that crawls inside and nestles gently by my heart. I felt this so deeply, every little hair on my body perked up with attention.

I am here beside you, hoping you can feel my love and prayers of softness. You are an incredible blessing, my friend.

melissa said...

I have been thinking of you and your mission the other day. I believe in intuition and deep connections. Somehow the soul knows which ports are open to grace.

My condolences Leah. Lots of love and prayers for you and your family. Am near spiritually.

Leah Griffith said...

Dave, I see the light. It may appear to be a pinpoint but I see it. I love autumn because of all the color. I love the holidays but once they are gone winter depresses me. That's why I live in Florida;)

Leah Griffith said...

Julia, I do feel your presence. I love how you dive in and love me. Thank you for that.

Leah Griffith said...

Melissa, I believe in intuition too and spiritual connections. My spirit knew what was coming but my conscious mind didn't. Looking back I can see it all so clearly. Thank you so much for your love and prayers Melissa. You are a sweet soul my dear. <3

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