No Words For It
Today, for the second time this month, the husband of a good friend has died. There really are no words for it. Loving long marriages that end before anyone wanted to say goodbye. I ache to be able to give words of comfort and I come up short. Grief needs its own time. My heart turns to other voices looking for an offering.
On this wintry day, filled with sunshine in Ottawa, I think of Camus and I recall part of a quote that I go looking for.
Yes. Here it is.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
~ Albert Camus
Even this is too soon to take in, when your beloved husband has just died.
I go looking for words from Pema Chodren. In the face of this unbearable sorrow, I draw a blank today.
Finally, it comes to me. The words of Julia Cameron, from a hundred years ago, or so it seems. Her poem she wrote decades ago, pops into my heart. I related to it then, as I do now. Here is an excerpt from her poem:
Words For It
I wish I could take language
And fold it like cool, moist rags.
I would lay words on your forehead.
I would wrap words on your wrists.
“There, there,” my words would say–
Or something better.
I would murmur,
“Hush” and “Shh, shhh, it’s all right.”
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish I could take language
And daub and soothe and cool…
And heal the words…
You have no names for.
What I learn as I live longer is that there are no right words or answers or easy solutions to the mystery of living and dying. No formula nor magic wand to make everything better or back to the way it was.
We all end up learning that to be alive also means to suffer, to experience heart wrenching loss, as well as to experience profound happiness, love and the joy of others.
But for today, we simply grieve the losses and hold each other, and look at our loved ones who are still by our side, and realize that everything can change in a moment. If there is anything we can take from this, it is to really look at the ones beside us more lovingly, preciously and compassionately, knowing full well this life will not last forever.
And thus we won’t waste another moment fighting over the grain of sand in our shoe and instead get on with the business of living and loving while we can.
With sincerest condolences to all of my dear readers who had a loved one die this year. And especially for PF and her family. And once again to SA and PM, who are still reeling.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”~ Lao Tzu
A deep bow to you all, dear readers. With love and gratitude, Trudy
Dear Trudy, for something that has no words, you have found wonderful expression for the grief that these deaths bring and the truth that life will not last forever. And we will be surprised each time. xoxox
With gratitude for your comforting words and presence, Trudy. xo
You nailed it yet again. I have a funeral of a friend Saturday and recently lost another, and was at a loss of words for what to write the grieving spouse. I sent off your words and poetry, this whole blog.
It must have resonated as zi heard back immediately. Thank you.
Sometimes, only compassionate silence is needed – nothing else.
“…look at our loved ones who are still by our side, and realize that everything can change in a moment. If there is anything we can take from this, it is to really look at the ones beside us more lovingly, preciously and compassionately, knowing full well this life will not last forever.”
Trudy, thank you for your loving kindness. I love the thought of healing words draped on my forehead and wrists. Your messages float across the miles and land in my heart with a whisper of hope, and with the comfort of a hug from you.