It’s two days before Christmas, yet months removed from Halloween – the favorite holiday of one whose life was taken from us three months ago. A body failed her, but energy, strength, and courage did not. She endured. All the while, she fought through until the forces of “too much” overtook a seemingly impenetrable will. She left us holding her energy. It did not die.
This is Greta. A life force continuing on to this day … two days before Christmas.
… It is day when I have the chance to relax a bit and think through the past 90 days. Ninety days since a final exhale. It was the end of a spectacular life full of, yes, challenges … but exhaustive with extraordinary musical and artistic talent. She had those gifts to share. In the time given, I am glad to have accompanied her along the journey.
After all, it is the time to celebrate gifts.
Christmas poinsettias are strewn about in almost every church. Floral wreaths hang outside on doors brightly lit with festive greens and reds. I hear carolers gifting their music inside local restaurants while patrons drink seasonal, hot beverages through familial conversation. Neighborhoods are bustling with holiday lawn deer and crisp, winter grass reflects yesterday’s winter solstice.
All of this happening outside the very home in which I sit. There will be no tree or presents this year. By choice, the two occupants who reside here – myself among them – have decided to rest. We are a simple holiday event by ourselves. A father and son.
Over to my right are Greta’s flowers from Sunday, October 31st … Halloween. They are resting comfortably on four multi-level round stands. Noonday brilliance always comes in the sun porch windows to glance over the once colorful bouquets. At the insistence of the energy present, we can’t find our way, yet, to discard the stems and memories attached. We see the faded colors and cloudy water. These flowers were for Greta. Three months past her passing and two months since they were placed in her memory, they are hers … still.
It is her gift that keeps on giving. To the two occupants here, a daily chance to remember someone who made a huge difference. Those life-changing moments with her will accompany my experiences going forward … as these flowers eventually fade into a memory. For now, however, my personal season of loss and grieving is holding hands with a season of celebrating. Daily, I look upon four vases holding imperfect, flawed, aging … yes, dead flowers.
This is real energy. Real life. Real, deeply-felt pain with hope attached is the swirl of the grief season. Lifeless flowers speaking words in silence. They gift words to me.
Words from music rehearsals, lunches, and late-night discussions about the stars. Words about food choices, attire wear-abouts, and popular music. IQ arguments, career choices, and Hot Dawg toppings weren’t too far off topic if she wanted to discuss them. Talk show hosts, and certainly game shows, were at the top of the list.
I don’t think we pick what speaks to us after someone passes through our hands to the infinite universe. Stardust has its own plan once that happens. My crystal ball would not have said, “Greta’s flowers on the screened in back porch”, if I had one and pleaded with it soon after her death. Energy finds a way through.
I suppose we can find meaning in anything, if I was to stand on a sceptical soapbox here. Honestly, Greta loved daisies, anyway. I think any memory of her, by any means, is spectacular. On that I stand. Her gift to me was a different way of thinking. An openness to newness, as I like to say.
In light of her and the season, she will never be “too much” or not enough. I will always want one more moment that shall never be. Her colors will never fade and the water in which her spirit rests is eternally clear. For now, frail flowers continue to gift quiet words to me. At the time when these are to be discarded, Greta will give me rest in my words … and peace beyond the holiday.
Until then, I will sit here. Quiet words bounce across from my right. Strange? Perhaps.. No more odd than two occupants with nothing to do during a simple holiday. A father and son.
We miss her. Dad in his way. I look over to my right to miss her my way. Two days before Christmas. What a wonderful gift to remember and open every day.
Thank you, Greta.