Loss Uplifts Through What We Miss
A person’s departure may be inner torture but it creates a greater archer where the more you pull back the arrow the farther it goes. It doesn’t mean everything will be fine or that there is a grief finish line. You find insights. You may be missing what life is dissing and destroying through death or some other end. They may be gone by choice or not. You may be sent reminders or loose ends or nothing but the memory of a friend. The silence may hold the unsaid or simply be triggering. There is something right in the rain. You dance in the dark while grappling with the fact that it can never be the same. The answers may never be caught; that’s just our lot. You ask “How do I live when you do not?” You feel the pressure to take their spot in life adopting their values and even their voice. That is not your task. You don’t have to mask yourself with their name due to their fate. You just have to let them fly away and rise higher on your own. If you stay true to yourself you both find your own way home.
You don’t need to fix it or mix loss with a lesson.
YOU CAN SCREAM AS LOUD AND AS LONG AS YOU WANT.
Or you can stay quiet as a mouse.
People believe someone in pain is to blame for their own heart. Pain is the problem or worse yet, YOUR problem. This is victim blaming. But you are not to blame. It isn’t your fault. You don’t deserve the loss.
Pain makes you a spectacle of suffering where people point, probe, preach and pray. There’s power to being who you are right now. You don’t want every scar to be forgotten or wiped away.
Memories and milestones now incomplete. Yet there are some things that remain.
Grief is a surprise and a surrender. It comes and goes and knows us the most. But it grows weary of itself too. One day you wake up with the sunrise and think “This is our shared sky no matter where you are or the reason you had to go.” There’s a connection to the unknown. We don’t have to figure out if they are happy or free of pain. Just miss them. It’s okay.
Some say grief comes in stages or is like a spiral. It comes and goes or stays for a while. It’s linear or liminal but can’t be defined by a prescribed dose. However, predictability cannot be gained from the analytics we create. We comfort ourselves by trying to control the way we grieve. The truth is that grief itself is the precipice to a new beginning where we don’t have to end with it neatly tied in a bow and let go. It can be a mess. There is beauty in the unrest.
Slow and steady, the road is ready to uplift you through the loss. It leads to a mountain to climb where you cry at the top. The loss can make us lonely, but life isn't a genie that gives you a new pony. It will give you plenty of problems, but you can get purpose. It’s not the toll it takes or what is at stake. It’s about what meaning you make. Even if all you get are the tears you shed meant for them as you rake the gold from your soul and try to shake them awake. You can find them by looking within no matter the rift. You may be adrift but their gift is they are the oars and the shore. They never left you. The soft beckoning of an outstretched hand that fades as soon as you get to it. You win all by letting the sand flow through the space between your fingers; that’s where they linger - in the forgotten but not yet rotten. Always ripe no matter the time that passes. They are the one person to touch your life in the masses. Be glad it was you that got through. People will bump into you and be rude and make you feel used but one act of kindness puts that behind us. You had your loved one at one point and will be forever joint as one. You don’t have to punish yourself or become a nun (unless you want to) to clear your sins and forgive that you are not them. It’s okay to have happy grief and still have fun. You never saw such loss coming and you didn’t know what to say. But the love still got through and always will, come what may.
Sarah Jeanne Browne is a wisdom collector who assisted Tiny Buddha with such projects and then formed her own philosophy; writer for Forbes and other popular self-help sites (and now deconstructs self-help as the industry can be misleading); speaker for organizations such as The Peal Center, Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network, The Woodlands Foundation, Reimagine, various podcasts and more; activist for human and animal rights; innovator and problem solver such as creating a way to connect with kids for EndCAN - LOVES: Listen, Open Up, Validate, Explain, and Solve Together; brand and social media consultant; and lived experience speaker and writer with bipolar, dyscalculia, and AuDHD.