I find it strange to be grieving. David Bowie died yesterday, I found out this morning. I am crying – weeping quite openly, unashamed. It strikes me strange because I’ve never met David Bowie, or spoken with him on the phone, and his life never directly touched mine. Admittedly, his music is heavily featured in the soundtrack of my life from around 1972 until… much later, say sometime around… later still. Because it is primarily his music that has touched me, and we live in a digital age, there is no way in which the practical matter of the end of his mortal life is specifically relevant to me. He will be literally ‘always with me’ in the fashion he has been ‘with me’ previously – which, while being kind of cool, makes it feel very strange to be grieving him. News of his death caught me by surprise – I have become distracted from making coffee for nearly 30 minutes, crying, reading…and grieving something that isn’t lost to me. How strange.

Some solutions are practical.

Some solutions are practical, more than practices.

I am sipping my coffee now, and having replaced my kettle with an electric one, the burner is most definitely not left on. It was strange to see that fairly unsafe habit develop basically ‘out of nowhere’, over days. I am grateful for a solution that doesn’t require more drastic measures to ensure I live safely. The first couple coffees I made using the new kettle were not very good. It has taken some practice to figure out the temperature differences, and how that changes my timing. Like anything else, mindful awareness makes a huge difference; when my mind wanders I am no longer committed to making coffee, and the motions of my hands are no longer being directed by my whole self, awake and aware. If I want a really exceptional cup of coffee, being there to make it definitely matters.

Being present, aware, and committed to a practice, or process, gets a better result.

Being present, aware, and committed to a practice, or process, gets a better result.

I find grieving to benefit from mindfulness, too; wholly grieving, without shame, without avoidance, open to the recollection what is lost, embracing the loss, the awareness of what was – to celebrate what was with my whole awareness, a moment to ‘say good-bye’ with honest tears, it feels very different from stifling the feelings, distancing myself from my heart, turning away from the pain, and denying myself my feelings – and it doesn’t seem to linger quite as long, or be so…miserable, to grieve wholly, fearlessly. It’s a ‘beautiful sadness’, and a thank you in parting.

How much hotter does love burn with romantic passion and desire, than for a favorite song?

How much hotter does love burn with romantic passion and desire, than for a favorite song?

There is perspective here, too. For one moment, I pause to consider 30 minutes of heartfelt grieving the loss of a superstar who music I have loved over a lifetime… magnitude, scale, perspective… how much more devastating might my grief be if I were to lose my traveling partner? For one brief instant, my mind is fearlessly open and I glimpse that frightening truth out on the edge of my awareness, and hope very much it is never part of my reality…then I am caught on the awareness that if it never becomes part of my experience, it must therefore become part of his. Wow. I sit back, shaken and emotional, and feeling very aware of the fleeting nature of this mortal experience, and how much of its wonder and complexity I likely never face at all, because the limitations of mind don’t allow it…

Today is a good day to take care of me; there is more to learn.

Today is a good day to take care of me; there is more to learn.

Today I will be kind – why not? It’s free, and doesn’t inconvenience me at all. Today I’ll be patient – with myself, too – and remember that we are each so very human. Today I will love with my whole heart, and without concern whether it is ‘deserved’; I have plenty, why be stingy? Today I will be grateful to share as much of the journey as I do with such amazing beings, and to come home at the end of the day to the woman in the mirror.