Healing From Loss

How do I help when the loss is so tragic; understand when the pain is beyond comprehension; comfort when the hurt is so deep; answer when there are none?

Death is tough. I have been touched — often and recently — from the passing of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, a sweet angel baby, and even a stuntman I didn’t know.

Tragedy happens. No one knows why. It calls upon me to find words — I am still looking for — to explain its finality to my children and to comfort those with closer proximity to the loss. But, there are times when words, explanations and answers allude me. There is just an empty abyss; a black hole; a void.

Here’s what I do know. Life on this planet is short. None of us know when our time will be done. Some of us continue on this life journey for decades. We learn, laugh, love, cry, scream, fight, hurt, heal, play, work, overcome, battle, travel, sleep, eat, watch, listen, talk, lead, follow, invent, investigate, judge, ignore, pray, give, take, share, begrudge, fornicate, nurture, care, grow, enlighten, guide, lie, pretend, run, cower, scam, cheat, etc., etc.

Others only join us for mere seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years. Then, their journey is complete. Why? No one knows. All I know is that I’m here along with my big beautiful family, friends and neighbors. Love is all around. I have my mind that thinks, creates, pushes; a heart that loves; a soul that cares; eyes that see good in others; ears that hear meaning in music and wisdom spoken with well-intended words; and senses that allow me to smell, taste and touch all things wonderful.

Related posts:

Love to My Big Beautiful Family

In the Middle of Beautiful

Live Your Dash

Thoughts About People and Connections

Impress upon me your image, your words, your intelligence, your sense of humor, your touch, your lips, your love.

I believe people come into our lives for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is for a lifetime, a single-serving encounter, or a mere flash to our senses.

On Saturday, after completing a Zumba workout at my local dance studio, a classmate and I decided to cool off with a two-mile walk on the Clinton-Macomb trail. Access to the trail, was just across the street from the dance studio.

As we walked, the two of us conversed about children, parents, death, illness, coping with adversity, prayer, pets and cleaning out household clutter. Anyone listening would have thought we had known each other for decades. Despite our brief acquaintance, all conversations touched on such a deep level. I made myself stop and really listen to the significance of the words being exchanged.

With some people, it takes a lifetime to truly understand their connection with us. With others, it takes an addiction to Zumba and a two-mile cool-off.

Live Your Dash

Within the previous 24 months, I have experienced the death of many family members and friends. I have lost two grandparents, two uncles, an aunt, a long-time family friend and the toddler son of a cousin. The death of so many woke me up. I realized my time on this planet is limited; and the time my family members and friends have is limited, too. During the holidays, one of my aunts included the following with her annual letter …

HOW DO YOU LIVE YOUR DASH?

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone from the beginning to the end. He noted that first came his date of birth and spoke the following date with tears. But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For the dash represents all the time he spent alive on earth. And now only those who loved him know what that little line is worth, For it matters not how much we own — the cars, the house, the cash — What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard — are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be arranged. If we could just slow down long enough to consider what’s true and real. And always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more. And love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile. Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s been read with your life’s actions to rehash. Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

— Anonymous

This reflection resonates with me because I believe its message is a common theme playing in current happenings around our globe.