Yesterday I went to the wake of a friend’s husband. She was in the midst of the emotional turmoil that surely accompanies any one in that moment. Standing in front of the casket greeting people with tears and hugs desperately trying to hold it together. His diagnosis only a week earlier, he left this world quickly.
We worked on the inpatient hospice unit together many moons ago. She and I have since become grocery store friends, running into each other exchanging hugs and updates on the events in our lives. Sometimes friendships can be as simple as that. A hug.
Working in hospice both of us have witnessed much in the way death comes and the aftermath of emotion that ensues the left behind living. You don’t become immune to it, it is just different to be a professional in death and dying, an observer, a helper of sorts. But when death becomes personal it reminds us that we too are deeply touched by its presence on another level. It is a journey we all witness, a journey we all will ultimately take.
Recently someone asked me “How do you do this?” I can only say that death for me is a bittersweet moment. I often feel relief for the person who had passed into the Afterlife, restored to their Spiritual being, whole, no longer suffering. Now unconditionally LOVED in GOD’s world. That I am truly grateful, but I am also human, my human heart breaks over and over again when someone leaves the emptiness we feel.
Grief takes residence in our brokenness; it brings unbearable moments of deep emotions that may bring us to our knees. Grief is the great releaser of sadness, it provides a way to empty out the broken heart, so that at some point the heart can rebuild itself, heal into a new version of itself. Grief is always present, sometimes it is loud and demands every ounce of our attention, other times it is soft and reminds us of the LOVE we shared and still do.
I often say the bonds of Love are never broken, Love is never destroyed, Love is the fabric of our very existence. Grief reminds us how important Love is.
My friend embraced me in a seemingly endless hug, held tight my hand. Love embraced us, two friends opening our hearts to the journey of grief.