Watching someone die is never going to be easy. Something is breaking. A world is ending. It is not going to be okay. The light is greying out.
It is not far short of 6 months since my dad died and I feel like I travelled 10,000 miles – in fact maybe I have.
In the depths of my dark there were times when it was good to know that I was not alone, that there were others clutching hands, loving the leaving, mourning as lives streamed from the earth. There was comfort in company, in feeling a little bit less alone.
But sometimes that same knowledge is painful, another inch of awful, another ache. Loss is as unique as love, but its pains are shared and I can’t help but feel for others who stumble the same stony paths.
Even in slow days of creeping death there is a lot to be thankful for, a lot that is beautiful, blessed. Loss can be life affirming but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t spare you if I could.
I wish I could spare myself the losses still come but loss is inevitable. It keeps on coming around again, embroidering the fabric of this with the rise and fall of life and death, and so it will until infinity is done and all things unravel. There is no escape, no undo, no way out. We must all make this journey.
Sometimes I think of the lives shuffling into deaths, waiting in line for the beginning of the end, and I wish I had more certainties to hold on to.
I wonder what words I have to give to those who will grieve, what it is I’ve learned from losing. I have words of hope, happiness and reassurance but I won’t write them here because I wouldn’t have believed them back in that then.
I have a lot of other posts that are light and bright. You can read them if the positives are what you would like, if you are ready to open the shutters a crack.
Otherwise what I have is just this:
Grieve, smile, shout, rant – feel what you must – anything, everything is normal. There is no shame in hurting, howling or throwing fruit. Cry in the toilet if you need to. In fact cry anywhere and anytime you need to, and to hell with anyone who stares.
Forgive yourself when you have no strength or heart left to feel anything, when all inside is silent and still. You are not cold, you are not dead – I promise.
Find a safe place where you can express anything. Be angry, resentful, bitter, and selfish when you feel you can’t not. Allow yourself to be awful once in a while.
Be gentle with yourself. Be patient with yourself in all things, treat yourself with compassion.
Other times will come whether you want them to or not. You do not need to have the strength to will the world around.
Ask for help. Accept what is offered with the same grace you would like to give. People undoubtedly love you and feel for you far more than they know how to say or show. Give them the opportunity to be who you need them to be.
Scratch ”should have” and ”ought to have” from your vocabulary. It is too late to make a better yesterday. Guilt will just steal more time. It never brings any back.
However long you have will never be enough, but you have to make it enough. Make every moment count that you can. Be awake, be aware.
You have right now. Live it fully, even if that just means sitting beside someone as they doze through daytime TV. Whole lives can be lived in those days. There don’t always have to fireworks for there to be celebration. There is joy in nothings too.
Try your best to shrug off the weight of all you wish could have been. One day, this moment that you are wishing away might be one of the ones you want back. Remember that.
If you have something important to say, say it, even if your tongue sticks, stumbles or slurs and the words are half made. There might never be another tomorrow. There might never be another chance to try to make this time different.
Love well, survive, the rest is incidental.