Loss is weird. It is silencing. It is listening. It is support. it is grieving. It is numb. It is every emotion rushing back in to fill that void all at once. It is ripples. It is a network. It is the darkness. It is a flickering spark. It is empty. It is full. It is shock. It is heavy.
The world lost a beautiful soul this weekend. Bess was a flame that shone so brightly that you could see her glow, and feel her light whenever Anna Gail spoke of her. I heard stories about her long before I met her. I had that pleasure when she came to Columbus last year. She scooped up Tally, and played with her, and loved her like family. Her bright heart and bright spirit and unfailing courage are phenomenal, and will be dearly missed. As Traci has declared: when we do something brave, from here on out, we will be “pulling a Bess.”
When I went to the memorial on Sunday night, I was not expecting to speak. I didn’t think I had the words to do it, everything felt numb and empty. I did. I don’t remember what I said. Not exactly. I know when I called to the Spirits of the Land I called them all. I called to the laughter of our loved ones in the trees. I called to the breath of our loved ones in the wind. I called to the tears of our loved ones in the rain. I called to the warmth of our loved ones in the sun. I called to the Earth, who cradles us all, always.
As the ripples from her death spread, like a shockwave, I recognize the numbness I felt at first, the shock. And now, as the dust is settling I’m seeing how much has been knocked down, and shattered. As this tragedy spreads through our family and community, please take a moment to read this, giving you some words to say (and not say). Additionally, there is some good information here on supporting those in grief.