When Zoe was younger, she used to love soft kisses on her forehead at night. Yesterday when I went to the cemetery, the second I stepped out of the car very light raindrops began to fall and continued to fall while I spoke to Jay. The raindrops which appeared to fall only where I was kneeling, I imagined felt like the soft kisses I used to give Zoe and as they fell, I noticed a bunny scurrying in and out of the bushes. Some days my tears are harder to find but yesterday it seemed the sky found them for me.
After Junebug's dad died, tears found her too but not in the eloquent way they did yesterday. I wish a little bunny had come to whisper the news in her ears or the rain would have come to wash away her loud and sudden loss. She definitely would have welcomed the rain or scurried back to the bushes with the rabbit instead of her kitchen where she walked into a room of people crying. Even though she knew an ambulance had taken her dad a couple hours ago, she felt very confused and scared about why people were crying.
I think when grief falls upon you, going down the Rabbit Hole of grief is a courageous act to take and as a child who lost her dad and the parent of two children who are now experiencing a similar loss, I can understand how the Rabbit Hole would not feel like a safe path. It's similar to the undertow many who experience grief describe and the fear that grief will take you over never to return. When all you can see is darkness, it is confusing and scary.
I felt in myself that same kid-like resistance that Junebug did to the Rabbit Hole of grief when Jay died. Junebug trained me to be an expert so it was not hard for me to avoid the hole. I also know that it is probably not wise to continue to be led by a six year old so I decided to take her hand and together we would venture down the hole because I do feel like that is where the deepest treasures within ourselves are hidden. We often pop out for a visit as needed or just look up together to reassure ourselves there is light and a way out.. and yesterday when we did, raindrops fell upon our foreheads.
The below is a picture of Zoe and her very kissable forehead and the song "Such Great Heights" is by Iron and Wine. Jay and I saw them perform at the Ryman a few years ago.
I love this poem by David Whyte. If you are going through a loss, listening to him read his poems is very powerful. You can find them on YouTube.
The Well of Grief
Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief
turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.