Friday, July 10, 2015

Living in the moment

There are so many things I have learned through Kevin's illness, death and mourning him. There have been painful lessons and a few, enormous gifts. One of these is about being in the present moment.

I have always tried to practice a present-moment way of living. On the one hand, it means I am more attentive to what's happening around me, I find it easier to forgive and forget, and I have learned how to ride whatever emotion I'm feeling when I'm feeling it because I know that it will pass. That last point has been hugely helpful when I am prostrate with grief. On the other hand, it means I can be terribly forgetful because I am present in the present. It means I sometimes am afraid I will forget what it meant to be loved like that. It means I am driving without a map. But mostly, it helps. 

Here is how it helps me right now. 

I am in New Jersey visiting my parents. I love the ocean here and have many sweet memories of time spent at the beach with Kevin. This is a blessing and curse because it makes his loss feel so much more acute when I am remembering him like this. I walk on the shore and taste salt, not knowing if comes from the sea spray or from me.

And yet. It also means I walk on the shore and feel the pull of my muscles as my feet stretch on the sand. I feel the cold water wrap around my ankles, pulling me back and forth. I close my eyes and let the wind sway my body. I feel the memory of his hand in mine. The memory is better than never having the knowledge and, because of my present-focus, I have such clear memories of how his hand felt in mind. In those past-present moments his skin was imprinted on mine. That remains. 

It is not an easy life, learning to live post-loss. But it is the life I have and so I am present in it. This moment. These words. The love that is in my sinews and skin. The knowledge that I lave been loved and love fiercely. And hope for what is to come because, if I live in the present, there is always more to come.

(c) 2015 Laura S. Packer
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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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