There’s a man in my camp mourning his wife of 30 years. The time from cancer diagnosis to death was seven weeks. “How do you go on?” He asked me this morning. I’ve been asking myself that for two months now. And yet, and yet. We are. He’s made it eight months; I’ve made it two. You just do. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Helpful cliches.
Tonight, I’ll place a poster of Rupert along with his ashes in the Temple. I’m planning what I think may be the first Flying Spaghetti Monster memorial in the Temple. I’ll be wearing a colander. I was able to share this with the Temple architect David Best and a few of his crew yesterday. I know this would make Rupert smile.
I’m an atheist, but I feel his presence. His cremains are around my neck, his love is in my heart, and oddly, I feel his right hand holding my left hand. These feelings are deep and intense.
I’m seeing people – friends, strangers, crowds, in a new way. We are all going to die someday. We don’t know when and, save for suicide, we can’t control how. It’s a weird way of looking at life, but it’s giving me a perspective and an appreciation I’ve never had. Hugs from friends mean more. I’m allowing myself to connect with people in a more present, real way. Because we never know. Rupert was taken from us so quickly, and it can happen again.
I’m grateful for the Temple, where I have a place to grieve. Few and far between in the default world, it’s healing to have a beautiful place built to burn, built to hold space for those who need it. Tonight I’ll place his cremains, and Sunday I’ll watch the smoke and the flames burn it away. Those of us mourning will walk away, one foot in front of the other.