It is natural to want to be loved and to love. The yearning for connection is an integral part of life. The yearning to know, to love and to connect to another does not end at death, but where it once went, it could no longer go. I had nowhere to lay my heart within the heart of another.

Benjamin April 16 know and be knowLong walks and late night conversations dissolved and left only memory. The touch of her hand and the sound of her laughter froze in videos captured in time.

Lydia made videotapes for Matt before she died. She read her favorite books for him. Left him messages of love. Presented him with a brass replica of three dolphins jumping in the surf. She wanted to leave him a part of her that was to be gone.

Matt and I watched the videos. He put the dolphins on his bedside table. And at night when the light went off he cried. Memories are not enough to heal the sorrow.

When I returned to lie beside his tears, the natural embrace of his mother was replaced by the nature of loss. Death is as natural as life. Pain is as natural as pleasure. It is natural to cry. It is natural to grieve. One of the greatest gifts we can give to another is the space to grieve.

I would silently hold him in his tears. There were no words needed. What he needed was to cry knowing love, knowing it was ok to cry, knowing grief is a natural response to death…and to life. Just lying next to him was enough.

Benjamin April 16 Long for themIt was there in the night where I found what it means to be known and know another, to love and be loved, to connect beyond time and within space.

I could not replace his mother just as videos were a pale attempt at placating the pain he carried. All I could do was to be fully present for him, unconditional presence. What I found was in this state of mutual sorrow we held more than each other.

Matt was a physical reflection of his mother. When I looked at him I saw so much of her. He had many of her characteristics. When he and I laughed, I heard her laughter, too. We are a reflection of all that we touch and touches us.

In those tender nights of sorrow squeezing against the railing on the top bunk of his bunk bed and next to his broken heart, I watched as I became a reflection of Lydia’s love. It was no longer me who was holding our child. It was us.

People talk about feeling the presence of those that have died. I have experienced that on many occasions. I have also experienced presence in various locations, and not just physical locations.

Presence has no location. There is no distance in presence. What I interpret as location and distance of presence is my limited perception of all that is being bound by the illusion of past, present and future – time and space. It’s a mind game that deforms the heart. Nothing separates me from love. And love has no location.

Benjamin Natural to cry April 17In that bunk bed, holding my child’s sorrow I was a reflection of presence; we were a reflection of presence. I was a reflection of Lydia’s presence, love’s presence…presence itself. Matt was a reflection of presence, of love broken by love caught in the body of a nine year old child.

What I found is my yearning to know and be known, to love and be loved in this world is a reflection of a deeper yearning that shapes me. To touch and hold another is not the source of love. It is the reflection of love, the manifestation of love.

I mourn the loss of the ones I love’s physical manifestation. I have not lost their love or my ability to love them. I have lost the way I want to love them.

I am still in a body. I want their bodies here, too. I miss their physical presence. Just because I am keenly aware of infinite presence, it does not negate my longing to hold my children. I want both/and. I want to infinitely love them in our finiteness. Eternity is little conciliation for a heartbeat that beats alone. Until the heart stops I will always yearn to feel the heartbeats of the ones I love.

As long as I am here I will long for them to be here, too. It is part of human nature. It is natural to feel loss and the pain of separation. I am still bound by this body and the physicality of life. I am still human. I want to physically hold what is impossible to now hold.

Benjamin Pain of separation April 17I am torn. I am here, but long to be there. I am there, but long to be here.

The years Matt and I spent together were precious, but the moments we shared were divine. The hardest part of my day was the moments we spent in separation. I knew how limited our time was. I knew well what death takes. I knew what was to be left of me the day night descended.

When I finally could get home I would go looking for him. Matt would say, “Come be where I am.” I would smile and say, “Of course. All I want is to be where you are.”

I understand presence, but I have yet to understand why time and space fragments me. I understand what it is to love, but why does love leave me yearning for love?

I live with a heart that knows no distance in a world of distance. All I want is to touch what is out of reach. To love and be loved. To know and be known.

I miss them. I miss me. I miss me being with them.

Benjamin Yearn for connections April 17“Come be where I am.”

“Of course. All I want is to be where you are.”




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