Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen, Anthem
I thought I had a plan for next Monday. It wasn’t a good plan, but given the day and the circumstances, it was the best plan I was going to get. I would get through the day of the 10th, and then I would go back to my apartment, which is home like enough for the purposes of the day, and there I could collapse. I could stop being composed and calm, and instead be the woman I would fight against – I could be nothing more than the mother of a dead child, one who vividly and painfully remembered the little boy she held in her arms as he died.
And then my roommate had to be in town, which meant that going home to collapse was out of the question. My grief isn’t his problem.
I put together a cobbled plan – carefully not being home, and I have spent the last week mournful that I had to have this plan. It’s not anyone’s fault, not that Mr. California will be here, not that I have a meeting in Victoria, not that Mr. Spit won’t be here, not that Gabriel is dead. It is jut the way it is.
I have been resentful, not at any one person, just at the circumstances the world asked me to cope with 5 years ago, and resentful at being asked to cope with one more curve ball this year.
I wrote all of this, and I looked at all of what I wrote and I didn’t much like the whiny woman it represented. I didn’t like the emotional energy it represented, I didn’t like the all or nothing stance it stood for.
Monday will come, just like it does every year. And just like it has come every year, I will wake up and face the situation in front of me. It will not be the easiest day and it will not be the most terrible. I will go to meetings, I will cope as best I can. I will do the work I have in front of me.
Gabriel’s birthday will come. A good friend sent me a note last night, asking if I would like her to come and hold my hand and sing and be with me. It is entirely unexpected, but kindness all the same.
I will be thankful in some small way. Thankful because gratitude is a mindset I cultivate. Thankful that I am here, that my life has moved on. I will be thankful that my life is not as I expected it to be, but there are pockets of sweetness all the same.
There’s a crack in my life, and there always will be. On Monday I will sing with a terrible voice, because that’s the voice I have. It is not a perfect offering. The day won’t go as I would have chose it.
I will forget my perfect offering.