Monday, December 20, 2010

Signs and portents

Tonight and early tomorrow morning there will be a lunar eclipse that should be visible from everywhere in North America with clear skies. That will probably NOT be here in Washington state, but you never know. It is also happening on the same day as the winter solstice. That juxtaposition has not happened for 372 years! The eclipse will begin around 2:00 am on the East Coast and 11:00 pm here on the West Coast.
This is a picture showing last year's partial eclipse. The pictures that should arise from tonight's total eclipse should be even more amazing. The winter solstice occurs tomorrow at 3:38 pm PDT. By that time I will have arrived in Denver to attend a gathering of friends of Emily Berkeley, who died Sunday morning in a parachuting accident. An article in the local Boulder paper about the incident appears here. I really don't feel like going through all the details again, but if you're interested and the article doesn't have enough information, I wrote a post on my other blog saying goodbye to dear Emily.

It's interesting how my psyche has been handling this loss. When I first heard on Saturday evening about her having been hurt, I couldn't sleep, tossing and turning and thinking of her, not knowing how bad it was. By the time I woke on Sunday morning and learned that she was gone, I felt totally shattered but unsure of when I might be going to Denver. Then when I learned of a memorial for her on Thursday and got tickets to fly there, it hit me hard. Somehow the reality of what has happened opened another centimeter and I felt the grief hit a little harder. Then it began to raise the specter of other times I have been in this psychic space, and ancient but familiar feelings emerged.

Emily and Kiwi, Dec 2010
For me, I know that this is a transitional phase, that it will change once I am able to be with like-minded friends who are also mourning her loss, and then, imperceptibly, the huge gaping hole in my personal Universe will begin to fill with day-to-day commonplace routine. And one day I will realize that a whole day will have passed without thinking of her.

I look forward to that day, but for now, I am still feeling around inside at the size of the hole. Tears have fallen several times and today they feel liberating. Tomorrow I will be able to see my friends who love her too and we can cry together. That's something to look forward to.

25 comments:

  1. This post brought tears to my eyes. I feel your sorrow, Jan. Take care.

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  2. You've pretty well expressed the words and feelings I'm going thru right now Jan. Only difference is my brain is kinda scrambled yet and am having trouble keeping my thoughts linear and coherent.

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  3. I cried when I read this DJan...I cried for you as well as your friend. I'm so sorry your heart is aching. She's a beautiful woman...so very sad. I haven't read the link and not sure I can. You take care now...and again...I'm so sorry.
    my biggest hugs to you my friend...with my love.

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  4. My condolences for her loss and the kinship you had with her. There do seem times when the universe collides with our perceptions.

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  5. How tragically awful! I feel like crying and I didn't even know her..but it seems so...pointless...to endanger life by doing that and then losing life because of it when she could have had such a much longer life...but I am sure it was her passion (to skyjump) so it was her destiny. I hug all of you in your grief and she has been sent up a silent prayer for eternal peace by me.

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  6. Oh DJan, I'm so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you, her family and friends. Hugs to you.

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  7. Feel better, DJan. I lit the candle for her and hoped it help her get to wherever she longs to be.

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  8. Travel safely..I am thinking of you. It is snowing here so the skies are not clear enough to see anything but snow falling. I hope it clears but I am not holding my breath:(

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  9. May you find solace with the solstice.

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  10. I am so sorry DJ! For me when someone I love passes away it brings up old memories of others that have passed away!

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  11. Have a safe trip, DJan. And thanks for the image of the eclipse. We're under cloud cover here, too, so we won't be seeing tonight's show.

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  12. So sorry for your loss, DJan. This season is not the best time to lose a friend.

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  13. I know this is hitting you hard. It will help, as you say, to be with others who are mourning her. There will be comfort in that, in the laughter and tears of your shared memories. Please be safe.

    Is Smart Guy going with you? When do you return?

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  14. so sorry for the loss of your friend..and i am glad you can go to be with other friends as well to remember her...travel light

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  15. DJan, I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. It is good you are going to the memorial, it will help to be with friends who are also mourning her loss. Have a safe trip.

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  16. It is good that you are going, although I have found that 'closure' thing is an illusion.
    So sorry for your loss. Those black holes never close, the edges just seem a bit smoother as time passes.

    Have a safe trip.

    Love
    Me

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  17. Sometimes grief can be so unbearable you wonder if you will survive. But, survive we do. But there is always an imperceptible difference in us and the world around us. I am sending you virtual hugs.

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  18. I'm very sorry D-Jan. Take care on your trip.
    Blessings, Star

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  19. That is really sad for all involved. I'm sorry and am sending good thoughts.

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  20. One of my jumpmasters had done an unsuccessful hook turn and planted badly. He survived but broke damn near every bone in his body. He came back and turned out to be one of the best instructors I have ever had. He did the video when my daughter turned 18 and did her tandem. I've lost track of him now having given up the sport.

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  21. I am so sorry to read of the tragic loss of your friend. It is never easy losing someone you are close to, but it seems especially hard when someone is young and vibrant like Emily. Please be safe in your travels. I am hoping you will find comfort surrounded by your familiar friends.

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  22. DJan, I am so sorry about your friend Emily. I know this will bring up even more memories of loss for you. My heart goes out to you. Safe travels to Denver.

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  23. DJan, I'm just now catching up on my favorite blogs, work seems to have taken over these past few weeks.
    I am so very sorry to read about the tragic loss of your friend Emily, she looked to be a beautiful young lady.
    My thoughts and prayers will be with you, as you take this sad trip, to say your goodbye.
    Hugs,
    Jo

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  24. I have been away and you are the first blog I am reading again. It is so sad to read this about your dear friend Emily. What a terrible loss for her family and friends. Words are not strong enough I know to show the deep grief everyone has for the passing of this lovely lady.

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