I love doing puzzles, and in fact, find assembling a puzzle to be one of the very few things in the world that can totally absorb and entrance me.
My mother, and her mother, puzzled with zeal. I know that my mother has names for the shapes. She’s only shared a couple of them, and they were in a language I didn’t recognize. Given her competitive approach to puzzling, that does not surprise me. Some day, I’ll make her teach me.
The rituals of death give shape to the grueling puzzle of grief we start to assemble as soon as we lose someone close.
A very dear friend died a year ago, suddenly, unexpectedly, and tragically.
Another friend is also gone, gone for three years now. I think of them both more often than might seem appropriate.
All of us are finding different ways to stay connected to the memories, to find a way to make new memories, even, that keep the older ones vital and close. We’re fumbling around without a picture on the box to guide us, or even straight edge pieces to show us the outline. No one is sure how we’ll know when the image starts to come together, when we’ve made progress.
I think we just have to dive in and start figuring it out, rather than putting it in a box that only comes out every so often. Handling the pieces may be risky. Edges will wear down, the protruding ends might snap off, it might never look right, but I don’t think we have a choice. We have to try, putting pieces down here and there, snapping them into place when we find the right connection, but continuing to look when we don’t.
I miss Corbett. I miss Pierce. I miss too many others. I want my friends to stop dying, at least for now. I want us to be older, for the puzzle to have fewer pieces, a clearer shape.