Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The scent of love expanding

I think of my mother every day, in quiet ways, sad ways–but now happy ways.

The biggest lesson I can share-and I knew it, but I relearn each time a creature I love dies, or a friend departs–is that with death comes an expansion of love. The expansion is on both ends–I think the person dying somehow bursts open and the person left behind gathers and breathes all that came before, and all that spills over in that burst of death.

Love lives.

There are intense moments. Anyone who has grieved knows this experience. I find they are short now, usually, and intense, but I go on about the day. Recently I was looking for a sweater in my closet and came upon one that I'd brought back from my mother's after I cleaned out her house. I immediately smelled it-just like a sheep or equine would do–seeking a known scent to make everything seem normal and safe.

I could still smell her scent in the sweater. It was fainter than when I brought it home, as it has mixed with my scent for 7 months now. But I could still smell her. At first I winced slightly remembering the reality, but I buried my face into the wool and lived with it for many seconds, in silence.

Those moments are really interactions of two spirits-one still in her body, one not. It was pleasurable, really–like smelling vanilla out of the jar or cinnamon in a baking cake.

I think that is what I want to pass on today–there is grief and shock and horrible jagged waves in the initial weeks of loss. But there are moments of intense love. That is what is really left–love.

Love expands after death.

{If you've lost a parent or loved one, you might take comfort in the grief journal}


Lisa of Lisa's Little House said...

I love that after everything is boiled down...absolutely everything...what is left is love.

Robin Panzer Art said...

Beautiful, thoughtful post.

Lurena Sheary Williamson said...

I am so moved by this post. Yes, I have lost many both human and animal. I expanded all the same. I lost my father to cancer at 16 and I clung to a flannel shirt of his for some time, always drinking in his scent and spirit. Katherine, you are such an amazing spirit-I'm so glad I found your blog.
Tattered Moon

Sandi Meegan said...

Katherine, Thank you so much for this post. We are having to put our 3 yr old dog, Harper, to sleep today due to kidney failure. We adopted her 2 years ago and she is one of the family and we will miss her so much. Your words do bring some peace in this not so perfect day, let LOVE live!

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Thank you all for reading....Lurena, age 16, I can't imagine...Sandi, I'm so sorry you have to say goodbye so soon to a friend- I know how hard that decision is, but I do see it here, through my animals, that they need us to be there for them making these decisions- peaceful memories of Harper will expand into more LOVE!

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~