When they left a part of me left, too. In loss, I wandered through life wondering what else of me was gone. I have not found anything that replaces what has left and what is left of me today is scattered across the landscape of my Afterloss.

Benjamin May 5 Someone elses worldI am a puzzle with missing pieces. I didn’t think that was how the game was supposed to be. I thought life was going to play fair. When Matt was little and we were joking around, on occasion he would blurt out, “That’s not fair!” I’d laugh and reply, “Who told you life was fair?”

Somebody must have told me life was supposed to be fair. I don’t even know what fair is, but apparently it isn’t this. A puzzle is supposed to have all its pieces. And now I’m supposed to go through my day trying to figure out what I am doing here without all the pieces.

Somebody must have told me true love is whole love. Pure love loves completely. Love is supposed to have all its pieces. I love from the depth of my being, but the ones that love drew me so deeply into love are beyond my reach.

I love in pieces now. I catch glimpses of love as it passes by, but somebody must have told me whole love is love I can hold. I don’t even know what love is, but apparently it isn’t this. They weren’t supposed to die. I wasn’t supposed to live without them. Why was I given so much love in so many pieces?

Benjamin May 5 TimeSomebody must have told me it takes time. But it is time that took them and left me in pieces. I spend time now doing time, stumbling into missing pieces. Time has robbed me blind and my compensation is more time.

Time is like a sieve. When they died, loss took a part of me and now I live in two worlds. Neither here nor there. Time heals? But time is the culprit that divides me, shatters me and scatters me across the landscape of space. Time taunts me with the illusion of a future that may somewhat resemble the past that has gone missing. I don’t even know what time is, but apparently it isn’t this. It is not time that heals. It is healing that heals.

Somebody must have told me healing had something to do with being whole again. Somebody told me that if I just look hard enough, work hard enough, cry long enough, I will find all the missing pieces and I will reassemble a life that resembles all that was shattered. Even the nursery rhyme knows better – “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…”

Healing is not about returning to wholeness. In loss, there is no return. Healing, for me, is finding peace living in pieces. Healing is feeling unbridled emotion. Healing is living in untamed sorrow. It is setting free my hurt and following it to healing, piece by piece, till peace finds me in my shattered sorrow and holds me in my pieces.

Healing is not bottling up, or hiding away, or having “appropriate” expressions of sorrow. It is not being ashamed to hold out my heart and say, “Look. There is something missing. I live everyday with something missing.” Healing is about holding the missing pieces of me and missing them as they hold me.

Benjamin May 5 White OrchidsI have been told a lot of things in life that simply aren’t true. The subtle messages I have taken on stand in judgment of my grief and the way I choose to live in this sorrow. I used to live in self-judgment. This is right. This is wrong. I am right. I am wrong. But there is no right or wrong in how to love in the midst of great loss. The lie is there is only one truth – theirs’.

I had been listening to somebody else and thinking it was me. I judged me by their rules, but then I realized that these are their rules not mine. They don’t even know which pieces of me are missing. The game changed. The puzzle board that I am is incomplete and they are asking me to play by their standards, their rules? No.

Today, I live in my time, in my love, in my healing…and in my pieces. I know what is missing. I know what it takes to piece together a day. I know what is left of me and how I need to triage my moment in order to string together moments. I know what it takes and I know what it took; and I know that I have only so much left to be taken.

I do not live in somebody else’s world. I live in mine. And the fact is I will always miss the ones I love and lost. I miss them.  And I will always miss the pieces of me that are missing. I miss them, too.



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