I wrote a blog post here a while back about someone I loved, and the experience of grieving his loss. I write this blog mainly as a way of talking to, comforting, helping, my future self. But my words sometimes elicit a reaction in others which they share with me, and in that moment of sharing I get an unexpected by product of these missives to myself – a moment of connection that comes from knowing another has recognised something in my words. Which explains how I found myself on my train home tonight with tears streaming down my face, having just reread that original post.
It’s the same journey I made travelling home from the hospice in Edinburgh the day he died. That day, also in summer, I got off the train at my stop, Leuchars, and looked up at a stormy summer sky full of angry clouds mirroring the stormy, angry, grief I was feeling. Then suddenly out of nowhere a military jet from Leuchars air base burst out of the cloud right above my head, and proceeded to fly almost vertically above me. The engine noise was absolutely deafening, and somehow it pulled out of me in a huge surge all the love and sadness and joy and pain of those last days losing him. And I just screamed a mix of elation and despair into the veil of that jet’s roar. It was as if the universe gave me that as a final gift from him.
Tonight I got off the train a swirl of different but equally enormous emotion, looked up, and this is what I saw…
I didn’t scream this time, but smiled and cried and felt my heart overflow once again with love for him. Marvelled once again at how lucky I have been, how grateful I am, to have known him, had that love in my life. Perhaps all the more so since it was not a romantic love, but the love of two people whose minds and hearts and interests and passions found energy and comfort and joy in each other. The universe decided we were to be uncle and niece. But we knew, and shared before he died, that those conventions aside we were two people whose lives were touched and shaped and changed for ever by our love for each other.
In that moment of connection with my reader today I was drawn back to the precious gift of connection with him. Reminded that it is in grief that we are connected once again to the experience of love and all the ways that transcends everything else in our lives. Death may have taken him, but it cannot take that. Not as long as my words find me again.
Only connect. Only love.