The veil is thin, October, and I am surrounded by mist. I can sometimes feel droplets, the atmosphere is cool and blurry. My awareness vacillates, I can be here or somewhere else. Susanna’s death, now years ago, pushed me toward an edge which became my home. Life/death, death/life, this blurry line is home. This is the right time of year to reactivate our blog, the one I write for both Susanna and myself. Our blog. Our search for the Golden Ball, the grand party where we will be together again with all of those we love.
My story has never been about moving past my loss, and certainly never about returning to who I was before. None of us defeats death. None of us wins and overcomes it.
I began writing about what this has been like for me, staying alive without Susanna, because having others read what I had written made things a bit more tolerable. More layers added themselves as I kept writing. Susana’s story became a book I needed to write, which is now a manuscript in progress. The process is lonely and painful so far, I have never done this before. Still, our story is something I want to tell more than anything else, while I remain here on this glorious, crunchy-leaf covered earth. I have stories to read and hear and perceive, and I want to also contribute my own. Our story, Susanna’s and mine, is like so many others before us and others who will come after. Someday, I hope people from the future will read it, and remember that we were here.
At this time of year, pagans sometimes gather for a divination ritual called “Dumb Supper”. Places are set for spirits and ancestors, no words are spoken, and sometimes messages are made known. In Victorian times in the United States and British Isles, young women even waited for word of their future husbands in a type of love ritual. Sitting at a table, alone or with others, waiting. This does not bring someone back, but it can open some doors, if listening quietly.
I set altars, not unusual for me, and light candles for Susanna and for my ancestors during Samhain, the holiday of some of my ancient relatives. I often include pink frosted donuts or other types of faerie cakes. There is a suspended state of motherhood I carry within me, as if Susanna can be five again, and alive. I want to pick up where we left off, unscathed. Susanna would laugh at the name “Dumb Supper”. We used to hang a light shaped like Cupid in the window near Valentine’s Day and called it “Stupid Cupid”, like the Connie Francis song, for fun. She would remember this.
Donuts and inconsolable grief aside, divination and rituals are, to me, about the power of my intentions. The universe never abandons me, I am never lost, even when I worry that I am. Each day is an opportunity to keep going. Each perception, a flash of light or shadow, a finger-tip sized indention on the bed while awakening, a whisper crossing through the ears, all this matters. We remain.