From The Blog
Love and Loss: When A Loved One Moves on to the Next Big Thing
“There are no words for the broken hearts of people losing people.”
Anne Lamott. Help Thanks Wow (but you should just read them all)
Such a great way to express how awkward it is for people trying to comfort a living someone who is lost in that place of “not quite here,” as they deal with what their new life without this now-deceased-human will be like.
There’s no perfect answer for how best to offer that comfort.
But we each have to deal with it at some point or another since part of the human experience is:
I believe that if you approach the situation asking for the Grace to be the comfort the still living person needs, you may see signs. If they’re crying, grab them a tissue. If they’ve been in a receiving line a long time, grab them a drink of water – or bourbon – whatever seems most appropriate. And if the yard needs mown, call a lawn guy.
Don’t ask them what they need. They don’t know yet.
I like that we get to decide if we are going to focus on the emptiness their bodies leave or the fullness their spirits brought while they were here.
My mother left planet earth in August of 2013. To be honest, she and I had not spent a lot of time together during the last few years of her life. I was busy trying to provide my children with the childhood I thought they deserved, and she was busy trying to drink away whatever demons had taken hold and made her believe she wasn’t as amazing as she was…and she was…by all accounts but her own.
From the ending of one life comes Grace in another somehow. Always. If you just look for it.
My mother’s death brought my two sisters and me together for the first time in a while. And we were able to admire each other’s strength and humor in a situation that needed both.
My Mom used to say that “your feet should come into contact with Mother Earth at least once a day.” She was right. We need to remind ourselves of our connection to the energy of this amazing planet and to take a moment to appreciate all of the ways it sustains us.
She also used to say that any time you’re near a large body of water, you have a responsibility to put your feet in it. So I do. Even when it’s inconvenient . And it reminds me of the vastness of this earth every time, and how I am but a small cog in its massive, massive wheel.
My Mom is the one who gave me permission to be a seeker by telling me that she had her own opinions about That Which We Couldn’t See, but that she thought I’d probably be better served by just figuring it out on my own. Thanks, Mom.
Death is inevitable. But by choosing to focus on the beauty our lives were graced with by the presence of the deceased in our lives, rather than their absence from this point forward, maybe we can move towards embracing our new life without them a little faster.
Until next time,