Strange things happen in blogland. Trying to fix a broken link earlier today on this post, originally written on July 10, 2011, it reposted as if it were written today. It wasn't. But it's still true:
Today marks 30 days, the traditional grieving period for widows in Judaism. In Islam, it appears to be four lunar months and 10 days. I watched my beloved Tibetan Buddhist friend recite prayers (puja) for 49 days after her husband's death (a year ago tomorow), the time it takes for the person to pass through one of the six "bardos," the transitions between life and death... and life. I'm keeping track of that marker too because of Jeff's deep interest in Tibetan Buddhism.
None of this means that grieving is over. Having lost a fair number of people since I was very young, I know the sneak properties of grief, how just when you think it's not going to grab you by the throat again, it does, how seemingly insignificant things can trigger it, how anniversaries and big events and chance remarks and maybe even a chocolate brownie can set it off.
Still that initial period of becoming accustomed to the altered universe -- the absence -- has a way of shedding its shock value and that's where I am.
My old blog readers are aware that I've posted practically nothing in the past few months. While I've continued working through this whole period - including some novel and interesting projects, I've lacked the urge to post, my mind consumed with what was ahead and what was happening right then, particularly in the last six weeks of Jeff's life.
So I offer this post as a gate to the next phase and a return to the many topics I've felt compelled to cover in the past four years.
And I can't get this hymn out of my mind, performed by one of Jeff's favorite artists, Judy Collins. Though the words don't all reflect what I'm feeling, mo(u)rning has broken.