Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dealing with Loss

My brother-in-law wrote this quote in his blog relating to the loss of my sister to cancer, I thought I would share it here as well:

"Nothing can make up for the absence of someone whom we love, and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute; we must simply hold out and see it through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, for the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bonds between us.

It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; God does not fill it, but on the contrary, God keeps it empty and so helps us keep alive our former communion with each other, even at the cost of pain...The dearer and richer our memories, the more difficult the separation.

But gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.

The beauties of the past are borne, not as a thorn in the flesh, but as a precious gift in themselves. We must take care not to wallow in our memories or to hand ourselves over to them.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Letters and Papers from Prison"

I think these words can help us through many different types of losses. It is sometimes hard to have faith that the pain will go away. But, I do think that, in time, the angst of sorrow can transform to remembering and appreciating what a person brought to your life.


Mars Girl said...

The pain numbs and becomes bearable... Every once in awhile, you'll feel your heart throb with longing, but ultimately, you learn to live with it.

It took a long time for me to get to the point where I could live with it. Healing is different for everyone.

For a long time, I didnt feel whole without my husband. Now I feel whole again, but I miss him occasionally still. I probably always will.

Grief is complex. But dont let society pushing you into submerging your feelings when they come.

Erin said...

I know about that longing and I appreciate your comment. It is hard when you have a significant intimacy with someone to not feel the pang sometimes. I do think it fades and memories replace anguish.

Ah well, we would not truly know what we had if it at times does not slip through our fingers.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right Erin, memories do replace anguish. For me, for a long, long time I would often look at my mother's picture and say to myself, WOW....what would life have been like if she hadn't been my mom...then the tears start to swell in my eyes for a moment and after the rain has gone and cleared from my mind, I will get the biggest smile on my face and the most peaceful and serene feeling comes to me....our paths crossed for a reason and a season and I have to thank God for that moment in time and I'm always left with the thought that one day I know we will meet again and that makes me smile even more!!!!