This morning, I placed a vase of rhododendrons by the gravestone of my grandmother. My mom stayed behind in the car. I don't think she could bring herself to walk across the muddy ground, past the shiny gray stones engraved with other people's names, and face the name of her mother and the spot where her body resides, so deep in the earth, so deep inside the unfathomable darkness of death. So I did it because I can, because that's what I owe my mother. Maybe love is sometimes doing for others what we cannot do for ourselves.
The day is luminous. The trees are verdant, lush with bright green leaves. The wildflowers in the meadows sway in the wind. The scent of grass and honeysuckle perfume the air. I sit in the car, watch the world pass by in one glittering blur, and I feel alive and beautiful. Grief is somewhere under the light, so is death, but it's not the only thing. There is more. There is love and connection and sublimity, and I have to keep finding those things and living for them.
My mom and I ate lunch, then sat in the parking lot of a local movie theater, listening to country music and looking out the window at the glorious spring day. We did not cry. We did not speak of the past. We did not lament. At times, I took her hand in mine and held it, caressed it. It was cool and smooth. I take photographs of her hands. I never want to forget the feel of them inside my own hands, the way we comfort one another, the way we love.
Love. It is what remains after the destruction of a life, after loss, after atrocity. Find love. Cling to it. Revel in it. Know that you are worthy of it.