Every once in awhile, I bump into a quote or something and I stop and think, hmm... I might have said that... or... I wish I had known that.... or .... I wish I could say that...
I found one today. "Grief is a door that cannot be closed until one knows, precisely, what is in the room."
I stopped. Read it again. Then smiled. It brings up a lot of memories. Some years old. Some fresh. Some doors I've closed. Some I have open. Doors of mine. Doors of others. Knowing that some rooms are ones you need to see but don't want to alone. Walking with others into some of my rooms. Walking with others into their rooms. And I smile.
I stopped. Felt it again. Knowing what it is like to try shutting doors when they can not be shut. Trying to force them closed, but they bulge like a closet uncleaned. Knowing what it is when others feel you should shut that door when you are not ready. That hurts. Don't talk about it and it will go away. No. I have a need to know, to feel, to walk in, to grieve, to feel. When I have done that, I am willing to shut the door. Not nail it shut like the lid on a coffin, but simply shut it. I may walk in there again one day. I may not. Likely I will, and when I do, I like company. Please listen to me. Please let me talk. I'll come out again and shut the door again - when I am ready. Not before. If you try to make me do it before I am ready, you will hurt me. I will think you don't care. But I will come out. Let me tell you when I am ready to shut that door. Until then, listen. Be aware that I live in two places - in the here and now, and in the room where I grieve. Walk into that room with me. I want company. I want to talk. I value people who stop to step into this room with me.
I stopped. I smiled. I know this. I know that doors can be closed. Closed and walked away from. In a good way. After they have been felt. After they have been known. And there is again delight, again joy, again the desire to run in the wind and laugh in the rain. I know that now. I can't say that while I am in someone's room. I can't tell myself that when I am walking into my rooms with doors not closed, but I know that. That quiet hope allows me to be quiet at times, to not "fix", to not change the conversation. Because I know. A knowledge that to me is as precious as purified gold. Knowing that, I can remain still. There is a way to close the door and move on. Move on deeply changed, yes, but move on. A change that does not destroy, but deepens. It deepens to feel the pain, but the deepening also means a deeper ability to feel joy. I know that. So I walk through people's rooms quietly. Let's stay here as long as we need to. Let's listen. Let's talk. One day, we'll have found we've walked all the way around the room again. We'll look at the door and decide, "Do we go out now, or do we want to walk around again?" We might walk around again, not ready to leave. Not sure we caught everything. But there will come that day we get to the door and decide to walk out. And we will naturally shut the door behind us. Before we even know we did. But we will. And then we will walk away, not forgetting, but deepened by the experience. Changed. More tender. More strong. More joyful. More sorrowful. Changed. But we will know. We will know that there is again delight, again joy, again the laughter of a child playing in the rain. But we will know that joy in a deeper way because we have let ourselves walk through the room of grief without running away.
I smiled when I read that quote today. I would have liked to say that.