(This piece was written on the 5th July 2010, when I lost my father figure and mentor Keith Galloway)
The Longing of Grief
Time is a fluid entity.
In this dimension, where we travel in a physical reality, it flows in a linear form, only taking us forward except for the spaces within the matter where memory resides.
I lost someone today who has had a profound and eternal impact on my being.
The person who saw me. The first person to express interest in tapping my ability as a performer, who taught me to see my own truth, to store up cellular memories and emotions to have a memory bank to draw on when creating a character on stage.
I use these disciplines every time I walk onto a stage.
A very dear soul connection explained a process of grieving to me now, to help deal with the loss, and to experience the love in letting go.
I travelled through this process, wrote out long lists of characteristics and emotive wordings.
And realized that love is the mirroring of your own soul.
Every single characteristic that I wrote about Keith is mirrored in my own experience.
This great teacher, this amazing vital man, who taught discipline in an art form where chaos has to exist, the drama evolves through the chaos of the human condition.
He taught me to pull on the great chaos of our lives, the tsunamis, the natural disasters. He showed me how to channel that into a character, to make a soul connection with an audience that they could recognize as real, truthful.
I know he would love me to be able to store this pain to use. He would see the beauty and clarity in that.
But I can’t. Certainly not now, when my heart hurts so much I feel I may implode.
This man, genius writer, vibrant and truthful performer, consummate professional has crossed over.
Or whatever euphemism helps the grief process.
I didn’t expect to feel this longing. The longing of one more conversation, one more shared moment, the longing to have said my goodbye, of being the last one to hang up the receiver.
I got disconnected before I said goodbye.
That’s the problem with this physical existence.We don’t get to plan. We think we do, we make lists, we schedule, we prioritize, we dream, we scheme.
And then we get a phone call.
It reinstills the desire to take chances. The longing to tell every loved one how you feel, immediately. To reconnect. To hold, embracing each other in this brief and frail physicality.
I see that gift.
I just wasn’t expecting this waterfall, this raging torrent of loss.
It was not completely unexpected, there’s been a long illness, and a certain level of mental preparation.
But Oh God, the longing to say goodbye, coupled with the fervent desire to take the chance of reconnecting with love.
Love is an energy coupled with emotion and ego.
Oh Keith, goodbye Dad.
I love you