It came to me that it is not about Closure, it is Freedom, for her.
Perhaps I do not heal like others, or at all.
Heavy words like Loss are supposed to be followed by the equally heavy Closure in some kind of weight transfer on an invisible set of scales.
I cannot embrace Closure, but her Spirit deserves Freedom.
* * *
This is what I wrote early Saturday morning. I then poured some of Sarrah’s Ashes on the paper and carefully folded it.
Saturday March First Two Thousand Fourteen I walked alone down to the beach for a sunny solitary moment with the 0.9 low tide and ocean breeze.
A lone seagull showed up and quietly watched and waited with me for waves to come and wash over.
Sarrah loved it near the dunes so I’d planned to release some of her ashes here and found a surprise (a gift) near our usual trail end. A driftwood bench has appeared since my last visit, so I put some near it.
I sat on the bench to enjoy the view and absorb the moment.
When I got up to leave an Eagle appeared on the beach and stood guard.
Time proved to us that we had achieved success. We found the kind of place that you dread leaving. Where that last day starts with a quiet ache and as other people leave, a somber tone increasingly takes over. When afternoon breaks taken from the bustle of packing and cleaning, have a sad coating. Where your mind reflects on the latest stay, dips into the past memories and shuffles them all together. You start to sneak looks forward, plotting the next escape. Sarrah had a somber demeanor as she watched the ritualistic events of the last day; she quickly recognized the patterns and knew that the trip was near its end. You know it is good, when it hurts to leave.
To me a big part of this day is the last walk; Every trip has a last walk, to the beach. Preferably as close to departure back to reality, as possible. Usually, taken after most people have gone, giving way to greater observation in solitude. Along the way small things seem different. The weathered chairs of wood, quietly stare back at you, as if waiting. Shuttered empty houses look lonelier. Even the sea birds seem a little forlorn.
Somehow the ocean sounds different, on the last walk. The constant roar sounds more like a lonely, resonating hollow moan as if to be saying, “Don’t go…”, maybe “Farewell…”, or perhaps “Happy Trails…”. I feel and absorb this more every ‘Last Time’. On these walks, the ocean smells more like a salty tear soaked kiss. I occasionally wonder… Does the ocean miss us when we are gone? Will it miss me, after I have gone?
In the joy killing spirit of ‘Tomorrow is promised to No One’ you never know when the actual last walk, may be. I do not allow myself to dwell on this heavy finality, too much. But I do make an extra effort to savor all moments… of each, last one.
Sarrah, Nissa and I explored the roads, trails, miles of beach and rolling dunes. We never tired of these journeys and the ever-changing collection of treasure discovered along the way. The ocean constantly changes the beach and gives back an endless amount of debris from the land. Some storms take away sand, others bring it back and then some. Those that come in the winter pile up logs and other assorted remains washed down streams.
Sadly, not all is wonderful. The ocean is always giving back the unwanted gifts of the human experience, garbage. I began to collect these ugly bits of proof and pieces of disrespect. The more we looked, the more we found and brought back with us. I began to take ownership, understanding what is called “stewardship” and feel like this was ‘our beach’ and wondered why so many other people were just walking past these ‘treasures’, do they not see the garbage? All of this reminds of when I was a kid in the early seventies, there was a television commercial with a stoic, once proud American Indian, standing with a tear in his eye watching garbage come to shore in the waves. Perhaps time has come to replay it for those who missed the message and do not recall pride. Or maybe a newer version to make us more aware of the long term affects of mishandling things like plastic. Regardless of the cause of garbage turned into litter in the wild, it belongs to all of us and it is not ok for me to walk on by.