Today is the third (and final) day of my official mourning for my heart-friend and partner-in-arts Sparky T. Rabbit. For three days now I have neither bathed, washed my hair, nor shaved. I've worn the same dirty clothes every day. (Fortunately, the nature of my work permits this.) I look (and probably smell) terrible. It's a kind of shared death, a time In Between.
I learn something new every time I encounter these old, ancestral customs, usually by way of seeing the deep wisdom embedded in them. In this case, the sheer physical and psychological discomfort of this disruption to normal life is strong incentive to move through deep mourning and into what comes next.
Sparky, I know that guys with beards always made your heart beat faster.