7 long years.
I close my eyes and I can touch and feel the warmth of my father.
It is so real, so alive and so very deep.
And as close as I am, behind my eyelids shut tight, ‘time’ seems to shift me further from the day he passed away.
I am reminded daily of loss and longing, as I go about my journey.
Yet he smiles at me from his photo on my desk and from the images engraved in my heart.
I think about the creativity we shared and still share.
I think about the days I feel so stubborn that I say to myself, that today, I will call him and share in my day…I don’t care what the world knows about death and the end of life.
I feel stubborn and sad, so very sad.
How can one be creative in a relationship with one who has passed away?
How can one be still, with the bursting of emotion and the speech in one’s heart?
Is it possible to silence the cries? the spirit? the longing?
I have found that the closeness continues.
The love. The connection, the ‘life’ of death.
Let me share with you where I have found comfort and a continued life with my father.
In fact, it’s in these very things we call ‘words’.
Where letters form to tell the stories of our mind.
Where emotion and tales paint the canvas with expression and vitality.
Where the nostalgia of the past and dreams of the future merge in exquisite form, like the sculpture of an artist, formed by his bare hands.
And this is where I have found my father.
This is where I have found my ‘life’ within grief and longing.
Every day or so,….I write.
At first it seemed cold and shocking, like tiptoeing the ripples of winter tides.
Was he listening? Is this all too strange and unknown and odd?
And very quickly, the temperature warmed within and it was not long before I would long for just a few minutes with my ‘Ta’, to tell him of my day.
And so this is what I share with you about creativity.
No fancy ribbons, no matching hues and textures of glamour.
Just time and space in my long ‘life letter’ to my dearest Ta.
I write about my oldest who turned 18 just yesterday.
I write how my baby has the same sparkle in his eyes and how I wish he could come over and play with him. Little Shmuel…his namesake.
I write about how when I kneed my pizza dough, I see him doing the same, when I was just a little girl.
I write about how my ankle is still not healed and how sometimes ‘hard’ is just ‘too hard’.
I write about how I love to be a mother and how the fresh winter weather reminds me of our long walks to shul, and how we would chat the whole way there and back.
I write about a memory sparked from going to the grocery store…funny how a chestnut can take you back in time about 30 years.
And then I write how badly I miss him, how I still don’t believe he has passed away.
Only I write the word ‘died’ because it holds the weight of how I feel.
And with this weight, I slowly unload.
Word for word, sentence by sentence, chapter by chapter.
And before you know it…I am speed writing.
It’s all flowing, the beauty of sharing, the comfort of ‘talking’ , the creativity of finding life in death.
It feels so good and so bad, all at the same time.
But I write. And I write and I write some more.
He is my dearest and only Ta I will ever have.
And we will continue to create.
And live, and love and laugh.
However we can, until Moshiach comes.
When all those who we love and miss will come back.
And it will feel so good.
So very good.
(In memory of my father’s 7th yartzeit, if someone special in your life has passed away, consider creating a folder on your desktop, a notebook by your bed, and write. It is so powerful, comforting, soothing and truly liberating. It is an incredible form of creativity that needs no embellishing.)
This blog and all the creativity shared on it, is in loving memory of Shmuel Tzvi ben Yosef who’s yartzeit is tonight, tes kislev.