Keanu is my Guru
There was a moment during my mother’s funeral.
A crystal clear thought sliced through the Monsignor’s words:
“I can’t do this.”
I held a copy of the eulogy to be delivered to the people who loved her, loved us.
I knew it might happen. The possible made impossible by the impossibility of grief.
My husband had agreed to be my escape hatch. I turned, needing help.
I will never forget the profile of his perfect face. Tears falling unchecked.
Crying for himself. His loss. Because he too, had loved her. Lost her.
And everything unlocked.
The peace that surpasses all understanding.
We are never and always completely alone. Even in grief.
A few weeks ago, I was clicking through FaceBook and landed on a clip of Stephen Colbert and Keanu Reeves doing an interview about the film John Wick (meh, maybe don’t bother).
Colbert lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash at age ten. Reeves’ daughter was stillborn, and his estranged partner died in a car accident two years later.
These men know loss.
Lots of witty banter about stunts, and horses, and Halle Berry. Eventually, they pivoted to the plot of the new Bill and Ted’s movie. It boils down to the idiot duo having to save the world with a song.
Almost facetiously, Colbert asks:
“And what do you think happens when we die, Keanu Reeves?”
Keanu sighs, drops the dipshit act and replies:
“I know that the ones who love us, will miss us.”
Colbert cocks his head and extends his hand in a shake of respect.
Between people who know.
This mother’s Day I sent a message to a friend who lost her mother many years before I lost mine. “I wish I had known,” I wrote. “How could you?” she replied.
And that’s the rub.
But each one of us is someone who knows something.
I received so many loving messages today. So many people caring about me. I am grateful for them all.
And the ones I read over and over were from the people who also lost my mom. People who laughed with her and at her. People whom she’d cooked for and prayed for. People who doubted her loving Pink Floyd and spent an hour listening to her recount the plot of “Unbroken” though they read it themselves
People who knew she’d broken my heart, and I hers, and we mended before we were lost to each other.
We all know someone’s someone.
If you are holding a story, even if it’s been shared before of someone’s lost beloved — it doesn’t even have to be a mom, just share it.
The ones who love us will miss us. And we can do it together even in this world where everything is six feet apart.
Keanu is my guru.
And I will miss my mom every day for the rest of my life.
Meghan Riordan Jarvis is a psychotherapist, author, wife, and mother of three. After losing both her parents within two years of each other she began Grief Is My Side Hustle. (www.griefismysidehustle.com).