is tomorrow. Saturday. January 12, 2013.
She left a lasting legacy of beauty.
And love. So much love.
I know her birthday will not always be so completely intertwined with sadness and longing, but I imagine it may always be bittersweet. Sweet with the gift of knowing her for 22 years, hearing her laugh, seeing her beauty, feeling her love. And yet missing her tangible, bodily presence.
I am gathering with my mother, sister, brother and close friend/godmother of Elizabeth for these days preceding and bringing us to Elizabeth’s birthday. I knew in my head and my heart that this would be, and is, one of these heart-breaking-open times, her first birthday without her here to celebrate in person. But we are finding ways to celebrate and honor her.
We’ve been planning our tattoos, my sister creating a heart, with 2 Es woven into it, just as she is woven into our hearts. Preparing a tattooing ritual in her honor, in sacred circle, with food, flowers, candles… We each celebrate and mourn in our unique ways, some quietly, some alone, some with beloved community, some unaware of what we do until much later – all potent and important, all seen and acknowledged by Elizabeth herself. I know she is close by, I feel her presence today as I buy flowers for her, eat some of her favorite foods, walk in the Berkeley Hills with my mother, awed by the extraordinary beauty of this place, and taking Elizabeth with me, everywhere I go.
Happy birthday my beloved daughter. I trust that you are walking in beauty, surrounded by beauty, and feeling a radiance of love from all of us who knew you.