Is there a way to separate life from me? Loss from me? Me from me?
By the end of the day I am at the end of me. I have spent the day out there longing for respite, just a little peace and quiet. I no longer live with a large amount of reserves. Many days I live on fumes hoping to coast into the night, put my head on the pillow and undo me into a forgotten dream state.
I am no longer who I was. Loss has reshaped me. Life living in loss has taken more than the ones I will always love. Life has taken me and left me living in remnants.
I have had to question everything, but part of the core of it all those questions was not “Why me?” The real question that unfolded was “Why is there a me?” What on earth am I doing on earth?
Life by its very nature is relational. Love lives in the in between binding all that is. When my family died, my relationship with life was forever altered. When those I love, those that were the adhesive of my life binding meaning, purpose and fulfillment slipped beyond my reach, I was left with a multitude of unanswered questions.
And in the ruins of a life that once stood before me lay the remains of me. As if an earthquake decimated my home and I was walking through the rubble picking up broken pieces, I walked through my days, walked through my nights, stepping over haunting questions.
How did I get here? Where did they go? Who am I? Where am I? What happened to us, to them, to us? The questions went on and on as I walked the streets of my Afterloss. Like a beggar going door to door, question to question carried me through so many nights and hid behind the day lived in other people’s worlds.
I no longer knew who I was. I just didn’t know who I had become. I knew what used to be normal. I just didn’t know what the new normal was. All I knew was I didn’t know anymore.
My search for figuring it all out did not help. My quest to know why was an excursion I had to go on, but ultimately it led me nowhere.
I found that the peace I was so desperately searching for was not in fragile, transitory explanations masquerading as answers. For every explanation I found, more questions lay in wait. Still, there were times when questions were all that was left of me. I needed to ask and I needed to listen.
My peace came in leaning into every question, following every tributary of thought, embracing every emotion’s ebb and flow, going into the depths of every moment and finding what was there for me.
What I found in my quest for the ultimate answers to my loss, and to life, was the tranquility of resting in the unanswerable. My peace resonates from the unknown that knows.
I do not know the answer of who I am and why am I here. I do not need to know. All I know is I am here. All I know is every question leads me deeper into the miraculous mystery of the unknowable known.
When Matt was 3 his little brother died. When Matt was 9 his mother died. When Matt was 13 he died. Matt had so many questions along the way. He asked them all. And it was me he asked.
These were the same questions I had asked and was asking. We explored them all. We walked every trail finding that some ended in larger questions, some ended in deserted deserts and some never to end. We spent many a moment sinking deeper into the mystery. No question, no feeling, no expression of our loss was out of bounds. Both he and I were free to go anywhere, anytime. My only request was that we go together. As far as we could go, we would go together.
Embedded in every moment was the greatest mystery of all – love. We loved in our loss. We loved in our pain. We loved in our laughter. We loved in our joy. We loved in our love. We simply loved and we loved simply.
I do not have the answers for others who are living with the pain of loss. I have no answers for me. All I know is when I step into the unknown I experience love. The ones I will always love taught me that there is always love. And love goes beyond an emotion Love goes beyond a state of being. Love goes beyond the unknowable known.
Matt taught me love is all there is. For that was the one constant from the very beginning of his life to his death, and into our life today. I loved him, no matter what. And I will always love because he showed me who I really am.
Who I thought I was is gone. But who I am remains. And I have come to see that all my questions lead me deeper and deeper into the mystery of the unknowable known. And I end my quest where it all begins, in what resides in all that is, in love.
So, no matter how spent I am I choose to spend each moment unfolding the unknowable known of life’s greatest mystery – love. Nevertheless, I still enjoy resting my head on my pillow exhaling the day in deep gratitude that this day is done. I do love my sleep.