When my sister died, one of the professors she was close to told me at her funeral that Miriam didn’t leave us, she simply went into another room. I had a hard time. And I had a hard time knowing what in the hell this professor meant by that. Now, tempered by time, it has become a bit easier to see that even when someone leaves us, and leaves all of the unanswered questions, the dark nights of the soul, that they may be gone, but still, they are here.
I had a moment this weekend, in my taichi class when I looked around, and I saw all the things that the master had taught us. I watched my classmates move their bodies and I thought “that’s just how the master did it.” I was struck by the beauty of how he has gone to another room, but we still have what he taught us.
And what a beautiful gift to have given. I think about him, when I’m doing my tai chi, when my knees hurt, when it feels great, when I want to finish the form, and when I don’t. I see him in the movements he generously taught us and shared with us, I miss his voice, yelling, (and how did I never know I would miss the sound of someone yelling at me!?), I miss the way he mimicked our forms, perfectly. The few times I saw him laugh. The lessons I learned when I asked him about a movement in one of the forms and he hit me, with the movement, to show me why. And how I stood there and let him hit me a second time.
And this got me thinking, I can see him and his influence in his students. About those lovely memories, carved into us and into time, although he is gone.
Then I looked at my reflection and saw my dad in the lines in my face. Looking back, I saw my sister in the way that Dmitri carries his shoulders, if only briefly. I think about these gifts from those that I’ve lost, and work on remembering the happy times, along with my sorrow. Traveling back, in time, to those moments that impacted my heart. I tell myself, even though you are no longer with me, you are still here.
I look at my children, my biggest teachers, and I am thankful of how they show me the past, and what is to come. I may have lost those that I love, but the sorrow I feel now is worth the love I had then. It is an even exchange.