On Saturday morning, I checked my email. I checked my email and I saw a message from my friend. I opened the message and learned that her husband's father had died just an hour before she wrote the message. He was sick, but being treated, and his death was sudden. My friend and her husband were skiing with their kids and did not make it home before he passed.
I read the email and I felt a rush of sadness. Sadness for him, this guy I know and like very much. Because I know what it feels like, and what it means, to lose a father. I am three-plus years out from losing Dad and my grief is still here, hovering, lingering, shaping me. It is more subtle in its presence, more quiet in its questions, more wily in its ways, but it is here. And Saturday, I felt it. I did. I was brought back to the day Dad died, a day that was surreal and slippery and just plain sad. I remember what my Big Girl wore that day. She was eighteen months. Basically bald.
She wore a gray tutu. I remember how she ran around twirling as we all sat there at my parents' kitchen table bleary-eyed and stunned. My girl's twirling saved me a bit that day. It did.
Saturday shaped up to be a good, sturdy day. Standard weekend fare. We spent hours in pajamas. There were juice boxes and art projects and cartoons. There was a trip to the playground. There were tears and laughs and snuggles. There was love. In the evening, Little Girl was fussy and I gave her a bath in hopes of soothing her before bed. I plopped her in the water and soaped her up and rinsed her. And then I watched. I watched her splash and squeal. I watched her study the tiny soap bubbles on the surface of the water. I watched as she poked these bubbles with her little fingers. I watched as her eyes grew wide and wild when she saw a little pink object pop up from below. Her own toe.
I watched. It was something I've seen so many times. But it was also brand new. I smiled.
Grief is a terrible and tricky beast. But there is something to be said for grief and what it can do. If we let it bloom, if we let it in, grief can make the little mundane moments that pepper our days absolutely magical. It can make those little snippets of ordinary life glisten and glow.
Like tiny little soap bubbles in a baby's bath.
G - I am so sorry. There are no words.