Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An Ordinary Life

Yesterday we drove through the ice and snow to celebrate the life of our friend, Vinny. 

The memorial service was held at an old inn. Maybe fifty people were there. Vinny's wife and two daughters sat in chairs up front. His daughter, Stephanie broke down in sobs when she was invited to come up and read the letter she'd written to her Dad. Someone else read it for her, a love letter to a father from his daughter; we sat and held the space for her grief. And ours.

Vinny was a busy man, rarely idle. He laid tiles and wood floors (in our house!), did plumbing, electrical work. He could fix anything. He and his wife, Loretta, worked and lived together for many years. They were literally together 24/7. I don't know how Loretta is going to go forward, but she will.

Vinny never walked the red carpet. He didn't cure cancer. He had a noticeable scar across one cheek; a buck had crashed through his windshield many years ago, kicking him in the face. A face that always wore a grin...He loved his wife and kids above all else.

After the service, we came home, cleared the driveway, and climbed into bed. Claire snoozed. I thought about Loretta and how she wouldn't be able to rest her face on her husband's chest anymore. I pressed mine closer to Michael's.

When someone dies, it's a huge loss. We grieve; sometimes for a long time. Sometimes forever. But I am reminded again: 

Loss creates space, if only a sliver. New space to wake up to this most wonderful, tender, ordinary life. 

With gratitude.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your many losses Bets. And I send my love to Vinny's family. I cannot imagine their grief...
    There is a beautiful poet (whom I'm sure you know well) named Khalil Gibran who wrote "on death" he has a wonderful opening line, "You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?" [click the link for the rest of the poem]
    Your blog reminded me of the call to life he makes in what you've so wonderfully called the 'new space' created by loss

  2. Hello sweet Katie,
    Thanks for checking in. Love Gibran...I will check out the site. Always welcome your gentle nudges to sources of inspiration. I'll take 'em wherever, whenever I can get them. xoxo b