Friday, May 06, 2011

Amazing Grace


Today was a day of quietude at the end of a fairly frantic week. My neighbor and close friend J, who is co-host to my other blog, lost her husband G unexpectedly on Sunday and now she is feeling lost. Sudden grief is so debilitating. The cold, dreary weather has been no help and we've all been walking around feeling half here and half elsewhere as we try to come to grips with a world without G.

I've been finding small ways to help the family with daily tasks so they have more time to spend with each other. Today I loaded G's monstrous (to me - I drive a small car) pickup truck with accumulated trash from their house and mine and drove to the transfer station. The moment I had my hands on the steering wheel I felt the tears start. I've know this man since childhood, went to high school with him, and saw him if not daily, then nearly so, for the last seven years I've rented my cottage from him. My heart aches for J. Her sadness is palpable and will last for a long time. They'd been married 45 years and were the best of friends.

This evening the setting sun was like a benediction. I took a walk along the quiet road, stopping now and then to listen to the birds say goodnight. There are several pairs of Baltimore orioles nesting in the neighborhood. I heard them calling and then, as I stood at meadow's edge trying to spot them, two flew directly overhead, the sun flashing on their brilliant orange feathers. I hope J saw and heard them, too. Their song, and their beauty in the midst of sadness was a balm of sorts, and a promise that even in the shadow of grief there is grace waiting on the periphery.


8 comments:

Brian Miller said...

lovely benediction...i am sorry for her loss but glad you are there to comfort...

Molly said...

J was/is twice blessed: to be "best of friends" with her husband of forty five years, and to have such a caring friend as you. Give her a hug from me......

Tabor said...

Such a huge loss for both of you. Such an empty place in your lives this spring. My condolences.

Judith said...

Good grief, Pauline --- This is your lovely neighbors you are talking about?
What a terrible loss all around, for all of you!
So sorry, Judith

Anne said...

Oh, yes, sudden death is devastating. How terribly sad. Your post expresses it beautifully, with a note of hope in the end.

Brian Hayes said...

'Balm' struck me as appropriate. I would feel relief near moving water after my wife passed, a small thing perhaps, but boy oh boy did it let me breathe. Best wishes to you both.

herhimnbryn said...

She is fortunate in you dear P. My thoughts go out to her ( although she won't know me)

Pauline said...

Brian M - thanks - I wish there was comfort...

Ah Molly - hugs seem to be one thing that can be both given and accepted

Thank you Tabor - it is a huge, yawning hole, for sure...

Judith - yes, and it's such a sad time. He was well-loved

Thank you, Anne - hope seems distant but it only hides, never completely disappears in all its forms

Brian H - thanks for understanding

HHB - warm thoughts from everyone find a place in the heart - thanks