An unimaginable, indescribable loss has taken place. It has inflicted a wound so deep that numbness and excruciating pain are the material of which it is made. Everyone experiences many losses throughout life, but the death of a loved one is unmatched for its emptiness and profound sadness. Your world stops. You know the exact time your loved one died- or the exact moment you were told. It is marked in your mind. Your world takes on a slowness, a surrealness. It seems strange that the clocks in the world continue when your inner clock does not. Your life continues, but your are not sure why. A different life appears before you, one in which your loved one will no longer be physically present. No one can give you words to make you feel better; there are none. You will survive, though you may not be sure how or even if you want to. Many people believe you cannot die alone, that angels are always present. Young children often refer to angels as their playmates. They will wait till the end of our physical existence and help us transition to our purely spiritual existence. They will be there for those we leave behind. And just as you cannot die alone, you cannot grieve alone. On the long road you now walk alone, you have unseen companions…….Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
face to face with the alchemy of despair chokes our hearts….
we fall to our knees & pray….
Bearing witness calls us continually to cross the threshold of our story. Dying and being with dying are threshold experiences with the potential to destroy our self-clinging as they liberate us into a larger space. We are forced to lie down in what the poet Yeats called ‘the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.’ This is where most of us begin our journey home- among the rags and bones of our tender and awful brokenness…..Roshi Joan Halifax
in this depth of winter, we wait
for our estrangement to find a hand to hold….
I said to my soul, be still,
and let the dark come upon you
which shall be the darkness of God.
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith
But the faith and love and the hope
are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.
I don’t ever feel alone
since I found out about you.
(from Children’s Letters to God)