Grief is a funny old thing. These days, we spend so much time together, it feels like a friend. I don’t recognize myself in photos now. I’m smiling, and I look the same, but grief is right there too, crowding for space, insisting it be included.
It’s not just me. I see it in Ravi and Anand and Cathleen. It’s a weight we carry now, a different way of moving through the world. We are not the same people any more. Haunted is too heavy a term, but it’s close.
Ravi’s cousin Rashmi (who is also a dear friend) commissioned a painting of Moy Moy which she framed and sent to us a few weeks ago. We love it so much (Look at her expression! Her eyes! Her smile! She seems to be talking to us!) we wanted to get it reframed.
But when I went to the framers today, I was completely unable to make a decision. What colour mat? What type of frame?
Every choice seemed too weighted; what would I be saying if I chose a gold frame? A black border? Would a white frame seem too playful, too light? How to convey the grief and the love in the same breath?
I came home finally without having made a decision. Then I sent a photo of the painting to my friends Edmund and Angie in Scotland and I asked their advice. Edmund is my photography guru and the two of them together are beacons of simplicity and compassion. “Edmund would go thin and subtle,” Angie wrote. “Mat same colour as the scarf. Frame a few shades darker.”
Not what I was thinking at all, but suddenly it seemed right.
“Love, you shall perfect for me this child….. Within new limits now, arrange the world And square the circle: four walls and a ring.” Seamus Heaney
The grief is mine – and ours – but the child belongs to all of us. Moy Moy was a gift to this world and we discover her again and again. While I was inside the framer’s shop, two friends and longtime supporters of the Foundation walked in. I thought they were coming for their own work, but it turned out they had seen me through the window and had come in to greet me.
They saw the painting of Moy Moy and the woman spontaneously reached out to embrace me. “God sent her to you and you made a new world for her,” she said. “That’s why you are so beautiful yourself.”
I don’t feel beautiful but I do feel lucky. Moy Moy is still working her magic. God bless her. God bless us all.