by Robert Wilkinson
Again I have been visited by death and profound loss. It seems to be in the air.
In the past 15 months, three beings closer to me than almost anyone else in my world have died. They loved me, they loved being with me, they taught me, they teased me, they trusted me, they made me laugh, and they made me cry. And though we understand that a long life is a great thing, it’s still lousy that all beings have to die sometime.
Yes, Death is lousy, if inevitable. When a loved one dies of disease and/or old age, I have found a peculiar mixture of joy and sorrow arises. Joy that they no longer suffer, sorrow that they’re no longer with us. While we rejoice at the liberation of their Spirit from a body that is too old, feeble, or diseased to be an adequate vehicle any longer, we still miss them when they’re gone.
Whenever we lose a loved one we miss them dearly, even months afterward, including what I call the “living dead.” (No, NOT zombies! We must have a sense of humor when we’re in the death world, or it gets way too heavy…..) The “living dead” are those people we once knew and loved, who somehow along the road chose to separate from us and the love we had/have for them.
While we and they live, the relationship died. And of course, the joy of knowing we’ve moved on is still tempered by the sorrow at having lost a loved one, for whatever reason, or no apparent reason at all.
I once read the words “Life is painful but we do not have to suffer.” I have lived my life by that dictum. Sometimes walking that walk is harder than other times. This seems to be one of those times for millions around the world.
While we expect the old to die, it is an outrage when the young die before the time God gave them to live their lives. All over the world millions are mourning the death of loved ones, whether through starvation or diseases that decimate entire regions, planes shot down, boats sunk, tanks and mortars and bombs blowing bodies to hell, or murderous thugs who forgot the universal, and Golden, rule.
I spent a good deal of my younger days raising money and awareness of the tens of thousands of children who die needlessly every day. I have witnessed the death of more of my friends than I ever imagined. By age 40 I had lost more than most ever know in a lifetime.
And it’s still lousy when someone I love dies. It’s lousy when those I don’t know die. We are all missed by someone who loves us. Joy and sorrow!
I am not afraid of death, having had my dress rehearsal at 33 through a catastrophic accident that took me to the other side and back. That made me a kinder and more compassionate man. But I still take the death of loved ones very personally, even though it is nothing personal. No matter how many times I have to say goodbye, it’s still lousy.
Anyway, that’s my life right now. And as I noted in “Love Dad,” once again the world never missed a beat during this past week. Things had to be taken care of, bills had to be paid, deadlines had to be met.
Once again I have seen how pictures are no substitute for that Being sitting with you, kissing you, loving you, walking between rooms and talking to you. But that again reaffirms a great Truth I learned the hard way: The price of love is grief. Even though they no longer suffer, we miss them. And that hurts.
So take a moment and send a fond thought to a loved one who is gone. Take a moment to send a prayer to someone somewhere, on Earth or in Heaven, thanking them for being in your life, loving you the way they did, and giving you the opportunity to love them the way you did.
We will never walk this road again. Though we may have a thousand lives or more, there will never be another one like you and there will never be another one who can do the things you do, to quote one of America’s dark Bards. And yes, while there will never be another time when you love/loved them the way you do/did love that Being in this life, you will always love them beyond the limits of your imagination.
Unconditional love is like that, and each turn of the wheel helps us grow in demonstrating that greater Love in which we live and have our Being. And the death of a loved one is lousy, and probably always will be, as long as we’re human. I suppose that’s the way life is.
This one's for you. Zabby. Kiss Yuri and Pearl for us. We miss all of you very much. We keep you in our hearts every day. And being in Heaven, you already knew that.
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson