What are my reference points that tether me to time? I recently had a birthday. In the early days of my loss I would do the rose ceremony on Lydia, Matt and Bryan’s birthdays and the anniversaries of their deaths. It was an honoring of their births; that they walked this planet. It was the grieving of their deaths; that they were gone and I was still here. As the years went on I started to just have my ritual of remembrance at the day they died.

Benjamin Allen - it takes a broken heart April 14Their lives and their deaths are reference points for me. Last night I was channel surfing the TV and came across a movie made long ago. I went to the information page and saw the year. Immediately my mind went to who was still alive that year and who had died.

Death marks us. It leaves more than a scar, a memory, or irretrievable moments. Death leaves me tethered to a time that all other time is measured.

How can my grief move on when part of me stays where I last touched them? Time does not fade love. The day they died still measures me. I am still tethered to that moment when time tore me in two. When my heart broke, all of the pieces did not come with me.

The last few days have been a time of reflection. I have taken long walks into long thoughts. I was up the mountain behind the house in one of my favorite spots. A perfect sitting rock leans against a tree trunk, and the lake in the distance paints me with shear joy. It was there where I stumbled across the question of what about how my reference points tether me to time.

That spot on the mountain grounds me. It is there that I collect all of my shattered fragments and sit in the wholeness of the moment. It is a reference point to my peace. Whatever I am going through, I find the solace of stone underneath me brings me back to this place, this time, and the tethering of my being as it unfolds my becoming.

I need reference points. My years are marked by what is left. I wish it was different, but it isn’t. My mind does not reference the future. I lost that a long time ago. I don’t think in timeframes of years to come or what I will be doing tomorrow. Holidays hurt and my path is not filled with warm family memories to come. My memories are of what has gone.

Benjamin Heart torn in twoI do not live in morbidity. I live the fullness of this day in the fragments of what is left of me. I appreciate every moment and truly know the priceless pleasures of time. But it is not from the hope of the future or making peace with my past.

In order to find peace, I had to find it here. My reference point in the present is the present itself. I sat on the rock gathering myself into this moment.

I am well aware that I am a composite of my fragments. I have no illusion that I am anything other than the remnants of my experience.

Tomorrow died the day they died. I have learned to live in the present, appreciate the present, but know that I will never have tomorrow as a point of reference in time. Tomorrow doesn’t tether me to time. My only hope is to find what grounds me in this moment.

Is it the taste of my coffee that sits beside me now? Is it the feel of the keys that slide beneath my fingers? The sounds that fill the room? The thoughts that guide my words or even the letters that appear before the screen? Yes. It is all of this…and more.

Benjamin Tomorrow diedIt is this moment. This is my reference point that tethers me to time. This is what is left of me. This moment is the collection of all that I am. And I am here, shattered and spread across time, but nevertheless here.

I am weary. It takes everything I am to be here when the gravitational pull of yesterday and the dissolution of tomorrow challenge my being and my being here, but for some unknown reason I am nonetheless here.

I have learned to accept what “here” means and live with the sorrow of what “here” leaves in its wake. I know what is missing in my moments and I have found away to embrace that too.

My reference points that tether me to time have changed through time. I wish it included tomorrow, but that is simply not my path. Having no tomorrow has left my path with no destination. My point of reference has no end point other than being here, being now. It is both my blessing and my curse.

Sitting on my grounding rock, my thoughts went from what tethers me to time to what does being here, being now mean. I couldn’t help but smile. Now has changed a lot, too. Now has no tether to time. Now is more than moment. Now is more than here. Then, I couldn’t help but laugh and rose from the rock chuckling all the way back home.



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