A few weeks ago, I laughed as one of my sweet grandsons asked the wacky woman who lives in the phone (otherwise known as Siri) for his mom’s password. Hey, you gotta give him props for ingenuity, right? I guess he figured if the all-knowing Siri knew movie times, road directions and phone numbers, why not his mother’s password? Well, Siri didn’t but it did give me pause. What if that nebulous voice in the phone (actually mine is a proper British guy) could take a pass at finding where my husband hangs out now in this universe?
Looking up into clear cool nights at stars, the tops of silhouetted trees, even the moon, I often wonder where he is in the ethernet. Come on, I know you’ve had the same thoughts. We’ve all been told those we love never truly leave but are around us every day – but where? And how can we ever know for sure?
If my husband is still transmitting — we’re not on the same frequency.
It’s easy to imagine him doing some PR wherever spirits roam but for all his ease with communications, it’s been hard to hear a peep since that fateful night. And this one-hand clapping thing is getting old. Being with a chatty guy like my husband makes consistent silence even more deafening.
Jill Smolowe, in her book Four Weddings and Funeral, said “Loving an absence is very different from loving a presence. Who will talk to me? Who will listen? Who will care whether I come home at the end of the day? If there’s no companion, where does the love find a home?” Well said, Jill. All are questions I’ve asked more times than I can count. I think they are natural questions, don’t you? When someone is no longer there at the start or end of the day and there’s no one to keep up a two-sided conversation, that’s absence. I’m really not fond of hearing myself talk and one-hand clapping is so unproductive, if not enormously lonely.
We read often that the people we loved are just beyond the veil, hidden from us on that other plane but one with us in spirit. Yeah, yeah– prove it. Is there an algorithm for it? Nope. Sure I’ve seen ‘signs’. The lights on the tree under my husband’s picture that suddenly blinked all night Christmas Eve and magically stopped the next morning, was a doozy. The screeching hawks that flew over my house once, becoming docile as they flew above me, landing in a tree until only one flew away. (my guy was always fascinated with those aggressive but beautiful creatures.) I guess, if I’m a believer in signs, I had a few. But isn’t it funny, how after months of apparent silence, when no feathers or pennies appear in your path, when no weird messages come your way, belief can vanish. And you are alone and doubtful in a vacuum.
That’s why I figured I had nothing to lose when I asked my Siri guy where my husband is. To no surprise, he answered in his clipped British accent “I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that”.
Neither do I, Siri. Neither do I.