Red is the color of grief. As is blue, green, yellow, black, orange, white, or any color that The SC randomly grasps on the days that run together in slow motion. I notice, simply notice. A change has occurred. I walk aimlessly in the hat room, having difficulty deciding which beauty makes sense to me today, which crown will top the outfit that I have little energy to create from a disorganized inventory that seems hesitant to pull me into what used to be a comforting and familiar haven.
Spontaneously stopping by a friend’s home several weeks ago in my estate sale ‘Moschino Jeans’ red dress with NYC street vendor black straw hat with red trim, accessorized by red bangles and red geraniums with yellow pot, I was unaware that soon I would descend into a grief so deep that I could barely move. Passing the three month mark has been discussed in books about grief and hospice does not accept the bereaved into their ‘Creative Arts Support Group’ that I will be attending until this time period had passed. So this is what they meant! That the state of shock would pass and the reality of loss would inhabit my body. That I would become physically ill, my body collapsing into itself. I had remained healthy during the six plus years of Nelson’s illness, his death and the planning and execution of his memorial service. I am riding an elevator with no operator or buttons that control the floor that I would like to access. I have no control of the up or down, the in or out. I descend and explore a memory, a facet of our relationship that I hadn’t thought of before, an insight that eluded me in the past. I feel immobilized and have difficulty communicating with others. I feel more comfortable just sinking into it, the ‘it’ of a fierce sadness that had not been exposed until this point in time. Multiple emotions and feelings sweep through me. Sadness, guilt, anger, fear, anxiety, confusion. Nothing seems off limits as I give into each, giving it a space to rush in and move out. In a weakened state I continue to go to yoga, meditate, eat, sleep and maintain the bare minimum of my life because I know, beneath all of this, I long to reach for reconciliation. I yearn to explore my plans and dreams that seem so remote and far away that I can barely feel them, imagine them, flow with them. Waiting for the elevator to move up again to a floor that allows me to gasp for air before it lowers me to another level unexpectedly, delivering me to the next degree of intensity, a place beyond sadness, a place so deep, a place shared by many before and with me at this time. Within this space I know a seed has been planted and will at some point grow. Despite the pain and struggle, I have hope that this elevator will take me up to a level where I can once again enjoy the light of my experience. That all my dreams and plans will grow from this new depth that I have fully experienced and allowed, although I feel I have little control over the timing. And from this ‘knowing’ I will somehow bloom anew, eager to discover the resplendent headwear of the world. But not today and I don’t know when that day will come.