4:30 am Reflection (during my first few months of grieving)

May 9, 2012

If Katie is doing some “Angel-ing-’round-me”, I’d say she was very very good at it!

All joy comes from God….well let’s say that all joy and beauty and goodness come from the God space-time-continuum where that universe intersects this side of the veil and time stands still……it is the same place/time/space where the “aperture opens and closes quickly”…..you do not know where it comes from, what it is nor where it went when the aperture closes, but you know you have been blessed with something so sweet and delectable and precious that it’s essence remains. In fact it’s absence has more substance than that which is seen or known and clocked in “real time”. (Already you can see the conundrum of using language at all.)

And that essence of love intersected, that “angeling-around” or love-pierced-through-time is exactly where Katie-love is now. At least it is there where I look for her now days and keep finding her presence—unmistakably, un-known. Her impact is noted from behind time. “didn’t our hearts burn?” That is the language that best fits.

After Katie died, I was walking with Mary Adams along the St. Anthony-Main bridge area over the Minnesota River. It was early on after Katie’s death and early in my putting words together around the phenomenon of understanding my grief. It was easy to talk with Mary because she knows the language of the mystical, or the dynamic, the reality…….

While we were walking on the bridge, (I can see it specifically in my mind’s eye right now), I was trying to put words to my experience of feeling Katie’s presence in the short time since her death. I kept coming back around and around to use a language that centered around the concept of her presence-in-absence, at a palpable level of experience.

Knowing God is breath, the Breath of life….knowing that God’s love breathes through us, is in us, around us…I was declaring that I was experiencing a Presence of Katiness, a “Knowing” level of awareness, where Katie has been made One with God, or been absorbed, incorporated, mutually known of and by God, at the God-place-time intersection…..an Un-reality that is more real than reality itself…

I was trying to explain to Mary that I kept feeling Katie very very close at times and then not feeling her so close at other times…like God breathing-in and God breathing-out God’s Self, through Katherine….it was a palpable knowing, like God’s breath was breathing God’s breath where Katie now is. That she is able, somehow to come close and know and be known, but then go back into wherever her specificity absorbs into the Whole again….which of course is where she is most alive now, since her death.

At that time on the bridge, it was my best effort yet, in trying to articulate my experience. Using a kind of technical language the mystical writers in the 1300’s used to talk about experiencing God—called “apophatic” speech…..experiencing God through the un-knowing of God…..more powerfully knowing God-love through an un-knowing of God-love.

Meister Echkart prayed “I pray God to rid me of God”.

That’s all I can say for now. Or, better yet, that’s all I can not-say for now:

God breathing God’s-Self through the breathing of Katie-love….breath in and breath out….as I walk through life in her un-presence…..a powerfully real place to be. When I experience it, I can only know it after I look backwards and say, during that time,

“wasn’t my heart burning?”

10 Responses to “4:30 am Reflection (during my first few months of grieving)”

  1. Oh my. What is there to say on this second anniversary of Katie going to “the other side of the veil”? Beautiful, like Katie and her Mother.

  2. I love your use of conundrum… Is, but isn’t. known, but unknown. felt, but not There are by far more dimensions to life than many people want to recognize. They are still in a child’s concrete world. Pain & loss of whatever type give us an opening to these other dimensions. It is to be explored and taken as a part of life, however painful it may be, it is how we grow in spirit. And you have a great spirit, both of you.

    • Kay said

      You are a great encourager. Thank you. You have the courage of a saint by your journey with your daughter and her children.

  3. I’m very sorry for the loss of your daughter. Your words about what you’ve been through and what you’re feeling now, are very beautiful and thought provoking.

    After reading this, I went off in search of information about “apophatic” speech and Meister Echkart. You’re sharing a lot more than your grief. Thank you.

  4. davidearle said

    After my mother died, I had a very real sense of her presence comforting and supporting me. This has not diminished as time has gone by. When my father died, there was a greater sense of absence. I was distressed as to why he had left me so quickly. Until I read his favourite poem at his funeral and felt and heard his voice through me. I cannot explain any of this rationally, except to say that this is more than we know about this world and the next.

    • Kay said

      Oh, that is awesome to hear that, thanks for writing, David. Those occurences are real gifts. The more they are not rational, the more value they hold. I would love to hear that poem, do you still have it?

      • davidearle said

        It was a few of the closing stanzas from Longfellow’s Hiawatha – where the birds farewell Hiawatha as he leaves in his canoe. Dad devoured the whole poem when he was about 8 or 9! We still have pictures of his dressed in his Hiawatha costume too.
        It really struck me in preparing for his funeral that at the time he read this poem it was only 50 years after the defeat of the native peoples of the area he was living in – and he sided with the “indians” not the “cowboys”. That really was his way of seeing the world.

  5. HMB said

    Geez. That was the first thing that came out of my mouth when I finished this. That, and realizing I was not breathing.

    You know things Kay. You know things that people don’t get unless they allow themselves to be immersed in the deepest part of the soul. I’ve listened to dying people describe a similar way of relating to the world, a way of being in the world.

    It is rare that I am so deeply moved on so deep a level. It’s not anger I feel, or joy, or shame, or fear, or happiness. Something much deeper. I’m thinking about my loss of my family. I’ll have to write about that some day on my blog.

    Thank you for an important spiritual experience for me. God bless you as God continues in your experiences of loss and life. God is so much bigger than we can express or comprehend.

    • Kay said

      Wow. You so honor my writing, my knowing, with your understanding of the same. You can’t “go there” unless you know how, HMB. “A way of being in the world”—a perfect way to put it. It’s a kind of half-cocked “listening”, but mostly focused when you are most in need, when the listening is critical to your core being. I have no satisfaction going into the “why” questions, they get me no where fast, bore me after awhile, however angry their origin. But the compelling, palpable energy of love that permeates all reality—Where is it? How is it? What is it? Whose is it?

      When my mother died in 2006 I was walking around the block with Katie, just talking about my sorrow, not in a heavy way, but exploring the dynamic, since my Mom’s death was the first time I had lost someone I was deeply connected to. Katie was sick then, but, as ironic as it sounds, we weren’t having the conversation about her dying—since we were denying it pretty well at the time—it was about me and my missing Mom. I remember saying to her that I was stuck asking over and over the rhetorical question of “where did Mom go?” She was so very alive and how could she not be alive? It felt so primitive, my doing that kind of essential questioning so late in my life. Almost like an animal who has grown up with a companion animal and when they die, they just watch them, poke at them, so profoundly unfamiliar with anything that wasn’t alive about them. So, walking around the block, I told Katie that I had been “talking” to Mom—what we who are left often do after a loved one dies, right?—and all I could think to do was to pray to Mom and tell her “whereever love and joy and beauty live in the universe of the Creator, go there and that is where I’ll know to find you“. I have never been a “heaven as a place” believer, but I am drawn to thinking about the phoenomenon of the Light (not the rays) and the dynamic of that reality existing inside of Love. Again, language has a hard time wrapping itself around this type of thinking.

      I’ll look forward to you reading your blog.

  6. I have not been following long enough to know the whole story. Just from what I see here Katie was your daughter. First, I’m sorry your daughter died. Second, bless you for blogging and sharing.

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