I read this this morning and I had already been thinking about grief this morning. I was missing Cam who will never have a 60th birthday like I was blessed with Monday. I spent my birthday at work where they didn’t remember even though they were collecting for someone else’s birthday. And at night I was with Alison who is the only one that is left of my birth family. I’ve outlived my little brother and my parents.
Sometimes that’s just weird but on birthdays it kind of hurts. Mom wasn’t there to make my favourite cake or pie. Always my choice of yellow cake with thick butterscotch icing or Lemon Angel Pie. No Dad to take us to them museum in the station wagon or the Oldsmobile. No brother to pester me about being a year and half older than he. No kitchen table with a baked chicken dinner, (dipped in milk and rolled in cornflake crumbs and parmesan cheese and a wee bit of onion salt and garlic salt) no oven fried potatoes unless I make them. So yeah this morning I had a bit of time of missing meals at a big farm table that had seen many family dinners and celebrations. We always ate dinner together every night and for most of my school time, breakfasts too were always eaten together there even when I was in trouble or mad at one of my parents. That table saw thousands of Christmas cookies and school projects.
When you get older grief comes with birthdays. The friends that were there the years before and aren’t any more. The family that isn’t there to watch you blow out the candles. There is an acceptance of time passed but also a deep soul longing for what has been lost and can’t be ever replaced in this present life.
Birthdays are almost worse than Samhain for ghosts. On days like today Hecate seems closer than Brighid and Quan Yin and I remember the Green Man has a death aspect when fall comes. A raven met me on the way to the bus as he does most mornings. Greeting me with his low voice and he always makes me laugh.
Walking down the street and seeing a man that walks like my dad did or someone who wears my brother’s cologne. The scent of Chanel #5 on the wind reminds me of Mom. Things that smell green and remind me of my Grandma, (I’m synesthetic). Someone’s eyes that remind me of Kathy’s or finding an old note from Laura in a book she gave me.
Moment that live for a moment in memory and die too quickly. Hecate stands in the background and waits patiently for her due. She will get it but not yet. It’s still early summer. Death is a part of life and to be accepted but not too easily.
It’s tax to be paid for the privilege of living and loving. And in the knowing that there are some things I will never do in this life like give birth or lose a child, or get married for those are not the lessons I chose to live in this life. I chose other hard lessons like holding space for those leaving life or having adventures that left scars and memories. I’m not sorry for any of the scars, they are hard won in pain and knowledge even the scars that aren’t visible but I know are there.
Hopefully lessons I will not have to learn again. Everything from jumping a fire and catching the seat of my jeans on fire to committing my love to someone who would discard me for a straight woman who didn’t demand honesty of her and breaking my heart to river rafting a class IV river in spring flood to Coming out as a lesbian and a pagan neither of which is ever done completely. The lessons I learned by being initiated and then the lessons that come with ordination and the ones that now come with my Consecration.
So lessons are learned and the grief of knowing there are some things I will never get to do and people I will never get to see again is making me a bit melancholy and it’s okay because it’s all part of life and tonight I’ll light a candle for lost things and loves and wish them on their way for new things that will surely include new griefs and new lessons and new joys. And it’s all right for now.