Ode to the Bereaved
“Broken”, “lost”, “numb”, in a “bad dream”...
A few words to try to explain what does not make sense, to express what cannot be fathomed.
Death is part of life, as we say. And this is all fine, we think that we have quite a good understanding and acceptance of the phenomenon until it hits home…
Then, it happens one day. Sometimes you see it coming; other times, it is sudden; either way, it does not make it any easier.
On that day, our foundations seem to crumble, we lose our balance. What shall we do with all these emotions and energy that we used to share with that person? This is a true imbalance, and we are disoriented.
And here we are, hoping to find and adhere to some explanation that would match our values or vision of life; one that our brain and soul can comprehend. Trying to find our own way to process this loss.
Trying to get back to some kind of mental and emotional stability. While all of our senses are on an epic rollercoaster, we cannot see the end of the ride. In fact, we can hardly breathe.
Breathing, which has been the most natural thing we used to do, is no longer a reflex.
Since this is definite and the situation will not change, since we cannot turn back time and the absence will remain for the rest of our days; how can we manage this new normal?
This New Normal that is forced upon you: people keep walking in the streets…oh, it seems like some bread is baking, and you can smell it from outside the bakery, almost done…; there, you hear a child screaming, then laughing, some couple kissing and “vrrrr”, you receive a notification on your phone that the parcel you have been expecting for a week has been delivered. Life is happening, it’s not waiting for you, no pause, no entr’acte; it’s catching up with you faster than you can catch up with it.
You don’t always have time to process what you feel; running errands, needing to sort out arrangements, coping with the family routine, or any other obligations…no luxury to wait for your healing.
“Time”: that same entity that is not pausing for anyone and is supposed to heal you from everything.
“My condolences”...sometimes you welcome and appreciate those words. At other times, you wish never to hear them again. But, hey; this is the very first thing one can say to acknowledge at least that a tragic event occurred.
“You are so strong, I couldn’t…” people just trying to empathise; little do they know the underlying meanings or impact these words can have on your process.
This is also the time when interests in the paranormal, sciences, technology, religion or spirituality can grow…whilst still trying to make sense of death.
Well, I suggest making sense of Life instead: reassess what Life is, what it should feel like to be alive, what it implies and what it could mean to you.
And fully embrace the journey.
Accept your feelings, accept that a chapter is closing and take your time, for this is a journey. Starting a new chapter does not erase the beginning of the story, it actually adds meaning to it for a complete perspective. It also adds value to the main character -You- who is growing through these experiences. You are the sum of your identity, your uniqueness, your past experiences and the people you meet through this journey. They give additional meaning to your life for sure, but your life is yours to embrace.
You can take the active decision to live and start experiencing life in a different, better, deeper way, focusing on being present.
What to do when feelings, memories, love, and some items are all still there, in this world, with you, but now relate to an absent physical vessel? I would tell you that these persons, their imprints on the world, and their energies, are still present within you. Memories do not suddenly disappear; you might even think about them every day, for they are part of you!
Going through the day becomes a combination of happy thoughts, experiencing bliss through memories, and dark turmoils with the despair that follows. Then, it is all about trying to have more positive days than bad ones, one day at a time.
In any case, what matters is not how you choose to process it but what your final response and decision will be. Honour them, honour yourself; if it helps, you can do so through the promises, desires, and activities you never got to do, stopped doing, or that you did together.
You still love them; well, you also still carry their love for you with you. You can choose to honour it, and use it to better, fully experience Life.
Pain does not go away with time, but you do LEARN to live WITH it; however, you must first ACCEPT the new normal and DECIDE to EMBRACE life.
For them, for you and for the people who care for you, including the ones you are yet to cross paths with…
I will try to give you a couple of tools for hope, which you will need to 👉 nurture.
This is the beginning of the rest of your life.
Let Life surprise you, or better: let Yourself surprise you; give yourself a chance.
This is an Ode to Us, the Bereaved, Brave Survivors.