I am sitting at my desk. The sun is shining. Fluffy white clouds dot the sky. A gentle breeze stirs the branches of the trees outside my window. The deck door is open and I can hear birdsong, the rush of the river and the sound of an occasional car travelling across the bridge towards downtown.
It is May Day. Morning has broken and I am crying.
What are these tears saying? I ask my heart.
It is grief.
Yesterday, we learned my cousin Linda succumbed to Covid in a hospital in Paris where she lived.
I haven’t seen her in many, many years and still her passing feels heavy. Like a piece of my history has eased away into the past, floating away into the void like the chunks of ice that drift down the river as spring melt begins in the Rockies.
I wrote a tribute to her on my Facebook page and shared how Linda taught me so much bout overcoming difficulties. She also taught me about grace. Linda had many physical and mental challenges. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time with her and in retrospect, probably wasn’t as kind nor loving as I could have been. The gift in writing out my feelings on her death is that I know that it is only Love she would want to leave behind. I can let my shame and sadness go. What I can’t do, nor can either of my sisters do either, is get on a plane to be with our cousins in France. There will be no gathering of family, no telling of stories. no family celebration of her life.
Last night, I chatted with my daughter in Vancouver. She is 7 months pregnant, caring for her 2-year-old and has hurt her wrist. I want to jump on a plane and be there to help her.
And I can’t.
My granddaughter is due to arrive in late June/early July and I’m not sure I can be there for her.
What will the future look like?
As my fellow blogger friend Bernie says on her lovely post today (her photos alone are worth the visit), “This is not a cry for help. There is no need to check in on me. It just helps me immensely to articulate the thoughts that ramble around inside my head. ” (thanks Bernie)
It seems to be going around. This ennui.
Every social media feed I follow is filled with articles on how tired people feel. How world-weary.
Yesterday, I ran into a friend at the dog park. A former co-worker, she is now Executive Director at an agency that supports people with HIV and addictions. She and her staff have been working from home since the pandemic reared its ugly head and have had to shut down several day programs that supported some of our most vulnerable citizens. It is hard, she acknowledged but this slowdown has given her time to take care of herself, which is a wonderful gift, she said. But she misses ‘normal’ and its opportunities for every day human contact.
Our dogs were happy we saw each other. We did extra rounds of the park, savouring the opportunity to talk with someone, other than our partners at home, in real life – not on a computer screen or phone.
Last night a friend called to check-in. I promptly invited her and her husband over for cocktails on our (newly christened) Wine Deck — the lower patio of our home. In the two years we’ve lived in this house we haven’t used it very often (like never). But, with social distancing rules in place, it’s a perfect gathering place that provides for joyful and Covid-safe connection.
On an aside, I thought of calling it ‘The Quarantino Deck’ but don’t want anything that reminds me of the virus while I’m enjoying time with family and friends!
And see, writing it out works. My tears have dried. My heart does not feel as heavy and my outlook has lifted.
Life in the time of Covid can be challenging. Some days, my emotions ebb and flow with the gentleness of the tide lapping at the shoreline. Other times, they hit me like a tsunami, roaring in on cascading waves that sweep me off my equilibrium.
It’s all okay. It’s all just part of this journey into uncharted territory.
Feelings, emotions, tears… come and go. What remains always, what flows constantly in and out and all around is Love.
May your day be filled with gentle waves of Love washing away any ennui that threatens your sunny days.
And now, Beau and I are off to the park!