Friday, May 20, 2011

When You Lose Someone You Love... all my students who have lost someone precious this year. 
I'm sorry.

When you lose someone you love, you may feel a lot of first...just a numb shock as your mind sits very still within your body and the words keep echoing over and over in empty halls. Everything outside will clamor around you with its normal, blatant brightness, while inside, in shock, you sit blindly--without lights, without noise, without feeling--reluctant to understand.
This will pass.

When you lose someone you love, you may feel a lot of anger--at yourself, at God, even at them.
"How could they leave me all alone? Why didn't God intervene this once? How was I supposed to know that things would end this way?"

Take a breath. This too will pass. And come again. And again. Be ready to deal with it.

Don't coddle anger. Release it. Give it a way out. Don't embrace it as a friend, for anger--even the kind that's born of grief-- is a bitter acid that makes a soul raw. Cast it off. Reject it. Accept instead the awkward comfort of your solemn friends, their speechless looks of kindness because they don't know what to say, their flowery little cards and tentative pats on the shoulder. They are standing there; let them hold you up. And pull close around you the tacit, silent peace of God like a sweater. You need it more than ever, especially today.

There will be guilt too, days of it.
"Why didn't I say this? Why didn't I do that? What could I have done that I didn't do?"
If you hang onto it, you'll be wrestling with a cactus, and although, at first, the pain of these wounds might seem to overwhelm the greater agony, you mustn't let the stinging splinters stay.
Pull out the spines of guilt and burn them before they fester, lest the morphine of this moment become the poison of a lifetime. Whatever guilt you hold against yourself is yours alone. The one you love released it long ago and it is gone forever...unless you keep it. Let it go.

Yes, waves of grief will frequently blindside you...but do not sorrow like those who have no hope. Say goodbye, knowing that there will be a bright morning once again. In pain, do not stop praying ; in depression, do not despair. One day a sudden stream of joy will come shining out of no where. Life will burst through. You will start to heal. Healing takes time.

There is balm in work so carry on. Pick up a broom; go mow a lawn; wield an axe, or a wildly colored paintbrush. Take comfort in caring for little children who are swift to shed their sorrows and prone to sudden smiles; mingle with them and forget to be woeful for a while. Dance on the lawn in the rain. Make yourself move. Learn to live again. Let go.

One sublime tomorrow we will all realize that this life--for all its grandly blasted notes and furious clashing discords--was only the "warming-up" of an exalted orchestra.
Nobody has yet heard the symphony...but it will be glorious.
I promise.

1 comment:

aftergrace said...

Good advice, good perspective.