Saturday, June 16, 2012

Goodbyes a 1000 Times

The goodbyes are getting old and painful. Today was a funeral. Unexpected, working at one's desk, sudden kind of goodbye. I struggle with goodbye generally, a thousand times I've said it, done it, or so it feels. Watching a friend accept condolences with grace and heart with her husband at rest a few feet away, stymied my proclivity to dwell on my own pain. My heart cracked another notch, so it should.

Our hearts get tramped on, we love, we loose, but we get a chance. In this whole giant galaxy, we are here, humming, vibrating, and doing. I thought of my friend's husband. He was a doer. All those black suits, all those Scout uniforms, basically, a lot of people were at that funeral because he did things with them, for them. He touched, he reached out, he gave of himself. He won't be here for things as life goes forward, but he showed up when he could.


The view from the edge of life is so much clearer than the view that most of us have, that what seems to be important is much more simple and accessible for everybody, which is who you've touched on your way through life, who's touched you. What you're leaving behind you in the hearts and minds of other people is far more important than whatever wealth you may have accumulated.  
Rachel Naomi Remen from On Being



It's not a warm fuzzy to sit with memories when you just want that someone to hold you, to sit with you. That's when the tears come. You ache because you feel their loss. It happens again and again, even when you think you're done. You miss people that aren't there anymore, wherever they are. You loved them once, you love them always.

As I drove homeward, my riding companion commented, "None of us know how much time we get." It got me thinking, I hope I give enough, I hope I love enough with what time I get. If my heart should break another thousand times, it just means I'm alive. I'll keep saying goodbye, and I'll keep saying hello.  If your heart is breaking, it is because it matters. If I dwell on loss from time to time, if I get overwhelmed and shed a few tears, it is my grief leaking out, making room to care again.

The way we deal with loss shapes our capacity to be present to life more than anything else. The way we protect ourselves from loss may be the way in which we distance ourselves from life. We burn out, not because we don't care, but because we don't grieve. We burn out because we have allowed our hearts to become so filled with loss that we have no room left to care. 
Rachel Naomi Remen