About a day after Zafer died, as I was sitting in shock on the couch not able to move, barely able to breath, Lyle came in and said “do you remember the Fates from mythology class?” and I was very fuzzy on that…I’m sure we covered it in Greek mythology, but I must have been daydreaming during that section.
He described the tapestries of the universe and how the three sisters were busy weaving and some threads had to be cut in order for the bigger picture ahead to happen and play out properly. It was a grand plan and a good plan. For some reason, this scenario gave me comfort that this was Zafer’s plan and that there was a much bigger reason for this tragedy. I have clutched to this idea. In no way do I feel like Zafer’s leaving was a good thing. It just keeps getting more painful as the shock, distraction and denial wears away. There are still the waves and then there are the intense stabs and the fog and the feeling crazy and the way the body reacts to intense emotional pain.
And I think back to the week before. My stepdaughter and husband were ready for a family. They are big career, big city people and always on the go. My aunt Joyce was turning 80. (or 35…whichever). There was a big to-do about everyone coming for her birthday and it was decided to fly Zafer in for the weekend from Boulder. Jessalyn knew he was coming, but didn’t know the reason for his visit. (my aunt, not hers) She made plans to make a trip from Washington DC to see us. There was some drama about parties and guest lists and it became kind of a hilarious error of comedies. Jess wanted to surprise us all with her news of pregnancy.
So, the solution was to have a pre-party at our house in Moncure and then a second party for Joyce in Raleigh the next day. My immediate family (Lyle, Jess, Zafer, Arlo, Kaitlin and Dan) would have a table outside the room of the party…because that is all the room there was at the restaurant. There were many jokes and we were all super happy about it.
The Friday night, everyone collected at our house for some southern hospitality…shrimp and grits, wine and beer. Jess grabbed her glass of wine per usual and we had a raucous chaotic party on an April evening. Boys going off the rope swing, guitars playing, songs sung, family making fun of family. Kind of a beautiful blending of my family of origin and my immediate family. I could not have been happier. Half way through the night, Jess and Lyle asked for us to meet in the man-cave privately. Jess announced the impending baby. (the wine was just a prop)
Tears, so happy. What a surprise.
We brought in Zafer and Arlo and Dan and she told the boys. Zafer and Arlo both grabbed her and I wish I had caught that on camera….they knew how important it was to Jess and Dan. They were so freaking happy to become Uncles. Zafer in the back of his mind started thinking that he needed to produce some cousins to play with the new addition.
The weekend was one of the sweetest weekends I could remember with all the personalities and dynamics. New York cousins, Colorado cousins, the country mice, city mice. Really lovely.
I took Zafer and Pamela & Will, my cousins, to the airport and Zafer assured me he would be seeing me in a month so we could have some one on one time together.
I never got my one on one with Zafer. Instead I have gotten a constant Zafer in my thoughts and in my grief and my path is changed. All of our paths have changed. That was a big cord to cut. We are all seeking the relief of the pain and the meaning and we are all supporting each other. It is still a very lonely and individual process. I hear that one day, grief can become a tender joy. I think if we do our grief work and call on spirit and our community and develop an ongoing relationship with our loves, that this can become possible. It will take a very long time.
I’m still in awe of our support, the net that has caught us, and continues to hold. From elders that have lost their children to help putting on Death Faire/Día de los Muertos (500 people that came together from all walks of life for celebration and remembrance.) There is no way that the spirits didn’t help on that day.
I’ve had incredible healing sessions from Carrie Wise where my soul seemed to leave my body, massage with Scotty and Ben, talking and talking and telling stories, hearing others stories of pain and grief. I even had a friend lose his son unexpectedly and I felt uniquely qualified to help. I was saddened and also grateful to help him. We’ve had bears and quilts made of Zafer’s clothing. Thank you Mom and Kate. So beautiful and so painful. Cousin Kate cried through her stitches making that quilt. What a great way to process grief.
Lyle is working on a magnificent project. The Life of Z. A “scrap novel” of each year of Zafer’s short life. The endnotes will be much longer than the actual pages. He paints and adds business cards, photos, soccer cards, and whatever he finds as we piece together the history of the last 19 years. It’s incredibly healing for him and hard for the immediate family to look at. One day we will read it with a tender joy.
I’m trying to determine what the Weavers are seeing ahead. In some ways, life is easier as we let go of control by necessity. We have the most committed community, the sweetest and craziest conversations, beautiful visions of the future. Beautiful people that have stepped into our lives. We are so so grateful. A beautiful family that keeps rising to the occasion. A sweet baby to take care of and teach. We don’t take things for granted as much anymore.
Missing Z and learning that he is right here. Right here. (Oh…he thinks the Trump debacle is hilarious….joking a lot about that especially to make Kaitlin mad).
We have a beautiful nightmare. Thank you everyone for your love and support.
lovely words and such pain as this family has never ever seen.
A brutal lesson in letting go. At the end of the day, we can’t know how the weavers will fashion their tapestry. I’m mightily impressed by your honesty and grace, have always been but especially since April. Your strength helps you see the beauty in your nightmare. Kudos!
With tears in my eyes and a heavy heart..I feel even more love for you and your family
Your mother-in-law Annie, my dear friend sometimes sends me your writings and I feel blessed to be able to read them. . Over the years, I have heard so much of your beautiful family, that I feel close to you and so sad for your pain over the loss of Zafer. May the Weavers bring some consolation as you continue on your journey.
You and Lyle are so lucky to have one another Your intellect and insight are limitless , an inspiration really , continued strength to you both xoxox
Tami, you’re writing is so beautiful and true. It is like balm. Please don’t stop! I hope that it is a healing process for you.… it feels like a healing process for me! I am so very grateful for your words. Thank you, honey.