From the Archives April 2006
Some stories can really spill the tears when witnessing the tragedy that occurs in people’s lives. Seeing the deep love between two people shoved into the pain until they can’t see or be with each other anymore is sad and understandable. A child dies, unable to be saved with any treatment, and the parents suffocate themselves in their deep sorrow. The arguments brought on by the pain of the experience rips the fragile fabric of their relationship because the wounds have gone so deep. Already wounded, anything else just makes it deeper. Before long, the couple separates, divorces, and as time passes the wind drifts the sand of time covering the surface of the wound so that life is more bearable and they can go on with their lives.
Years go by and coincidence introduces them to each other again, matured by time and sorrow, grief and loss, and the same chemistry that brought them together the first time brings a familiar flame of warmth. Like the perfectly matched pair, they get reacquainted and discover that the love never died. Conversation clicks as time witnesses the hours tick by and they realize that they have to return to their lives. Promising to reconnect, they make plans for dinner and the two lightly walk into their future.
Two different things happen here for different people and to varying degrees of intensity. The wind that drifted the sand into the wounds has stirred again and the wounds ache slightly. Returning home, to the solitude, to thoughts and emotions, the memories haunt and bring back the unresolved pain. Is this a lack of acceptance, a lack of forgiveness, or a lack of incompleteness? I can only wonder. The other choice, with resolution, forgiveness, and acceptance, moving on with life the sands of time and warm sunshine of a joyful life have healed the wounds. The return of a love brings more hope for a restoration of what was lost.
As I witnessed this event today in the lives of two others, I saw that love strong, deep, passionate and compassionate. One had strength, the other had fear. One had healed, the other had buried the pain. One had courage and hope for the rebirth, the other had fear and felt the pain of death all over again. Alone or together, brave and honest or hide the truth, these are the choices that either bring the tropical paradise back to life, or returns the arctic blizzard over the barren landscape. I hope for love, I hope for bravery, I hope for courage, I hope for honesty, and I hope for healing.
Even in the face of the tragedy that we live, we heal, we return, and we recover; if we choose. In loss we don’t only lose a loved one, we also lose our sight. Our focus is solely on ourselves and the pain we experience. Retreat is typical and normal when the wound is fresh and much healing is required. When enough time has passed and the eyes seek outward again to rediscover life you will be looking to fill that void that was recklessly lost. You don’t stop loving, so don’t stop loving, it begins with you.
Note: The first release of this article returned a response challenging the negative reaction as I’ve described. Please remember, there are more stories than time to tell to make a point, and there are exceptions. My observations are very intimate to situations in my life and family, not necessarily a reflection of your situation.