Saturday, January 23, 2010

remembering Ariel, less-than-profound thoughts on loss, and thankfulness journals

This is the service they held for Ariel Grace Lawson, on Monday, January 11th, at her alma mater (my sorta-alma-mater, though I transferred out after they went coed in 2004), Wells College. I couldn't afford to travel back for the service, but Wells videotaped it and posted it online. It's here:

kim, her partner, was one of my first friends at wells, and one of the closest. i've talked to her a few times since ariel died, and she's doing mostly ok, but i never know what to say, other than "i love you," which seems so incredibly inadequate. what do you say to someone who just lost the love of their life? when that love of her life was only 23 fucking years old?
death is hard enough when it's someone old, a grandma or a parent who's at that age where, well, people die. but there's something so much more fucked up about it when it's a 23-year-old girl.
like i said. these are not exactly profound thoughts on loss. but there they are.

as i cried my way through watching the service on that video, one of the things from that video inspired me. kim, ariel's sister, and a couple of ariel's friends read from ariel's Thankful Journal. every night, ariel would write in this journal a few of the things she was thankful for. one day, she wrote "i am thankful for flowers, love, and Mylanta." little things or big things or serious things or silly things. the point was to remember all the things you have to be grateful for. she and kim would do their thankful-fors every night when they went to bed. kim told me it was one of her favorite things that she and ari had done together, that it really kept her grounded.
i started a thankful journal. i'm writing in it every night. just a few things, serious and not, big and little, every day. this was my entry the other day:
I am thankful for: weather above -17ºF, wells sisterhood (which is insanely strong), deep breaths, and facebook.

it's such a simple idea, but committing to writing in it every night, really being mindful of all of the good things that are there, all mixed in with the not so good a pretty powerful thing.

thank you, ariel, for that inspiration.

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