Sunday, November 17, 2013


I attended a funeral yesterday, of a man I never knew. He was someone very special to someone very special to me. It was one of the saddest I've ever been to, not that any I've ever been to have been less than sad.

How does anyone go on after the death of someone they love? As this man's father spoke, I wondered how he will go on. What happens to your heart when you lose a child? Whether your child is a baby or a grown man, how do you get out of bed in the morning? How do you breathe?

His siblings lost their brother. How do you get through the next forever number of years without your brother less than a phone call away?

My friend lost her boyfriend. How do you move on from that? The what-ifs, the maybes, the probablies, they live on interminably. The memories, the love, the excitement, the laughing spells and the deep eyes-into-eyes looks - what happens to those? Where do you store these things in your heart without it breaking over and over and over again? Never ever wanting to forget, while the remembering crushes you continually.

I am deeply grieved by the loss of this man I never met. I am grieved for the grieving. I cannot put myself in their shoes; to do so is more painful than I am willing to feel. To imagine losing my son, or my brother, or my lover is too exhausting, too agonizing. I have the choice not to experience it.

But they don't. The choice was not theirs. Life and death play by an unfair set of arbitrary rules. I wish I knew what could be done to help ease some of this heartache for my friend, although I think the clear answer is nothing. Nothing but cruel, unforgiving, undesired time helps, and right now, time is the enemy. It is the only balm, yet it is unkind, taking with it all the beautiful and painful you want to hold on to tightly forever.

Sleep, dream, all you loved ones, retell the old stories, hold each other close, take deep breaths, eat something, and may you have moments of rest and comfort and peace amidst the black and blue sorrow of these long endless days.

To cold climes
comes springtime.

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