I grew older, but they did not. I continued to gather experiences, but the memory of them brought our today to an end. All three of their deaths happened over twenty years ago. The moment they died, moment changed. Matt took his last breath at the age of 13. He would be 33.

Benjamin July 4 distanceI live the day he died and the day that was not to be. I live today with what isn’t as much as with what is. Every moment is a blend of the two. What lights my path is what shadows my present.

Time stretches me, contracts me, expands me. But time does not tick in linear motion no more as life is lived without past, without future. Time goes in all directions just as the present glides outside of spatial confines. I am here now. I am there then. I am both here and there, now and then.

So, what I have been observing lately is the inevitable distance between here and there, now and then. I do not weep as I once did. The duration of my sorrow has given way to the depths of my love in its unquenchable longing and healing embrace.

I miss them. But do I miss Matt as a 13 year-old or as a 33 year-old? The answer is yes.

The moment of his death and the end of our life in this manifestation froze me, froze us. Every child I see that age touches the moments I held my child. Every child’s sparkle of the eye or lift of a laugh encircles me, warms me, blesses me with the sparkle and lift of Matt. When I see them, I see him. And I remember with deep gratitude the gift he was to me.

Benjamin July 4 GravityAll through the years I have lived with the deep gratitude of what he means to me now as well. Every season of every year I marked what could have been. Graduations unattended. Teaching him to drive. Seeing his eyes as he came home from his first kiss. At whatever age he would have been I thought back as to what trouble might have beset him and how I would have given anything to be there for him.

I wonder if he would have a family. Would I be a grandfather now? Would he be happy? I would love to be able to see him happy.

I go through the same process with Lydia and Bryan. I think of them then and what they would be doing now. I wonder who they would be just as I wonder who I would be if they had lived.

But when time turned, time stopped…and time kept going. I was torn with the then with the unenviable task of reconciling to the now. The blend of both has marked my moments ever since the implosion of moment in their last breaths.

Just as there is a black hole in the center of our galaxy, there is this black hole within me, within moment, within here, within there, within then, within now.

I perpetually stand at the event horizon of life and death. In a black hole, the event horizon is the place light enters and there is no escape. Time stops, but if someone could look out of the black hole from the event horizon, time would still be there, still be in motion.

For over half my life I have been living in the event horizon. It started before their deaths. It started when we knew they were to die. Slowly I was in the gravitational pull of the unknownable void. When Bryan died, the event horizon took a part of me. When Lydia died, more was taken. Finally, when Matt died, the center of me left and I was left within the corridors of my black hole.

Grief’s gravity pulls. Each moment is a balancing act, sometimes dissolving into just an act. I look back into a world in motion and see life going on. I see myself as going on, but forever aware that I am living in timeless time.

Benjamin July 4 Loss and lifeIn my even horizon, time slows. It takes a lot to live in multiple states. A memory is a state of being. Moment is a state of being. Finding an equilibrium in here and there, then and now, takes a lot of intentionality. I am aware of my limitations in the landscape of unlimited love spread across the expanse.

Sometimes, going to work has nothing to do with the real work I am going through. I come home depleted by my inability to reconcile the two. One gives meaning. At times, the other takes meaning. I am depleted and in need of replenishment, in need of a motionless world.

It is when I am torn between the two worlds I am undone. I have spent many years learning to hold these two worlds together, learning to grow in both worlds, and learning how healing works as it interweaves what was with what is. I am not only living in loss. I am also living with loss.

I do not look for loss to be over. I live in a world that holds both loss and life. I do not dwell on the past. I do not live in pity, nor am I a victim of life. I am a sojourner of sorrow and solace. I still feel the loss of love even as I experience love’s totality.

I am grateful for what I had and what I have. I am grateful for then and now, here and there. But what I am most grateful for love. For love is not bound by linear time, and neither am I.


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