And now the grief settles into our bones. Mary and I have been complaining today of profound aches and pains, an experience which my sister shares. Our muscles are like stones which have lost the long-ago suppleness of soil. Our joints ache and creak like wintry tree limbs. We move through a syrup of feeling, even as we unpack the car, wash clothes, and attempt to resume "normal" life following the experience of a death.
Today we avoided a neighborhood picnic, lacking all motivation for superficial conversation and pleasantries. At the supermarket, we ducked in order to not encounter someone who we knew would only drain us with her narcissism. Tomorrow, I work from home, and Mary enjoys one more day of bereavement leave. Tuesday, we re-enter the proverbial rat-race, even as we continue to feel like we're still in a parallel universe, the Universe of the Grieving.
This special universe is inhabited by many, and even as some of us lose sight of it as we become enshrouded in the everyday world once more, a part of our heart remains in the Universe of the Grieving, holding the memories of our departed loved one in a special and tender place.
Pieces of my soul dwell permanently in the Universe of the Grieving, holding a spirit candle for my beloveds who have since left this earthly plane. The candle I burn for my step-dad glows most brightly, having only recently been lit. Some day another beloved's candle will be the newest one to grace my spirit altar, but for now his soul occupies the center of that most sacred space, and I send love and light to him as he claims his most righteous prize.