I could not get the indelible image of her spiritless form out of my head today. It haunted me. I felt her absence all day. I feel alone. But something neat happened. A butterfly crossed Doug's path the day we learned she was dying. It crossed us again today and me a third time this afternoon. I hung out by my car next to my "Life Is Good" sticker.
This creature reminds me that Nonie is in transition. Not to mourn the body she left. She is something else now that I cannot see yet. And she is free.
I, too, am transformed. I'm a different person having watched from her how to die with grace. I remember her saying over and over, "I want to go to heaven. I know God will receive me." I cry now just hearing her voice say that over and over.
She looked for light and beauty all the way up to the end. So tired of being sick. So ready to go.
I think that pain and illness helps us prepare for that transition. We think it is an ending - but really, it's a door - a way through. I've said that before many times, but this time the statement is different. I have always been afraid of pain and death and dying. Always saddened by suffering. But suffering takes us to another place. It is a mode of spiritual and physical transformation - transportation. It moves us from one moment and one reality to the next.
I have so much to process. It is overwhelming. I worry so for my mother - who took care of Nonie day to day. I worry for Nonie's boyfriend, who also was very close to her. The thought of the bereavement of others makes me so sad.
I am weighted. I am tired.
I will wait for the next butterfly to cross my path. It's a symbol I can bear.
I sit here in my studio with a box full of all the things I've made for Nonie - needlepoint coasters, pillows, lace-edged crochet, handkerchiefs... I am happy to have them, I am sad to have them.
Here's one pillow I made after Tommy died. I added the three bees to symbolize the 3 of us; Tommy, Peter and me. Circling hope. Looking for honey.
I am grieving.