What do you do — with a kangaroo?
No, not with a kangaroo — though we’ve loved that story of accommodating trespassing beasts.
My real question is: What do you do with your intense need to talk to someone who is no longer around?
In the early days after Mama’s death I used to do the unabashedly, grief-strickenly batty thing: I talked to her. As if she were in the room with me, somewhere, invisible. To an outsider I would have looked to be talking to myself, but it was very clearly not that. I was addressing her, the absent her, as if I were on the phone using an earpiece. Except I wasn’t pretending to do that (if I had, would this have been an indicator of a more or less profound battiness?). I just did my talking-to-the-dead in private. At least I hope no one ever heard us — me talking, her silent.
From the talking, which got frustrating with her so silent (and I am afraid the dead, too, may be frustrated with their sudden silencedness — so let’s stop that torture), I moved on to the emails.
The emails allowed me to delve more deeply into some very serious sh*#%*t Mama and I still needed to discuss. So, despite its not surprisingly going unanswered, too, emailing her helped me sort out some of that very serious sh*#%*t (did I spell that right?), at least in my lonesome brain.
Next I decided to take it to a more public forum — this blog — address everyone else if the dead can’t hear and/or answer you. This blog was a step in the right direction. I stopped talking to Mama so much and started talking about her more. Whether this was/is/would have been okay with her is material for another post.
And now? What now?
Lately I’ve been having a resurgence of that urge to talk to her. It’s been over two years since there were her ears to hear me and her mouth to speak to me. A long time not to have had a chat with someone you love talking to.
So, these days, I take it to the woods.
I let words fail me.
I don’t talk.
I just walk and listen and look.
It’s amazing how much there is once you finally just shut up.
Last week I stood in tree pose among the real trees of Prospect Park’s highest elevation (yes, first I made sure no one was coming…).
What I was able to see there in the leaves is that all that seems near is far and all that seems far is near. Mama and I no longer need words. The stuff our relationship is now made of is much more concrete and solid than words. It’s this world.