Saturday, February 10, 2018

Traveling into a future without him

Loss is a landscape I am forced to navigate every day.

Loved spaces once shared are now places where pain lives. To occupy those spaces is to encounter the piercing realty of just how much I've lost. And since this reality encompasses most of the spaces in which I live and move and have my being, I have to put on emotional armor just walk into church or through the garden, work in the farmhouse, sit in front of the fire, or - hardest of all --  lay down in bed at night.

It is tiring to navigate beloved spaces now turned desolate. As a friend who has experienced similar grief wrote to me, "The whole world is diminished." I am using a lot of energy simply to get through the day, and then the night.

I don't mean that I live shrouded in loss all the time. I still have a life, and people and animals I love, work I care deeply about, a family I adore. And I have the immense gift of knowing I was deeply loved and cherished.

So I can hold the grief and sadness at bay much of the time, pulling strength from the love and care of so many friends. Plus - and never doubt this - the kindness of strangers is a very real thing.

Still, at every turn in this journey into a future without him I can be ambushed, blindsided by grief, felled by loss between one step and the next.

There is no pill to make this pain go away. But the memory of love, the knowledge of love now present, and my faith in love eternal makes this journey possible.

But, oh God, how much I miss him.

1 comment:

J A Mossbarger said...

It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,

and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke (Translated by Robert Bly)