Eighteen years ago, today, my husband died suddenly before my eyes. It was quick and shocking.
The grief journey it took me on was anything but quick.
A friend on Facebook just now asked, “How does one say goodbye and go on?”
How do we live a goodbye and grief? How do we live hello and joy? They go together, goodbye and go on. They go together, hello and go on.
For me, I’ve found it’s a living goodbye, and a living hello. It’s all tangled together, in a beautiful, and sometimes not so easy, dance.
Gary’s death was a doorway into awakening to the depth and beauty, the light and dark, the sacred and mundane. It was a doorway into a true relationship with life, because we can’t be in relationship with life if we are not in relationship with death.
I am not romanticizing it. It’s not been easy, nor was it easy for my daughters and family members who grieved Gary’s death. It hasn’t easy for the hundreds of 9/11 family members I worked with, or the hundreds of clients and students I’ve taught and coached. And, I am certain, it’s not easy for you. We all know grief.
If we are looking for easy, we won’t find it in grief, and we won’t find it in life.
Yet, we can find ease. We can find softness and grace. Life is filled with grace if we open our arms to be held in love. Not romantic love, but the love that carries us through it all, even the very painful things we are now witnessing in our world. I write this two days after the Boston bombings. I write this as other bombings are taking, and will take, place in our world.
Today, I celebrate Gary, our daughters, our four grandchildren, our life together, and the years since that have, I hope, made me a more real and loving woman.
Today, I celebrate you, your grief, your journey, and the way you grace this world.
Today, I celebrate our humanity. In light of all the tragedies we face, the love that we are is greater, by far, than any hateful and violent acts we do to each other.
This I know.