I never thought that would be a title of something I wrote on here but there it is. Here I am. Happy.
There’s been this living in duality since you died that has been a terrible struggle for me. Nothing felt pure anymore. My joyful, at ease moments always with an underbelly of sorrow and loss and despair, all too often. The pride of watching your sister hit milestones and aquire new abilities always with the sting of what we are missing in you. Even the growing sense of safety I have in the world, how I worry so much less every time I leave Vesta that she might die or I might die or some other tragedy befall us but yet it’s never far from my next thought. The tragedy just around the corner, looming.
But yesterday. Yesterday, I had good day. And not in the way I’ve come to define it. People ask how I am and if I’m able to say it’s a good day, that’s a low bar. It’s a good day in that I’m not overwhelmed, have had anxiety, am not overcome by my worries and my loss. It hasn’t been a good day in the sense that I am feel good and things are going well and I feel like I can manage this life. But yesterday. Yesterday was a good day. Like an old me good day, except better, because it’s the new me.
I have the good fortune to be friends with one of the people in my life who had a huge influence on me, my teacher James, who taught me cranial sacral massage. He brought me one of my life’s passions and the most profound healing I am able to both give and receive. He came to visit for work on the mainland from Hawaii. We took Vesta on a beautiful hike up to waterfalls. She climbed over rocks and up the side of cliff face in the gorge. She scaled across a rock wall to get to the water. She bounded from river stone to river stone and collected rocks for your altar: rocks shaped like hearts. She and James raced all the way down the steep and winding trail on our way back with such joy and ease. Later, I came to work and had an inceredibly fun party where we did our nails and I connected with some wonderful women who support me in so many ways, including just coming to an evening at spa and laughing and talking and sharing in beauty and play together. James and I had a delicious dinner and headed to my favorite dance club and we danced non stop and we danced deep into the layered beauty of the funk/soul music, among other happy souls, dancing and feeling good, feeling alive, enjoying an evening in June. This morning I drove him to the train under blue skies and summer weather. Driving to work with the windows rolled down and music playing, I marveled. I absolutely marveled.
Humans are amazing creatures. What we can adapt to, adjust to, heal from. I don’t see a day in my life where there is not a Harvey shaped hole in it. I don’t see a day when I will ever stop missing you. But yesterday, I had a day that shown so brightly through my dark cloud that I saw a day or days in the future, the not so distant future, when I would feel at home in myself again, at home in the this world, at home in this human condition.
My thoughts about you these days lean more and more to gratitude. I have these qualities now that I find such value and solace in. My heart has expanded far beyond its borders because you were here and because you are gone. I can live into moments like yesterday and feel some purity, feel some ease, even forget for a little while how everything has fallen apart. I am courageous and unashamed. I have left behind so many relationships and situations that were inauthentic, drama-laden or just plain burdensome. Since you left, I have been led down this path of incredible self discovery and healing. I am sitting more surely in myself. I am stronger than I could ever have imagined. In comparison to your loss, all save but one event in this life, I am unafraid of or, at least, I know I can survive nearly anything.
What I wouldn’t give to have you here with me to share this joy. To see you smile, hear you laugh, know the color of your beautiful eyes. But it can’t be. So instead I feel you all around me, I look for your signs and the magic and miracles you have created for me. Instead, I let you be my guide, I let you show me the way of the world as I would have done for you. I think you are doing a better job of it, son! My heart aches as it will throughout the ages. The primal scream of my grief is never far, always accessible, and still sometimes surprising when it rears up with it’s depth and intensity that brings me to the floor. But it eases if we let it open us, if we let it nearly destroy us. I would do it all again, my boy. Just to hold you once more and kiss that soft, pink nose.
Here I am, now, Harvey. Happy. Thanks to you.
Always and forever times infinity,