It’s seems a long time since I was able to post, feeling neither motivated nor inspired. Circumstances have rendered me speechless for many months, largely as the result of the unexpected illness and subsequent death of my husband, with whom I spent so many rewarding and productive years. He was a force of nature and now he’s gone in the space of three years -from a rare, early onset, dementia.
Having anticipated his demise as an inevitability, when death actually occurred, it was still a massive shock. I wanted to keep him alive forever.
The irreversible cessation of life has little to recommend it to the conscious mind, which is why we all go through life in denial of its certainty.
Of course, it is the only real certainty. The harsh reality is that we’re born to die. In fact, the impermanence of existence is so outrageous that one is convinced there must be something we’re all missing. If this is all there is, then life is sense-less or God must be monstrous, or we have it wrong. Our true essence must but be Spirit and not flesh.
Death takes away. At least it takes the body away. But the body cannot hold the essence of the person, the energy, the love they unstintingly poured out day after day, the kindness and service they have provided for others, their humour, memories of their personality. And the joy of living they embodied. I am filled with gratitude that my grief is softened by so many fond remembrances.
Death takes away, and suffering comes in its wake. the Buddhists talk about two kinds of suffering -the kind that follows you around and the kind that you face. I think you have to take time to first accept and then experience the pain of your loss. The only way you can transcend it to go through it as it occurs and accept it as a completely natural process, the other side of the coin. After love comes eventual loss.
I know someone who lost her husband very unexpectedly over two years ago and can’t move on. She seems to be trapped by suffering letting it define her every move -the death of her husband has become a monument to her misery. She’s in counselling and I wish her well. There are no rights and wrongs to how grief takes a person.
Death takes away but Hope gives back….
Hope tells me it surely it must be possible to be able to grow a new life and carry on with it, while still fully accepting the loss and including it. That is what I would like for myself now.
The many tributes from family, friends and community have eased the transition. The memories are all good. He was a special man who’d want me to live life to the full, as we’d always done, with no regrets. And if the roles were reversed I’d want him to do the same. Above all, I owe it to him to be enlarged by his leaving and to learn from his strengths.