"Who can explain how the mind & heart works or what the depth of love & sorrow is?"
My mother wrote those words to me the other day. She was trying to explain her reaction upon seeing the tombstone on Daddy's grave. The words hit home, and hit hard. Who can explain? When I saw the picture of the tombstone, I was deeply shaken. Seeing his name in stone, and the dates, made it all too real that yes, he is gone and he is not coming back. I don't know how to explain my feelings. I know he is gone, but there are times when I think of him, when I hear his voice, that my mind forgets and I think he's just not 'here', not present; perhaps still in the hospital or nursing home.
I arrived at work, turned on my phone to call my husband. My sister's message popped up, along with the picture. The tears came fast and hard...I just wasn't expecting to see his name. And the flowers that were placed upon the marker made it even more poignant and tender. How I want to be there, to sit and chat; maybe feel his presence? It hurts that I can't place flowers on his grave, caress the stone.
But then I think of my mother...and the depth of her grief, love, and sorrow. How can one go on after spending 60 years with another? I imagine the quiet and stillness of the condo is sometimes overwhelming for her, moreso than the noise and clucking Dad used to make. My grief is still fresh and raw, yet nothing compared to what she must feel. She feels his presence and the deep emptiness at the same time. One of the last gifts Dad bought Mom was a little vase with some flowers. We don't know how or why, but for over a year the flowers have not died. Rather amazing, actually. When Dad was last 'sick', one petal fell. The other day, Mom looked down and there on the carpet were a bunch of the petals...why are they now falling? Perhaps it's Dad sending a message to Mom - letting her know that he is still there, with her, beside her? I choose to believe so.
The tombstone marks his final resting place. He is not there. I know he is in heaven, laughing and chuckling, receiving all the answers he ever had questions to - instant knowledge. How he must be relishing all the information he's receiving! Funny how the mind can know one thing, but the heart feel another...because my heart feels he is still here.
Who, indeed, can explain how the heart and mind works, or the depth of love and sorrow?