Sunday, September 12, 2010

To be, or not to be...Consumed.

Last week my son, Remy, and I were walking along University Avenue in Hillcrest. On one of the corners was a shop that always caught my eye when ever we drove by, but I had never taken the time to stop. It appeared to be a store filled with Statuary. I pointed the shop out, and Remy followed along. When we entered the store I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there were some large statuary, but mostly there were fountains and smaller sculptures. I love fountains, as water has always been a source of healing for me, and the sound of running water is always so soothing.

Most of the fountains were huge outdoor fountains made of heavy stone. We both fell in love with this enormous sitting Buddha that would appear to be life size. Of course this, and most of the fountains were not something I could purchase at this time, as I am only renting my home, and don't know if I will have a place for a fountain once I later buy a house.

While we walked around we both came to this table that was filled with these small sculptures of a male figure in various vulnerable poses. I was immediately drawn to them, as was Remy. He looked up at me as he pointed out one particular piece. "Dad, this looks like the picture of you from your blog." And yes, it was a pose that I used in an early post with my Grief video.

We kept looking at the statue, and holding it in our hands. I would then put in carefully back on the table, and continue looking at fountains. Yet, I kept finding my way back to the table, and once again holding the small statue. Remy would walk back toward me and ask if I was going to buy it. I told him that, no, I shouldn't be spending money on things like this. But I think he could see how much it comforted me to hold this. I once again returned it to the table, and went to pick out a small fountain to place in our home. After the sales person finalized the sale of the fountain I had a few minutes while he got the fountain ready for transfer into my car. Remy had his eyes on me, and watched me move back toward the table. And once again, I was holding the statue carefully in my hands. I was stroking the formed muscles on it's back, and allowing my fingers to trace the curves of it's body. I found myself getting a bit emotional, and didn't initially hear Remy speaking. "Dad, you need to have it. Look, it is so much like you. Buy it Dad."

I brought it home, and placed it into the built in mantle above the fireplace. I keep a votive candle lit behind it. And I realize why it touched me so. I can nurture it, and hold it, just like I need to be nurtured and held. Throughout my day I walk over to it, and allow my hand to gently glide across it.

Is this how Michael sees me? Is he able to some how reach out to nurture and hold me as well? I'm not really good at letting people see me in a vulnerable state. And I'm worse at allowing someone to hold me. But all this has me thinking, when ever I find myself feeling cared for, and am filled more with love than with grief, is that due to Michael's hand gently gliding across me?

Whether it's Michael's hand, me allowing others in, or finding a way to self soothe, I am feeling cared for. Sorrow and pain are always with us, and likely will always be a part of my life, but they don't have to be the dominate force. I'm finding that giving myself that time to grieve, yet not be consumed by it, allows for more love to occupy my heart these days. It's not a big happy love, but a quiet, gentle love that washes over me.

Life is changing for me. I am becoming more and more aware of his presence in my heart, and allowing that sense of presence to carry me through the day. With it comes those loving memories that others said would later comfort me. At the time I didn't think it was possible, but I now understand why those words are often spoken. I do find myself smiling when remembering, and that's a far cry from where I was one year ago.


  1. I'm glad that The statue found you and that Remy convinced you to bring it home. Some things are meant to be.

    I just watched the video that you posted last winter. I had not seen it before. I don't think I began reading your blog until last spring. It's a powerful expression of your grief, and I see the resemblance to the statue.

    Awhile back, I made mention of Neil Peart's "Ghostrider: Travels on the Healing Road." He talks about nurturing and protecting his "baby soul" as he works his way through grief after losing first his daughter in an accident, and then his wife to cancer shortly after. I think this is something we have to find a way to do -- to take care of that vulnerable soul that resides within us. It needs our kindness as it tries to heal.

  2. Remy is very special, but that's no surprise to me, because he has a very special father.

    I'm glad that you bought the statue, and yes you are right, you've made a lot of progress ... but dammit I wish I could be with you today to hold you through the worst of it.

    I love you

  3. P.S.:

    Dan - just noticed your guest piece at Widow's Voice. Yes, you're so right.
    I hope this day will not be too difficult for you - and that you can mark it not with too much sadness, but instead with memories of the good times that Michael and you shared. Take care, bev

  4. you are in my thoughts today as you are every day. i also feel a difference in your writing. you sound more hopeful and positive. the statuary is a perfect. i am glad Remy talked you into getting it. "out of the mouths of babes." i wish you peace.