… if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal.
But a blue butterfly waits upon my flowers and waits for me,
as if to say hello.
I have not forgotten you nor you i,
so in this moment linger…
for as long as you remember
i shall wait.
… First stanza from a headstone in Ireland
… Second stanza by Della Ewald
Life is full of pain and loss yet the one thing that proves life is worth living are the many and varied surprises along the way.
Like a rainbow after a dark and thunderous storm, or the simple smile of a young child, or new friends unexpectedly and serendipitously entering our lives. There are so many reasons to be thankful for this gift called life.
Still, it’s too easy to find we have somehow gotten off track. To become hyper-focused on the minutiae of our daily lives resulting in tunnel vision. Whether one’s child or sibling decides we’re just not good enough (And trust me I have experienced it and it does hurt.) there are friends and family as well as total strangers who prove daily through our interactions with them that we as well as they truly are worthy.
What happened in Orlando on Sunday was an unbelievable act of hatred and violence. In times like these I feel like reacting in kind. But that is not the way to win this fight against hatred, bigotry and intolerance. A man who taught and lived a different approach to stamping out bigotry and hatred said the following.
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
“Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone has said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shift of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.”
You’ll get over it …
It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because “it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?”
― Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body
Speaking from personal experience (Half a century so pay attention young folks! 😉) there is no time limit to grieving the loss of a loved one. We are each unique including the capacity for love.
I miss my father as if he had just died yesterday. He died March 22, 2012. Some days are better than others. He was the life of th party even when there was no party.
My dad loved music and he would have loved Adele. He was classically trained and knew a great voice when he heard it even if the songs were not something he would typically listen to. After Dad died I just couldn’t bear to listen to music period. Ever. Four years of being unable to listen to music of any type. Adele’s latest album for some inexplicable reason spoke to me like to other artist. Healing continues daily as the void in my life becomes less painful to bear.