Today is Roy’s 73rd birthday – Happy Birthday Roy Jack Mankovitz – you are missed and loved today.
I went to the cemetery this morning and brought flowers – I sat for awhile and spoke with Roy – telling him about the vicarious nature of life – how my moods and relationship to his death change from one day to the next. Last week when I was driving to Los Angeles and listening to an Al Jarreau CD, I felt an aliveness that I have felt on several occasions during the past 6 months. I realized for the hundredth time, that I was feeling happy and missing Roy at the same time. As I sat with friends in LA, I was cognizant of being alert and present – excited to be with friends, eating great food, and drinking delicious wine. I have done the heavy lifting of grief, but nonetheless I continue to struggle as I re-engage with life.
Each day since Roy’s death, I have read a meditation from Martha Whitmore Hickman’s book Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief. Her book has provided considerable solace as I move through the various cycles of grief and loss. Today’s reading hit home once again:
The reading begins with this Walt Whitman quote: “How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself, in the mystical moist night air, and from time to time, look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.”
She then goes on to discuss:
How readily we can identify with Whitman’s restlessness. Sometimes it seems as though nothing can hold our attention, nothing is worth doing for long. Life seems flat, without sparkle, almost without meaning.
Then how reassuring it can be to go out in the quiet night and look up at the stars. Surely in a world of such vast beauty and order, such unfathomable reaches of time and space, there must be meanings beyond our understanding.
There is a sense of intimacy to the night, too. That nearest star, bright in the heavens, is it a sign?
The mystery remains. But somehow we are comforted.
What I have gotten from today’s reading is my gratitude for reconnecting with a sense of wonder about life in its earthly dimension and the possibility of the eternal. Somewhere out there Roy is watching over each of us.