I have been doing a gratitude meditation daily for several years. Maybe that is why I am naturally drawn to express my grief in terms of gratitude.
Nearly four months after Karl died, the concept of gratitude features in a poem I write for a gathering of friends in Vancouver.
It’s my first poem for Karl following his death:
IN THE BEFORE TIME: FIRST POEM FOR KARL
In the before time
we had no need for poems
We had songs and stories
to punctuate our days
You specialized in inspirational bedtime stories
I composed new songs for you
in the car
while you drove single-handed
rubbing the sleep from your eyes
I had you.
No Pretty, no Beauty, no Sweetie, no Goney
You’re just around the corner, maybe…
but out of reach
If I were a poet, I’d remember:
Bright as a tropical sky
Open to everything
Your warm brown laugh
Two little old guys
Growing older together
Hoping for that
and nothing more
Now I accept:
A broken, overflowing heart
New life drawing me forward
A semblance of equanimity
* * *
My poem reminds me (although I sometimes forget), that gratitude for Karl’s life arose immediately following his death and stays with me even when I feel I am losing heart.
I have never stopped blessing Karl — or sensing the lessons and blessings emerging from the apparent tragedy of his sudden death. I make those blessings conscious through my daily communications with him.