Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Yesterday morning, first Michael kissed me before he went out the door, then I grabbed a fistful of his t-shirt, held him to me a little longer. It’s rough with both our fathers approaching the end of their lives, and my Pop currently having one hell of a tough time. Which means I too am having one hell of a tough time.
Michael’s parting words, though I’d wrinkled his shirt, were, “All your life, you’ve been gathering your strength for this.” Then I could say, “You have a good day, too!” while a bit of the weight I’d been carrying attached itself to a nearby cloud.
When Michael and I walked at J.P. on Sunday, entering the park via the back way, since it was too early for the gatekeeper to be up, he kept having to wait for me. “Picking up the rear?” Michael asked? No, I wasn’t picking up the rear, it and the fore were dragging me down. I was walking in lead boots and granite pants, with a marble hat on, no feather in the brim.
Grief may be invisible but it sure does weigh a lot. Gravity is one of the “fundamental interactions of nature in which objects with mass attract each other.” Uh huh. Well, even objects without mass. My grief and fear have been doing more than flirting with each other these past weeks.
Even though Einstein said, “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love,” I do. When Michael and I met the weightless of the mass of my love was drawn to him by a force I can only call gravity or divine intervention which is just another form of gravity, isn’t it?
In 1907 Dr. Duncan MacDougall weighed patients right before and just following their deaths. He claimed the bodies were 21 grams lighter dead than alive. That weight loss, he concluded, was the weight of the soul. Upon death, it invisibly fled. If so, when my father dies and Michael’s father dies and when his mother dies and Michael and I do and your loved ones die and you do, will all those 21 grams turn into clouds or singing birds or trees for the singing birds or ants climbing up the trees or wind sailing through them?
Posted by Patrice Vecchione at 7:11 AM