It’s been a difficult December, and difficult for reasons other than the usual holiday madness, though truthfully the madness felt even more maddening than usual this year. But yesterday I thought, for perhaps the millionth time so far in my lifetime, at least I have poetry, and language.
And, of course, these guys.
Many blessings to you this holiday season!
On the day my mother died, one of my cousins drove my sister and me from New Haven to the house where we grew up. “Don’t steel yourself,” he told us that night. I don’t remember anything else he said then, but that one sentence has been a mantra for me in times of sorrow. Because in the years immediately after my mother died, I did steel myself, and for years I suffered for it. Better to let your heart crack open than to harden it against grief.
A week ago today one of my uncles died, and this mantra has again been on my mind. My Uncle Laurie had a large, open heart, and I cannot think of him without thinking of him laughing, telling a joke, or gracing us with a smile. Sometimes it may hurt to have an open heart, but overall I’d say it was a good way to live. May he rest in peace.