Silk is expensive, I know this. But it is such a serene statement, and it drapes in layers of reflected light around a body when it lies so still and stately. When you move this material through your fingers, it has honor and elegance woven into its fibers. The wrinkles are perfect, each a statement like those on a face well lived over time. Each fold fabulously placed by a wisdom in the fabric.
You might think, “I can not do this, I cannot bathe his body after he has so abruptly deserted it. I cannot take these yards of silk and move them over and under him. He is a stiff weight in my arms. I cannot do this, drape him while I am draped in this raw and new grief.” But you can.
First of all you must realize that you are being asked to deal with death, because he is dying, she is dying, he is dead, or she is dead. Life has asked you to deal with death. You do have a choice in the “how” of your attitude, the “how” of your actions. You can embrace the reality of what is before you in all of its enormity, you can move toward it in small steps with your eyes open whenever possible, or you can run away. There are gifts from all approaches.
Ultimately, we do only that which we can do, but it helps to take a moment to assess your situation, from wherever you find yourself in your life, and from that little bit of space between you and it – to simply notice, as if you are watching a scene from a play. In addition, more than anything else, it will help you to be kind to yourself through each of the steps you find you will be taking on this journey.