Loss is timeless. Ken's brother got an email the other day from someone who just found out that Ken died. He wrote to express his sympathy, six and a half years later. Good for him. Loss is timeless. You can be moving along rather nicely, whistling, enjoying the view, and then it can root you like quicksand. It holds you. You may want to escape its grip, but it's strong. When it gets you, it can be hard to move forward.
My nephew got married this month -- another timeless moment. This is the very type of occasion that sends you reeling back in time, just as it moves you even more quickly into the future. All those turning points your loved one misses: the weddings, graduations, birthdays, college tours, vacations, road trips. How ironic then that your dead husband or brother or son or father or uncle is more present at these events than usual. The dead do show up at weddings. You can't stop thinking about them, imagining how they would react, how they would enjoy, how different things would be if time hadn't moved on without them, if they hadn't stepped out of time. They show up anyway.
I have to admit that I still, at times, find it hard to accept my current reality wholeheartedly. I still shake my head. Is this just the way I am? Do I find it particularly hard to move along? Or is this what loss does?
Loss is timeless. It can still be hard to embrace the bounty of life with full on unadulterated joy. It is marred by absence. A wedding full of happiness and a sense of life being as it should be is a powerful reminder of life's darker side when we think about those who couldn't be there. Loss attaches itself to our beating pulse like a wrist watch ticking off the hours and minutes.
Loss is timeless and it reminds us that we are not. Today is my 51st birthday. Ken died at 52. I plan to enjoy all my minutes today. I am so grateful to my kids, my family, my friends, and my Mark. And I am especially grateful to those of you who let me feel my loss and let me talk about it without judgement. I never knew that loss had infinite dimensions, too hard (for me) to comprehend alone.
- Jill Schacter
- My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.