I heard that song on the radio the other day. You know, the one that always reminded me of David when he was alive, and brought on a tsunami of tears after he died. Yeah, that one.
As I listened, I thought of all the times I had heard the first chords begin to play and felt my heart drop like an anchor, the thin tissue between everyday life and overwhelming grief simply disintegrating. I thought of how my tear ducts had worked on overdrive, with more water pouring out of me than I could believe was ever inside, as though I could wash away the terrible pain of grief in the torrent. I thought of the vast emptiness and exhaustion I would feel afterwards, how those experiences left me feeling battered down to my soul.
All of this played in my head as the words of the song played on the radio. But instead of tears falling down a grief-ravaged face, this time I felt a smile breaking out, and a swell of gratitude for the beauty of David’s smile that so often took my breath away, the way he would close his hand over mine anytime we were in the car, the way he always wanted me to be sure and snuggle up to him when I came to bed even if he was already asleep. For the way that all of these things are so much a part of me now. I smiled in boundless gratitude, in overwhelming joy, for the eternal, unbreakable love that David gave me in life and that death cannot diminish; for the love that I had the amazing privilege of giving to him; and for the way that he has become my heart, so that the love I give to others now resonates with his presence.
And I listened with heart raised toward heaven to the rest of that song.