“Where are you, my sweet flower? All these moments later; these hours, days, now months later? Have you made it to the sea? I’ll be there soon and I’ll look for you everywhere and I’ll do my best to see you there… my Sweetness, my little honeysuckle.”
Last Friday, I touched the box on the entry way table which holds my daughter’s ashes as I walked out the door, “See you soon, Sweetie,” I said, feeling like I was somehow leaving her behind. My husband and I were on our way to the coast in celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary.
We wound our way through the beautiful Coastal Range and I imagined those little purple flowers I’d released into the creek behind my childhood home floating and bobbing their way, along with me now, to the sea. I haven’t been much out of the house since Dannica’s accident. I am comfortable in my home and at times would be quite content never to leave it again. But it felt good to be going, for now. I have always been rejuvenated by the ocean. My hope is that I will again feel rejuvenated by its strength, its power, its force, and that I’ll be able to contain some of that within me to call upon as I need it.
When I’m near the ocean, it mesmerizes me. I can’t take my eyes off of it and I want to be near it; to hear it, smell it, feel it on my feet, look out over it as far as I can see. When the waves wash up over my feet, I feel connected to the planet, to the spirit and soul of the planet as well as to every land mass, every being, every bit of life. I feel small and I feel grateful. I feel loved and I feel invisible.
Each time I visit the coast, I see something I have never seen before. Last July, the beach was covered with thousands of dead baby birds, murres. Pelicans attacked a colony and the adults fled leaving the young ones to be eaten or pushed into the sea where they perished. This time, it was thousands of baby, or at least very small, jellyfish that had washed up and dotted the sands like clear glass pebbles. I don’t know what caused this or why they were there but I’ve never seen it before.
Walking on, my husband and I encountered a massive tree stump. A giant tree had been cut but the stump had been ripped from the ground and had bobbed around in the ocean for some time before being plopped onto the sand. The tides had washed sand up, in and around the huge roots and made it appear that the giant had been growing right in the middle of the beach. I wandered around it, getting a closer look at the creatures that now called it home; sea creatures instead forest creatures. I whispered to my daughter, “Show me where the treasures are?” And I smiled at the thought that I might find something really special with Danni’s help.
My husband called to me and pointed to the headland behind us. There were three driftwood poles standing upright in the sand. From the tallest pole flew a long, purple ribbon. We asked the loved ones at Dannica’s memorial service take purple ribbons with them to tie from trees. When I saw that ribbon, in that moment, the space between vanished. The space between her box of ashes and where I stood, the space between November 14th and now, the space between heaven and earth, gone. The connection between myself, my daughter, the one who tied the ribbon, the time she’d been there with them, the time I’d been there with her, the time I stood in at the moment… all together in the same place… all existing at once.
I believe that spirit speaks to us in ways we’ll understand; through music, television, movies, books, symbolism and metaphor pulled from the collective consciousness as well as personal or shared experiences on planet earth. We love to watch The Big Bang Theory on television. In one episode Sheldon teaches Penny about Schrödinger’s Cat, a thought experiment having to do with the quantum theory of superposition. Awakening one morning, I became conscious that I was dreaming and I could see Dannica’s smiling face. She was looking over her shoulder as she walked out of the room and as she left she said, “Schrödinger’s Cat, mom.”
I have wondered so often where she is and what she’s doing and this is my linear human thinking. I feel she has told me she’s in more than one place at once and doing many things in those places. Still, I wonder where and what. As I lay there, eyes closed, drifting in and out of sleep, I saw the image of a cat. The outline made up of dots that needed to be connected. As this happened, the image began to vibrate and light up brighter and brighter the faster it vibrated. Then I heard the words, “Vibrating higher and higher we move freely within space and time.”
I wondered if she had yet made it, my little honeysuckle, to the sea. When I arrived there, she was there waiting for me even as I brought her there with me and she was waiting at home for me still. She is with me everyplace I remember her being and she is there, with others, in the places they remember being with her, too. She is in many places at once and we all feel her bigger than this life, continuing to infuse our lives with the sweetness of who she still is.
I felt like I needed to connect the dots to form an image of a new me – a me without her. I’m learning that I don’t. Because I’m not without her. I’ll never be without her again. She is a part of me. I see the world through the lens of who I am because I am her mother and she is my dear, sweet child. I pray for comfort as I learn to live without her physical presence. I pray for guidance in feeling her spiritual presence always. I’m beginning to trust that the dots now connect themselves. Perhaps they always have.
You are the treasures, Danni Jade. You and your brother are my life’s greatest treasures.