casey stratton

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    Uninhabiting Grief

    I am officially moving into a new house one week from today. As more and more of my possessions leave my current apartment, I find that a part of me is experiencing grief. What is odd about it is that I am feeling waves of grief about the cats I lost in my LAST apartment, not where I live now. Moving from that place was not my choice, and my forced hand lead me to make peace with leaving the place where they spent their final years with me. Their ashes are all here and they will come with me when I move to the next place. So what's up with that?

    The more I think on it, the more I believe it has something to do with change. Another chapter coming to a close. The chapter where I learned to move on. The place where I made music about that journey. Now I will move on to yet another chapter, and so their abscences are palpable all over again. They will not go with me, in body, but in spirit I take them everywhere. So perhaps this time I am allowing myself to grieve for ME. The me I was in those horrible years where the shadow of death hung over my door. Letting go of grief being a constant state is its own experience. You feel guilt, you feel better. You boomerang all over those spaces and hear the echoes of all the emotions involved smacking all over the place.

    What I do know is I am moving TOWARD something. Everything in my own life has been going in good directions. So last night I let myself listen to music and just CRY. I cried because I will always miss them. I cried because it was a shedding of skins. I cried because part of me will always know those dark places; it gives me a map of those territories. I am older. I am wiser. Life gives us the tools if we allow our emotions to hold a space. I think back to the 18 year old in Los Angeles who found a cat on a rooftop and spent 16 years with him. As I approach my 39th birthday in a little over 3 weeks, I reflect on what I have inhabited, and what I have uninhabited. 

     

    Photo of paper ships

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