There is a map.
No…actually, there is no map. For life. For you. For me. Not one that explains everything in detail. Like how the everyday should unfold. How people should behave in any given moment. This terrain, for each of us, is uncharted. Un-navigated. Its surface gets made as we go along.
And for those of us whose minds are elaborate patterns and tapestries of connections, this is one place where life fails us. And the why question walks into our front yard and pitches a tent. And for certain times & things, it looms larger than life itself. It invades the space where we eat, breathe and sleep.
Why is a powerful question.
When it is answered it can change the world and the lives of those it touches. Unanswered, it takes away life. Sometimes quick. Sometimes slow. It snuffs out the energy to try just more time.
There are two things that never made sense to me;
Unrequited love and death.
Both signify loss. The former is a mystery of the heart – this muscle that won’t often do what we want it to do.
But the latter is what’s on my mind.
When my father died 4 years ago, I thought the world would stop and mourn with me. I don’t know where this idea came from but there was something heartbreaking when it didn’t happen. A kind of betrayal. I expected a moment’s silence. Everything quiet. To honour the man he was.
Yeah, yeah. I know you might be thinking this is silly and naïve. And maybe you are right. But a mind in loss often loses grip on reality and expects this. Or rather deeply craves this. A kind of acknowledgement of the pain. The loss. The fleshly wound of deep hurt. Something much more than the standard, often unfeeling “I’m sorry for your loss.”
This is one of those moments the why question walks from your front yard, enters your house and stares you right in the face. Almost daring you to challenge it.
So what should we actually do when things don’t make sense?
We reach out for support.
We ask for love.
Love is a phenomenal thing. It has the capacity to cover the spaces of uncertainty. It holds one until the clarity comes. Until the answers show up. Don’t ask me how it does this because I don’t know. I just know that it does. It held me until I woke up one day and the pain of Dad’s loss was no longer a fiery dagger piercing my heart. But a gentle throbbing of awareness that will stay forever.
Loss shifts the map. Yes, the one that doesn’t exist. Sometimes like an earthquake re-aligning the surface of our ground. And to get through the shifting, we need to know that we are loved. With a powerful love. A love more powerful than anything in the world. A love more powerful than our greatest fear. A love more powerful than death itself.
So, here is my preposition, from one human to another.
Be a part of that love for someone else in their time of senselessness.
Be that love.
Be that support.
Don’t be hardened. Be soft. Feel. Gather that person’s “whys” and hold them. Simply hold them. You don’t have to answer. Just listen.
It’s only ever enough to love for those times when things don’t make sense.
And then when the time comes the One who ordained life will show up and take care of the rest.
It doesn’t matter. Every death we hear of. See. Glance. Should make us stop. In our minds and in our hearts. To offer silent prayers for the loss of another. At first I thought this is ridiculous because it would mean that we would be in a perpetual stand still because people are dying almost every second. That’s one way to look at it.
But no, it will mean we will be in perpetual awe of the importance and fragility of human life. That we will honour and respect. That we will acknowledge.
And to be properly human, we have to see the ways we can be better for each other. And acknowledging other people’s loss & pain. Sitting with it. And loving them through it. Is one such way. It is a better way.