We dropped Delfina’s mooring and set out today for the Atlantic Ocean, bound for Block Island, Rhode Island. The overnight passage takes about 20 hours. With south wind and clear skies, I felt my spirits begin to lift. The ocean is where I feel closest to Jonah, where he may greet me in the guise of a whale, a shimmering wave or sunshine streaming through a cloud.
The pilot grief workshop was held on June 27. It was filled with resonance for the seven of us who participated. It fell, coincidentally, on the anniversary of the accident that ended Jonah’s conscious life, a day which usually weighs me down with a heavy sense of dread. But the heaviness was utterly transformed by the flow of love that came through the stories we shared about those we had lost. Four of us mourned the death of adult children; two mourned the death of a spouse and one of us had lost a father at a young age. We built an altar with photographs and objects representing our loved ones. My photograph of Jonah was taken on my wedding day, two years before he died, and the object I placed on the altar was a hand- painted amulet called a chamsa filled with healing prayers that a friend of Jonah’s had painted for him. We explored our grief through movement, meditation and art, and released our guilt, watching it dissolve into a bowl of water. Water will surround me for the next eight weeks as we explore the coast of Maine.