One thing that never fails to break my heart open is the small gifts that people give in the midst of their grief. Small pieces of the life they are grieving. They aren’t, perhaps, things other would consider gifts, but they are to me.
A trick for getting a duvet cover on easily.
Seeing colors woven together in a quilt that had been chosen because no one would expect them to go so well together.
How a wonky exit got designed.
Music composed and played with obvious joy.
The name of a child who never lived to bear it themselves.
A piece of teenage wisdom.
The people I meet in my work are people I’ll carry with me and remember always. Now I remember them especially whenever I make my bed, wear a colorful outfit, take that wonky exit off the interstate, listen to music, meet a child with that name, remind myself of that wise advice…
Whether they realize it or not, being given these small gifts help the person they loved live even more strongly in my heart and memory.
When someone dies our work is in learning to live with the absence of them. But when someone lives they change the world, and those changes are remembered in stories and things created. The essence of someone that can be gifted. And in sharing them, well, those gifts become immortal.