Who said, “Grief begins when the last breath is breathed?”
Who said, “Loss” could be recovered?”
Who said, “Time can heal wounds?”
Grief has its own time.
For some, it is a quick loss and the one you love is here today and gone tomorrow. That experience was once mine. It is hard.
For others, it is loosing someone you love a little everyday.
With dementia, the one that is present isn’t the one you loved so dearly. You hope that there is a part of them still there, but you cannot connect to them. They are somewhere buried in a different reality. So, you find an empty room and let the tears fall down your face. You let out what you can no longer contain. Behind the smile or the grimace, it all melts and becomes “Tears of Loss”.
It is true that time will blunt the shock and sharp pain of loosing the one you love. You will put your hand on the plate and wash it clean. You will put the clothes in the washing machine. You will eventually allow sleep to find your breaking heart.
But, there are seasons, when you least expect it, that the pain rises up and you feel the hurt that you thought time took with it. For a time, the pain of loss is back and it is just as painful as before. The Wave of Grief doesn’t play fairly. When you are not looking, it comes and overtakes your daily steps. It may be when you look into the face of the one who is slowly making their exit from this world. You look into their eyes and you realize that you loved them more deeply than you knew. It may arrive when you peer into their eyes seeking something familiar and you are finally convinced that they are gone..
Then the sting of tears well up and somewhere, you let them fall. Another Wave of Grief is rolling into your shore.
In the midst of tumbling helplessly in the belly of this wave, you wonder if you will ever come to the surface. Will you be able to surface from this overwhelming ache and take another deep breath? Will you ever find a new “normal” when you already know that the present is anything but normal without the one you loved so much. Your dread and anticipation of the deep pain that you know so well is trying to overtake you. You know that is your future to fell that overwhelming feeling of loss again.
So, you cry the tears in advance of the pain. You feel it now so that when the one you love is gone you will be able to tread the painful waters.
Is there ever recovery from the pain of loss?
I wish I could say that I found it. I long to say that I found a place where the Shadows of the Valley of Death never find you, but that isn’t reality.
If you have ever loved with abandon, you will know the Wave of Grief can find you. There will be another time when the Face of Loss looks into your eyes and the recognition of loosing again make the tears to fall.
There will always be another instance when the sting of death claims someone precious to your heart and you will feel that familiar tap on your shoulder and whispers… “I am not gone.”
But, there are moments that are laced inside the Shadows when you hear, ” I CANNOT DIE..” and you think that the Voice you hear is just the pain creating a mirage. You see the glimmer on the desert of you soul. and you believe what you hear is the winds of change… It just cannot be real.
Then a GREATER TRUTH appears on that lonely horizon.
It is when you reach out to what was once words in a Book that held hollow comforts. Then you hear the words of the Greater Truth more clearly and the phrases from The Book begin to open up and you remember, “…eternal soul…”; “…to be absent from the body is to be with the Lord…”; ” I go to prepare a place for you and where I am there you may be also…”.
Life comes to those words on paper and you realize in a place so deep inside you that you forgot it was there. In that moment, you know that the one you love cannot be obliterated from ” Being”. What compounds the elements that make us uniquely a living soul CANNOT DIE.
Because a man came 2000 years ago and faced Death, Hell and the Grave, our souls, the part of us that we knew between us is never lost and in that bond what lived between you gave birth to a new Entity that lives in. It is found in a place that cannot be contained by our earthly existence. It’s name is Love.
Death cannot touch that kind of Love. In the place where Love dwells, there is no time, no pain, and no loss. It is in a dimension that is not of this world.
The one you love has joined that “…Great Cloud of Witnesses…”. They are released from every limitation that this body and this world binds to a soul. They are COMPLETE. They are alive in a way that could be known before their leaving.
The ones we love patiently wait for us to shake off this failing body and join them where all limitations are transcended; a place where there is always Hope. Where there is a Comforter, a Being, that is the fiber of their existence. A Safe Haven where Love lives without fear of rejection. In that place where Love resides…” O Death, where is your sting?”; “Grave, what do you hold?”; “Pain, what can you afflict?’
In knowing this, in the deepest part of your being, you realize that when the Waves of Grief are welling over your bleeding heart, you may relinquish tears of sorrow for a moment, but the Wave cannot take you under. That Flood of deep feelings that threaten to drown you in your sorrow of Loss does not not have the ability to keep you under those waters. There is nothing that can separate you from that Love that that gave life between you and the other.
It is then, you know that you have come to a greater understanding that you are on a journey. Where you live is NOT your Home. The one you love CANNOT DIE…and though they have gone onto Love’s destination before you, they are not GONE. They are just out of your earthly sight.