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Grieving: generally, and in specific

Tags: death, life, loss, hope, grief,

end of life

It is, indeed, okay
to say I love you.
We say it in so many ways, verbalised or not.

I'm so sorry for your loss.
Please know that you're not alone,
and although no one can walk your journey,
our concentric human ripples overlap.

Know that it's okay to grieve.
Know that sometimes it will be awful,
and that's okay.
Sometimes it will be better,
and that's okay too.
Be prepared that it may get worse,
when shock removes its anaesthesia,
but that it will lift away, like a fog
as the sun regains its strength.

Be open to that.
Be kind to yourself, and your family.
And let others be kind to you, too.

Let no one else set a time limit for you.

It takes as long as it takes.

Everyone's experience is different.
Everyone's experience is also the same:
the human condition and perhaps
what we agree to, in advance,
when we commit to love and attachment.

We are ephemeral. Love is forever.

As others have said: s/he knew. Words or not, s/he knew.

For a while, I looked up, expecting
him to enter the room,
or saw someone with his walk at a distance,
or heard silent echoes of his voice
as the air rushed in to fill the space so suddenly vacated.

It had always seemed that there would be more time.

In the early days, as life went on,
I would cry sometimes, carrying on
with whatever other thing I was doing
as if the tears were not there.
Decades later
I realised I was still
buying his type of peanut butter, not mine.
I hate smooth peanut butter.
There's a funny story about that, too.

Grief comes 'round again
like an old friend, aware
there’ll always be room at the table, or
as a familiar dog, at my feet.
We’ve become accustomed to one another.
That door is always ajar.

If we are to be present in our lives,
grief itself changes, as we do;
we change it,
and with it.

Folk wisdom has it that
grief makes more room in the heart for joy,
or per Rumi, the wound
is where the light enters.
If that's true, maybe
this is what the aphorism encompasses.

In the empty beginning, there’s
no way to know that.

The joy is there too. The sudden
memory, the wry story, the way
that intersecting our lives changed
my trajectory and who I eventually became,
and made me more, and better:
the stuff that comes to outweigh,
by volume, the pain of loss.

Balance is restored.
Albeit, a new one. It becomes easier.
The milestones surprised me: that
x amount of time had passed without a memory, or
that when a memory rushed in, it no longer hurt.
Or not as much. That's okay, too.

Deepest condolences.
May you, and your family, have comfort and peace.

-----

Author’s note:

Apparently, I'd said this before, that: "We are ephemeral. Love is forever." Previously, it'd been an attempt to comfort a recent widow; the attempt was the original source for this piece.

Lately, it was a heartfelt throw-away, when driving my father to an appointment. He, who's reaching the downhill slide. And has few to with whom he can really talk about it.

I guess it's something I really believe. Knowing its limits, accepting uncertainty, nonetheless.

He found it comforting, my dad.

I will remind him, as need be.

© KFunk, April 2015

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