for even a big heart to hold.”
from an essay by W.B. Yeats
Grief is akin to putting on your hip waders and walking into the deep, murky water of your psyche, the home of your inner life, where there are churning emotions and roiling thoughts along with forgotten bits and pieces. The footing is rocky, uneven, and unpredictable. You never quite know what will slide up against you or tangle your footing. There is so much you cannot see or discern beneath the waters. You move slowly and tentatively forward, sweeping debris and sludge away from your person, and choking back tears. Sometimes, you stand stock-still until there is enough fortitude to take another step. It’s an arduous, crazy-making process. And it’s a game-changer, too. Your worldview is forever changed, and your heart is re-assembled.
“Grief can destroy you – or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of the each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it.
But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it.
The answer to the mystery of existence is the loved you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”
character Odd Thomas, from Odd Hours by Dean Koontz
Odd Thomas is a wonderfully unique character created by novelist Dean Koontz in a series of seven unusual mysteries. These words are from the fourth book in the series, Odd Hours. I resonated with Odd’s words on loving imperfectly, the deeper beauty of loss, and the sacredness of love. Perhaps, you will as well.
Go in peace.
Make peace. Find peace. Rest in Peace. Be at peace. Give peace a chance.
Peace be with you.
Peace is part of our everyday language. The word is familiar. It conveys warmth. It speaks of an absence of war, conflict, and struggle. Peace rests in the geographic center of grace. Its voice is calm, tranquil, and serene.
When we are peaceful, we are no longer at odds with the world, our loved ones, or ourselves. We are not being defensive, nor are we playing the offense. We are detached and neutral. We rest in emotional and mental balance. Free-floating, we are nurtured in a sweet pool of equilibrium.