When our son was little we used “time out” as a way of discipline.

I sure could use a time out today.

Benjamin Greif draws me untoMatt spent many a moment in that supposed quiet time. If we were trying to correct a behavior, then we would say, “You need a time out. Go over there and think about what you’ve just done and what you should have done. In five minutes, we will talk about how you could do it differently.”

Matt would storm off into his solitary confinement to stew on the injustice of it all and plot his defense. I loved watching the wheels in his mind turn. It took every ounce of adult in me to listen to his five-year-old logic and not smile or even laugh. Being the adult in the relationship was such a challenge at times.

Benjamin lot of intentionalityI need a time out. I want to go off in my corner of the world and just think. I sure would like to have time to reflect on what is really going on in my world and how I can do it differently.

Living in the Afterloss takes a lot of intentionality. The world I used to live in wants me to play by their rules. I am supposed to bury my sorrow like we bury the dead. But the dead never die and neither does my loss. The ones I love live within me. I see the ones I love in a commercial of a father and son, a song on the radio that blindsides me, or a photograph in the remnants of my home.

The loss of their bodies only accentuates what’s left. Not being able to hold them physically only heightens what I do hold. The world does not dictate when, where or how I sorrow. And on most days, neither do I.

Benjamin Out of harmonyGrief draws me unto itself. Grief has its own gravitational pull. It guides me into those places where sorrow and healing collect. I do not resist the heart and the heart finds the sorrow that calls me and the healing that awaits me.

My pain comes in a world of rules and regulations that collide with my world of the Afterloss. It is in that intersection that I usually say to myself, “I need a time out.” I need a quiet space to think about how I can do this differently.

In a time of reflection, of quiet reflection, feelings rise to the surface and I am drawn deeper into the Afterloss. In my “time out” I step into timelessness. It gives me a different perspective on the transitory nature of this time we are in. It gives me a chance to see what is important and what isn’t. It even gives me an opportunity to do the world out there differently.

When I come back from a self-imposed “time out” I can do life from a deeper place of meaning. I have a more intimate relationship with ordinary moments. My world of the Afterloss and this world in which we live become more resonate. Conversations have more depth. Tasks take on a different texture. Work goes from being a chore to becoming a gift.

There is really no separation between my Afterloss and the world. Pain comes when I believe that are different. Grief does not live in isolation. If I grieve in seclusion and in secret, my sorrow has a far more difficult path. However, if I incorporate my sorrow into my rhythm of life it has space to breath, to be a part of and included into the unfolding of my day.

In my “time out” I look for several things. One of my moment-by-moment objectives is to live in balance and harmony. Balance is the inner ability to feel everything – joy, sorrow, pain, pleasure, love, loss…. Harmony is the external manifestation of living one life in multiple worlds – the Afterloss world within me and the world around me.

When I am out of harmony my world hurts. When I am in harmony my world heals.

Benjamin Hurt Heals healing hurtsToday, my world hurts. And this suggests to me that I need a “time out”. I need to pause in the quiet and reflect on how can I do it differently.

Every time Matt came out of “time out” we would go over what happened. It would always end with a hug. Every time I come out of that quiet space of deep reflection, I feel more grounded and more expanded…more love. Kinda like a hug.

Today, I’m going to take a time out.



Share Button