Feeling empty, I turned to my beads. And I managed to create my first free-form pendant. It's pretty nice, in greens that match the "Seaside" bracelet. It's kind of small and quiet, the way I feel right now.
I tried to take a picture of it to post, but the camera is truly a goner at this point. There should be some good electronics sales this holiday weekend... we will definitely buy a new camera. Stay tuned.
The funeral is over, the Shiva is over, the 7-day candle has burned all the way down, and everyone is finally back at home. But of course it feels so strange, kind of empty. Hard to grasp that someone so central to our life is gone.
Some rituals are helpful, though. And the company of people is really important. Yesterday we had a memorial service for Sam here at our house. It was gratifying to have so many people come and support us in our time of sorrow. Most of our Portland friends never met Sam, but they were able to know him a little bit, through the picture that Gershon painted with his stories, and I think everyone felt enriched by the experience.
We also made a collage of photos, which turned out to be a really therapeutic project. The memories are so sweet, as you dig through albums full of surprises. And it's amazing how much other people enjoyed the pictures too, trying to guess which little boy is Gershon, and laughing gently at the bygone fashions. Again, being surrounded by people we love was so comforting. We have built ourselves a lovely community here. Friends are good.
The jig is up. It's all a sham. "Happily ever after," "growing old together," "the golden years"... all those romantic phrases... all trying to hide the ugly truth: that you get old in pain and frustration, you die, usually in a most humiliating or painful way, and the ones who are least able to manage alone are left alone for the next 20 years.
The denial as we move from our "prime" to our "golden years" is preposterous, as those approaching the chasm try desperately to cling to the mirage... trying to will it to be true, even as they try to hit the brakes, knowing deep down where they're heading. What a slap in the face the actual truth is. The jig is up. It's all a sham.
My father-in-law, Sam Liberman, passed away tonight, after several months of pain and frustration. The last few days have been particularly difficult, for him and for my mother-in-law. I can't quite grasp it yet. But I hope he will be at peace.
When I left their house yesterday, and kissed him goodbye, I didn't know I was really kissing him goodbye.
Why must the end be so hard? And so long? It's agonizing for everyone, especially when we don't know if it's just the start of the end, or really near the end. Watching what my inlaws are going through right now, I am absolutely terrified of my own future, when we will be their age, and wrestling with mortality in such a difficult, painful way. And watching my own mother disintegrate is a whole other kind of terror, as I look at my own image, age-adjusted. Like I said before, aging isn't for the weak-hearted.
Last night I finished my latest free-form bracelet, and I'm very happy with it. For some reason, i always feel the need to give these more involved projects a name. I was hoping this one would fit the name "Herb Garden," but it doesn't feel right to me, with all the turquoise in it. So what shall I call it?
Of course it's also a fairly mediocre photo, because my digital camera is dying a slow and painful death. I'm ready to buy a new one, but torn about which one to choose. Too many choices out there!
So I'm asking for suggestions (I know I may come to regret this) on two things: what camera to buy (needs to have macro capability) and what to name this bracelet. Ready? Go!