Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Autumn and Honor

There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!

                    Percy Bysshe Shelley

I snapped this photo of a spider web with leaves stuck in it at Quivira. I spotted two different webs built like this - rather hammock-like - in the crook of trees.

I picked an autumn quote because the weather people tell us that tomorrow is going to be a truly fall-like day. It's about darned time. I opened the windows a few days ago and decided now that it's officially fall surely I didn't need the AC anymore. There have been a couple of times I've almost broken down and turned it back on. It's time for fall now. I'm ready. I'm not a summer person. I want some autumn. Especially now that it IS autumn.

Global warming is starting to mess with my four distinct seasons and that ticks me off even more than future generations not having a planet left. OK, I'm exaggerating. A little. But I want my four seasons. Dammit.

But, they say tomorrow will be autumnal, before heat the rest of the week. Of course, these are the same weather people who predicted "brief showers in the morning, seventy degrees by noon" on the day I spent in pouring rain for 11 hours at Hillsboro when the temperature didn't get above 48. So, the fact that I believe them indicates incredible optimism or stupidity on my part.

I had lunch with Leah today and it was really, really nice to connect with her. She just lost her dad recently and we had not had a chance to talk, other than briefly. Some of Mark's friends have a morbid joke that I understand about "the club" and the club is made up of people who've lost a parent. It's called a coping mechanism. And, it highlights an important consideration - those who haven't been through it can't relate. They can try. But they can't.

I'm not sure, but I don't think anyone Leah works directly with has lost a parent. I know I've heard at least two of them refer to their parents so I don't think she has anyone in her direct world that can really empathize. And people who haven't been through it expect you to bounce back and get on with things very quickly.

Hello? Wake up call. It doesn't work like that. It was about five years after my mother's death that I came "out of the fog." I was functioning, and doing so very well by many standards, but internally I was a mess. No one knew that - not even me, really. God knows no one asked. People never want to ask. You might tell them and they don't want to hear. And it's largely a waste of your breath, anyway, because people cannot listen - it's too horrific for them.

So, today, Leah and I talked about those things that people not in the club don't/can't talk about. It was good for me. I hope it was good for her.

I've known that it's an honor to attend the dying. I'm not very good at that, and I'm thankful some people are. I'm blessed that my brother, Jim, was with our mom when she died, and he did all the things that needed to be done in those moments.

Today I realized it's also an honor to be with those on the other side of that process, who are experiencing the loss. I'm a little better at this part. A little better.

No comments: