I got the news– her father passed away. Cancer.
The news detonates a dam, and the tragedy of another triggers a flood of memories. I remember the quiet that pervaded the house during my mother’s final days, even while streams of thoughtful friends and family trickled by with somber faces. The flocks of grey geese, a silent V slicing the grey skies above. The terrible disbelief that sets in after the final, jagged breath.
There are no words to comfort. Maybe I can say that I understand what she is going through. Afterall, I too have lost a parent, but everyone grieves differently. It is a lonely road, and she is a mother, she must carry on for another. The phrase “I understand” seems a bit inauthentic.
I can tell her that I’m sorry, because I am.
I can tell her everything will be different going forward, but how? I cannot predict. It is for her to discover. The truth will dazzle gradually.
What I can say, and what is the greatest truth: the only thing that knit me back together again was beauty. People, with their awkward hugs and concerned faces, tried to comfort me, but I was beyond reach. There is nothing that anyone could do or say.
But there was poetry. There were brilliant Arizona sunsets. There were songs that managed to fill a broken heart with joy and hope. There were mountains that touched puffy white clouds. There were birds, so many birds.
The beauty of the world can deliver you from her horrors if you open yourself to it.