Today I celebrate a very special day: the birth of the beautiful man who would be my true friend and companion for nine years. He left this world in January 2010. I have been learning to grieve ever since.
Routine. We avoid and fear change, all the while not realizing that change is an opportunity for new routines, restored stability and security. This may be the most powerful lesson I have learned since Roderick vanished from my side.
This morning, I went to the store to gather the required ingredients for the yearly birthday routine. I purchased a single-serve turkey pot pie and a small pastry. My regular diet consists in very few cooked foods, but on this day each year I round up these simple pleasures Roderick enjoyed on his birthday, to savor them for him. It is not something I put much thought into doing. It just happened on his first birthday away from this world. And now it is a simple pleasure I add to my own life as an offering of warmth and love.
An elderly man I know lost his wife earlier this year, unexpectedly. We occasionally discuss some of the emotional challenges he now faces. The other day, he asked how I deal with the Holiday Season and birthdays. So I told him about my turkey pot pie ritual. I hope it helped. He said it did. It will take time. He will find his own way.
Grieving is not about sadness; it is about embracing the mystery of the fine, invisible and unbreakable thread that links us to those who have shared our story and who have deeply touched our hearts. Maybe there is a reason we can never fully accept that they are completely gone. What if they are not? And even if they were.
Happy Birthday, Sir Roderick Davis Murray. I savor this meal for you tonight, to honor and celebrate the timeless blessing that you are.