The Hollow Left Through Loss
"One day you will tell your story of how you're overcome what you are going through now, and it will become part of someone else's survival guide"
I'm reading a wonderful book by Caleb Wilde who comes from a long line of funeral directors. His view of the significance of our practices around death is as relatable as it could be perceived to be confronting, and I love it. He speaks of love, memory and mystery fusing this world to the next and I've seldom heard a more poignant and succinct description of what could, be the afterlife.
Losing someone you love can leave an indescribable hollow that nothing can fill. After all, what or who could possibly fit into the space that someone else has carved out in your being with their precise and personal measurements. What grows inside that hollow is, eventually, up to you. It may be dark for a time. Dark and damp with uncertainty, like the places where mushrooms flourish - their tiny spores holding genetic DNA that reproduces and creates life/food/microbes. Don't believe those who say nothing grows in darkness, because without darkness there is no light. We are polarity personified in every way. After the darkness, with hope there can lay a stillness, a quiet time where the shock, the rage, the desperation can rest and it's then that you can decide how your hollow will bloom.
It may be years before enough sunlight encourages new growth. Your hollow may have a permanent shade cloth that nestles over like a well held blanket. A shroud, so to speak.
Someone said to me yesterday that they dreaded another funeral where they sit and imagine what could have been if the love in that room, the people showing up, were present and supportive to the person before they made the decision to end their life. To ache with the question of "why didn't this happen before we got to this point?" To wonder why funerals are for the living and we don't communicate enough to gather ourselves collectively around a tortured soul sooner.
What if it's not about death at all. What if it's only ever been about life and living it.
And in that statement, to understand that we are all fumbling our way through this complicated and pressure-some world and existence. We muddle through, we try our best most of the time, and sometimes we falter and allow the struggle space to fester. And we do this very much alone, a lot of the time. "The irony of loneliness is that we all feel it at the same time - together" in the delicate and raw words of Rupi Kaur, a woman who encourages the threads from the underside of your heart to fall forward.
So, I ask you, what is the memory that will fuse you to the ones who leave the Earthly realm ahead of us. What is the amount of mystery you are willing to let linger and sow seeds into your mind, your heart - your hollow. And perhaps, most significantly, what will you keep within you as the pieces of you are melded with the segments of the ones who die.
While there may seem to be no rhyme or reason, we may like to believe there is a natural order of events, when we work in the field of the dead and dying, it becomes evident quickly that this isn't necessarily so.
Wilde states that "the dead don't have to be buried twice, once in the ground and again in our hearts." So, live your life, love with reckless abandon, speak freely your truth and never take anyone precious for granted.
- by Joelie