This has nothing to do with my son. Well, metaphorically speaking, it does. I mean, on Oct 1st, my vision of just a normal average son died, but that gave birth to my new vision of a beautiful, extraordinary boy. A new vision of a new future of a son that has opened my understanding to a whole different world, made up of different sensations and beliefs and feelings. A world where each day, within the mundane routines, a surprise, a twist, is waiting. To be noticed, to be handled, to be meticulously cared for.
But in this passage, death is just that. Death. The physical body is no longer operating. The soul has separated. The physical warmth is gone. The darkness sets in. That is death.
Left behind are the memories. The love. The smells. The family. The celebration of life.
The soul may be gone, the physical body may be buried, but what keeps us strong is what we hold in our heart. What we feel. What we hold dear. The pictures we can look at. The special places that bring memories rushing back.
Death may be the end all be all in this life, and grief will quickly fill the void. But it would be a shame to not experience grief. Because within grief, we come together. To honor our love, to remember each other, to hold onto one another tightly. We come together to show that no matter what, family and friends, are still here, to support one another in their own way of grief. Whether they need to push us away, or bring us in closer. Family, friends, we are here.
Death has a funny way of bringing out our inner peace. We either fight it and hold it in, keeping people at a distance. Not letting emotions show, because for some reason, we must remain tough, no matter what. It is not until the doors close, the sky darkens, and people leave, that we let our grief out. And that is OK. Or we fight it openly, and we search for another human, another being that understands what we are going thru, that will weather the storm with us.
But death is funny. Because we all need our anchors. Subconsciously or not, we need our anchors. In a time of grief, everyone is each others’ anchors. They will hold me, while I hold you.
And once the storm peaks, the clouds begin to dissipate, the sun begins to shine once again, our anchors will hold on less tightly. Each step, whether big or small, after death, is a step. Each smile, is a step. Each tear, is a step. Each memory, is a step. But no matter what, we have our anchors, that will watch out for us, watch out for the swelling seas, the dark clouds, and even, most importantly, the bright blue skies. Because once the storm has passed, it is then that it is apparent how much our anchors mean to us. Without our anchors, in a time of death, in a time of grief, we would be floating, floating away, floating pass lands, barely hanging on, hoping to run aground. Hoping to be found.
Death, today, is raw. But that is OK. Because tomorrow, next month, next year, the seas will part, the sun will shine, and the love will still be there. Our anchors will have held onto us, whether we could tell in the rough seas or not. And our anchors, will never let us go.
I still remember when my grandmother passed away. 5 years ago, the day after Easter. I knew, on Easter night, it was time. I corralled my entire family, to come to her bedside, to say their goodbyes. Because death, it is inevitable. It is how we spend those last moments, experiencing the life we are about to lose.
Would I have felt guilty for not trusting my gut and not sending the call for my family? Yes. Would I be able to live with myself? It is hard to tell. 5 years later, I still have not processed my grandmother’s passing. I am forever grateful that I was able to recognize those last moments with her. Forever grateful that she was able to meet her great-granddaughter. Forever grateful for the woman I became because of her.
But 5 years later, I have hidden my grief. Stuffed it away. Locked it in the attic. My grandmother never told me to go up there. So there it sits, locked away. My anchor, my husband, my love. He was there for me. He is still there for me. But even he doesn’t know how much I have yet to grieve. Sometimes I want to grieve, but then I emotionally cannot handle it. And yet he is still my anchor.
And that is why we all need our anchors. Because without them, whoever they may be – human, animal, spiritual, etc – our soul, our grief, our life, would still be wandering. Wandering to the next day, the next week, the next moment, the next memory – to the next.
Death is inevitable. It is hard. It is real. It is raw. It hurts. But it is how we live after death, that helps us grieve. That helps us heal.
Whether it be the passing of a loved one, or the passing of a metaphorically speaking “normal” life. Moving backwards is not an option. But moving forward, is.