Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Meditation on Grief

A Meditation on Grief by Margie Taylor

Learning to walk again. That’s what it can feel like after you’ve lost a loved one. The death of a partner, the aftermath of divorce, the loss of a parent or child, a beloved sibling or friend – sometimes the pain is so wrenching it feels as if the normal patterns of life have fallen away.

How did you used to walk? How did it feel to wake up in the morning and have that person in your life? Who will support you now – who will tell you you’re going to be okay, you’ll get through this, you’ll find your way?

You’ve entered an unknown country. You’ve arrived there without a guidebook, not speaking the language, not knowing the rules. And you really, really don’t want to be there.

This new place is familiar and yet different. There are streets, houses, apartment buildings. People commute to work, take their dogs for a walk, shop for groceries, play with their children. The sun rises and sets, it gets cold at night, warms up during the day. The very familiarity is jarring: shouldn’t it stop, if only for a moment? How can it be that the world can carry on when the one who made it interesting has gone?

You feel like Alice, viewing the world through a looking-glass. An invisible wall separates you from the others. In time, the wall will melt. You, too, will shop and commute and maybe take a few tottering steps in this new place, hoping you won’t fall and make a fool of yourself. Maybe you’ll join a group or take up a hobby. You’ll find a way to stop feeling guilty about being alive – stop apologizing for things you said or should have said.

You will, eventually, stop envying those on the other side of the wall. The ones who haven’t experienced this kind of loss. The ones who can still take the present for granted, as you used to do, and assume the future will continue. Your own future has changed for ever. At some point, you’ll see the way forward. You’ll find a way to navigate the trails in this part of the world.

Right now, though, if you could, you’d go back in time – not far back, just far enough. Back to when you took for granted all the bits and pieces that make up a day. The small conversations, the shared jokes, even the occasional arguments.

In this strange new country the stories aren’t remembered … they’re waiting to be told.

1 comment: