Grieving, there is no booklet for that...
There we are. In the garden with the three of us. The birds are singing, the wind is gently blowing through the plane tree that is still bare but where the little buds are already visible and are heralding spring. We drink a cup of coffee together on a Sunday morning in April. My daughters and I. It seems to be a moment of serene peace and stillness. One of those where you really feel alive. All the senses are on alert, everything is noticed and everything feels extra intense.
I notice something happening in my mind. My mind wonders whether I shouldn't be very sad. After all, recently the love of my life and the father of my children passed away. So shouldn't I be in a very deep black hole right now? Immediately I go from my mind to my body. Because only my body can tell me what I am actually feeling. And immediately I feel that serene peacefulness again, the feeling of being happy. It is a strange yet reassuring sensation.
And as if my daughters can read my mind, so suddenly out of nowhere, for no reason whatsoever, there is a comment from one of my girls. "Mum?" she says. I look at her. "I am so incredibly happy to be a child after all. I still have a wonderfully worry-free life. All I would have to worry about is the musical. And actually, of course, that's really not something I need to worry about at all, because I still have at least eight weeks to learn four phrases from my mind for that. I don't have to worry about work, or about the house, or all those other things that adults worry about. When dad was alive, I had worries every day. Then I worried every time about whether he would die and when it would happen. And I worried about the pain he was in. I don't have those worries anymore. And I do miss Daddy a lot, but I notice that I only get very warm feelings when I think about Daddy. And he just makes me very happy now. Daddy has really done a great job for us. All the memories I have of him give me such a warm feeling and I'm glad I don't have to worry about him anymore."
I feel a sense of pride and endearment rising within me. But also of gratitude. That my children are finding their own way in this. We have lived the past period after my husband's death so intensely in the moment that it could not have been any other way than this. As a human being, Alwin was never concerned with dying but with living. And when he finally had to go, he waited for the girls and I to sit with him together, everyone had left and we, without having agreed, held his hand and said it was okay for him to go. He took one last deep breath and blew it out peacefully and quietly. His face softened and with that firm, powerful expression on his face, he lay on the bed with us in the living room for 7 days as if he had been embalmed. I shaved his head myself after his death, washed him nicely and the children picked out his clothes. Army trousers, an Iron Maiden t-shirt and a black hoody. They helped dress him and that also makes grieving a process of giving love. We also conducted and experienced the funeral in a way that suited him. With a smile and a tear. And that is how we are doing it now. The circle has been completed and we are now starting a new circle as a trinity.
Life has no fixed pattern. We just follow what presents itself. Grieving also happens in phases and according to emotional waves that we know will pass again. The insights into my design and that of the children help me enormously. I know from who I am that I will find my way through this together with my children. And because we live in the moment and are able to do that, we only have to BE in this. After all, that is all there is. We are in the moment. And sometimes that is a moment of sadness, sometimes a moment of happiness and sometimes a moment of loving reflection. All those moments are equally precious. Grieving is a unique process. Everyone does it in his or her own way. There is no booklet for that.
The breeze is pleasant, the coffee tastes good and the birds provide musical accompaniment to our moment of experiencing Life. It can be so simple sometimes.