How Can You?
Funny. You think about it, at various points of time in your life, but you just don't know. How can you know how you will be affected? How can you prepare yourself? How can you defend yourself?
Death is a strange turn of events. None of us expects it, or wants it, or has the power to stop it. Creeping in, like an unwanted venomous guest, with the ability to bite, and the power to destroy you, or at the very least change your world forever, the response to death could be described as, "incubated agony", with the victims in aftershock, holding their breath, trying to decide if the moment is real, wishing it to be a nightmare from which one awakens slightly shaken and ruffled. Nothing compared to the onslaught of unfiltered emotions pressing to be released. All the while, reality, not needing to display any trump card, contains the trickling device through which, from the inside out, from time to expected time, an uninhibited response is released, a response that doesn't request permission, but explodes from the integral interval of existence, with a life force of its own. If all goes well.
I'm finding this out, as I live the aftershock of death, that because I have been trying, with every particle of reasoning that I possess, to outwit it (not death... just my response to it) that it is stronger and more resilient than I anticipated. Each stroke (excuse the pun) impressing upon those of us who are forced to endure it, a weight of immeasurable heaviness.
As a result, there are days when I don't know if I'm making headway. What I do know is that I view differently, the world, my place in it, the place of the people I love, and the position of those I don't love, and don't even know, in acquaintance or through any circumstance. My perspective has been altered.
Yes. Mine. Considering I believe in life after death, and have experienced multiple losses over the last decade, I didn't perceive an alteration of this caliber was in tow.
As a child, I remember contemplating the death of my parents. For some reason, I thought this was normal. Though I never talked about it, fearing that by speaking about such, consequence would have the power to bring the event into being, almost in punishment, a repercussion of thoughts gone astray. Yet, part of me believed it was normal for a person to think about life after the death of a parent.
Without being able to explain why at the time, the thought of losing my father always brought more tears to my eyes in the dread stillness of those nights. I remember steeping my face in a tear soaked pillow after the fact. Not that I loved my mother less, but maybe somewhere deep inside I understood the implications to my security, should he suddenly come to a demise. Moreover, I didn't spend as much time with my father, as I did with mom; thus, I treasured our time together, and in life, appreciated him more than I did my mom.
She died first. When it happened, the tears flowed in what seemed an unending, unabashed stream. A current that lasted months and months. I cried over the loss of my dad too, but I think all the childhood tears did something to abate my anguish. I didn't seem to experience half the anguish over his leaving... except when reflecting on his antics, flamboyant actions and reactions, passions, hobbies and words, I craved to be in his presence, enjoying the vitality, missing his heartbeat in occurrence. I tried not to reflect on him often, unless in a group, the subject was unavoidable, and laughter accompanied the accounts.
Losing my sister was a horrible experience. Her death made me consider the vacuum packed void one probably feels when losing a limb. Such a sense of the surreal had never slapped me in the face before.
Then I lost my child. At this moment too... I am at a loss for words. I will be back when I find a few, buried deep in the repository of my heart, that may perhaps, reveal what I am experiencing now... but...
...if you are following my expressions of emotion, taking shape in these published pieces of reflection, do not lose any sleep over what I am sharing... I am sustained in a capsule of faith, a grounding I never expected to carry so heavy a mass of distressed sensibilities, but one I am seriously grateful to possess during this season of heart wrenching strain.
Be blessed. I will be back.